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Maryam O.

In reply to Tiago:

Concerning the quote: “Only when we have lost everything are we truly free."

We humans feel entitled to many things due to our position and the abundance of "stuff" at our disposal. Part of the value of religion (true Christianity in mind) is the idea that we walk away from worldly things and possessions in search of deeper things. The loss of control may instill freedom in a sense that we surrender to a force much greater than the human being. Just a thought.


STORY:An elephant was chaeind by its leg to a post to prevent it from straying. It hurt when the elephant tried to pull away so in time, he did not stray past the chain length. The chain was then replaced by a rope, and eventually just a string. Both of these items were only able to trigger some small pain but they served to remind the elephant of the pain of the chain. Soon after, the string was removed as well and the elephant was now free, but the chain was contained in the elephant’s psyche and he would never stray again.The Foundation QuestionDo we grow and develop from nature or from culture?Sadly I, as well as every person in my life to this point, have most definitely learned from our culture’s nature conquering stories, labels and rewards. I believe that the word which describes this phenomenon is a paradigm. The elephant has been trained to own the paradigm of the chain, and we have been trained to own the paradigm of control and entitlement. They are illusions, but paradigms are as real to us as our own skin. One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie “Fight Club” which is a very dark depiction of interpreting reality. The quote is: “Only when we have lost everything are we truly free.”This is a quote that only applies to civilized humans and is to me clearly a reference to our paradigms. Our paradigm of control and entitlement has led us to live with the illusion of ownership, and the labels of “ours” and “theirs”. This is an illusion because nothing comes with us in death. Everything in existence is truly owned by the sacred mystery. So what do I learn about control? I sit and watch the fish swim in the 75 gallon fish tank I “own” in “my” office. Oops, I just became aware of the existence of “my” paradigm.So I watch the fish and I imagine Lake Malawi in Africa. I have done all that I can to replicate the home that these fish were born to know in Africa. The 75 gallons of water are the same temperature as Lake Malawi, I have rock slide piles and outcropping rock to hide under. I have bubblers to supplement the oxygen that would be produced by oxygenating plants. The water is filtered in a way that supports a healthy nitrogen cycle, and when I look at the fish they don’t appear to show need for their long lost lake. They grow to the size of their controlled environment. They mate and babies grow in the rock formations. They grow up healthy, vibrant, and beautiful. Once in a while there is violence. There is definitely an established pecking order. The only thing that is unnatural to me about these fish is their reaction to me opening the lid of the tank. I would say that we have a relationship, but it isn’t symbiotic. Our relationship is as artificial as the plants in the tank. The plants look real, but serve no working purpose in the ecosystem. I can say that these fish help me to be more balanced and so they do give back, but that is not quite how nature works. For it to be natural, I would need to be as dependent on these fish as they are on me. Our relationship feeds my paradigm of control. I am there God. I have made them civilized fish, disconnected from Lake Malawi so far now that they don’t even know it exists. What would they do without me? So they act like fish in their 75 gallon glass and plastic prison, and they wait for me to open the lid, not to jump out, but to keep on living, sort of. Look in the mirror and ask how this story relates to you? What is missing? What feels unnatural?


, some are marketing tips, some are flash fitcion or novel snippets, some are poetry, some are photography, some are political rants (and those can all be on the same person's blog!) I've actually read very few that are straight diary or journal types, though some are that, too.Blogs are designed for the writer/blogger to connect with others outside him- or herself, even those blogs that are limited view invitation only. Whereas a diary or a journal ONLY for the author to reread at some future date (if ever.)

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