Tag Archives: psychology

Deep Simplicity

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Over the three decades or so that I have been exploring life through the lens of spiritual practices, one of the most touching aspects of this exploration is how the simplest of observations come back to visit, again and again, over the years. Rather like old friends they appear, time and time again, to share their wisdom.

Sometimes, these insights have a remarkable knack of appearing so simple and obvious. So that my mind looks at them and immediately reacts with ‘ah yes’ I get that. And yet each time that they revisit they reveal a deeper truth, as if this exploration is a spiral journey that repeats itself, over and over again.

Let me share a couple of these old friends with you.

One of these insights is that we create, or at least co-create, the world that we live in. In the parlance of the Christian faith, we reap what we sow. It has been my observation of late that this is one of the most profound and penetrating truths of our existence. Right here, right now we are creating, with our thoughts, our words, our deeds and our non-deeds, the world we live in and experience each day.

Often, we may seek to avoid what is right in front of us, right under our noses, and seek to escape into other realties, other parts of the Earth, other philosophies or high-sounding spiritual paths. Yet, here in this simple truth of creation is the beginning, the middle and the end of our human experience and of our spiritual search.

A second example, is the truth that our bodies are the embodiment of enlightenment itself. An observation most eloquently expressed in the teaching of Gautama Buddha. But, isn’t enlightenment some magical state alternate consciousness, the ultimate bliss of someplace else, other than here?

Again, it’s one of those insights which seem easy to grasp intellectually, nodding our heads knowingly before moving onto the next truth. Yet here, in this humble human body, at the visceral, gut, cellular level is enlightenment, the very essence of our awakened being.

Perhaps, you too have your favourite old friends, who revisit you from time to time and share the light of their wisdom?

With Best Wishes,

© David R. Durham
The Poet Photographer

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Beards: Psychology Of

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Beards to many people are just facial hair. Some men grow ’em, many men especially in Western societies don’t. Some folks love ’em, whilst other’s hate ’em.

There is also a curious global difference. In the West, to a large degree, people are prejudiced against beards. Whilst from the near East through to India, beards are the norm and are valued. This is partly a religious thing, where Muslims and Sikhs especially favor beards, but then again Jesus allegedly had a beard.

My theory on why beards are not acceptable in Western societies is two-fold. Firstly, there is the first world war. Due to the horrendous living conditions in the trenches, and problems with hygiene and head lice, men became short haired and clean shaven. Prior to the first world war, beards were much more common and accepted. Secondly, good old Hollywood often portrays the ‘good guy’ as clean shaven, and only ‘bad guys’ have beards.

Why do beards generate this level of emotion I wonder? And having periodically let the old facial hair grow out, I can testify to the unexpected and odd reactions to sporting a beard. After all, it’s just hair. Isn’t it?

So, I decided to do some digging around, to rustle up some different views on this subject which is dear to many and came across this fascinating video documentary. It is about six American guys who decided to grow a beard, and as a part of this experiment they created a regular video-diary of their experiences and the reactions of other people. It’s called Winter of The Beard.

Clearly there is more to sporting the old facial whiskers that meets they eye.

And, of course, there is a website decided to said beards called All About Beards

© David R. Durham
Spirit Healer Web Link
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