Archive for the ‘Personal Mythos’ category


April 3, 2012

God didn’t make a mistake when He made you. You need to see yourself as God sees you.–Joel Osteen

According to Genesis 1:31 “God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!”

For some reason we choose to see things differently. Not sure why that is….


March 31, 2012

Live like you are going to die tomorrow; learn like you are going to live forever.–Gandhi

Two useful myths to live by. Neither is actually true, which is irrelevant. Both help us live more effective more fulfilling lives which is the whole point of a myth,


March 14, 2012

Forgiveness is the key to ending your suffering. Always forgive yourself first.–me

Suffering happens when you give, something or someone or even your own ego the power to take you away from the joy of living in the present moment. Forgiveness is the process of taking back that power. The way we give away our power is to create a myth in which that other entity has our power. This myth, besides being untrue, is also not useful. We must never, never, never permit ourselves to have such a myth.


March 8, 2012

Ignorance is the leading cause of certainty, fear is a close second.–me

So am I saying certainty is a bad thing? The short answer: Yes. From my perspective, certainty is a myth that has little to no utility. The fact that it is patently untrue is a lesser problem in my mind. The problem for me is that certainty requires constant defending, it requires us to ignore contrary data. Worse it makes us feel superior to anyone who is less certain than we are. In other words it pushes us to be arrogant and defensive rather than compassionate and open. Not good.


February 26, 2012

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.–Victor Hugo

The voice inside our heads makes up stories, myths really, about who we are and what’s going on. Listening to those stories, taking them too seriously is the source of our suffering. Laughing at those stories restores our perspective, removing much of our suffering even if the pain behind that suffering remains.


February 25, 2012

The ego wants what it wants when it wants it. That is, until it gets it then it wants something else.–me

The human ego is a needy thing. It tells us that we are incomplete, which is true enough. It tells us we will be complete whenever we get…well something. But when we get that something, we find we are still incomplete. So, the ego finds something else to complete iself. The underlying myth behind all this is that there is something we could have, something we could to that would complete us. All that’s required is to figure out what that something is and either get it or do it. Question is: how many times must we try and fail before we figure out that this is all nonsense?


February 8, 2012

If an obscure 19th-century president falls, does he make a noise? Candice Millard (Destiny of the Republic)

Forget about obscure presidents, this applies to everyone. It’s posed as a question about fame, but really it’s a question abot the significance of human life or rather the end of human life. The Christian answer might be something like: God hears each and every one. A Buddhist might answer from the perspective of the Heart Sutra that nothing much as happened, there is no boundary called death.


January 31, 2012

Who am I? I am. The only answer I have.–me

Here are some things I believe/know:

  1. I am not what I have.
  2. I am not what I do.
  3. I am not what others say about me.
  4. I am not the voice inside my head.
  5. I am not my body.
  6. There is no real separation between me and the rest of creation.

That said, there is little remaining to say except: I am.


January 30, 2012

From Oprah’s Lifeclass: Forgiveness means letting go of past hopes that didn’t happen. I believe the alternative is the bitterness of longing for a past that never was.–me

Forgiveness does not involve saying that what happened (or didn’t happen) was okay when it wasn’t okay. Saying “I forgive them” in the useal way usually carries with an implied “even though they don’t deserve it.” It creates a personal myth of moral superiority. Putting ourselves above others in that way has nothing to do with forgiveness, It’s actually a way of getting even, a way of holding on to the offense. There is no healing in that.

Forgiveness actually means letting go of the hurt. It involves recognizing that ongoing resentment hurts us more than the original offense. Most of all it means taking responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings.


January 22, 2012

It takes a rare person to want to hear what they don’t want to hear.–Dick Cavett

Okay it’s an oxymoron but let’s go with it anyway. The things we have the hardest time hearing are those things that conflict with our deeply held beliefs about who we are and how the world works. Together these beliefs constitute our personal mythos. Of course we believe that our personal mythos is true, that it is real. Therefore anything that contradicts our personal mythos is nonsense. But as I’ve said elsewhere, the basis for judging a myth is whether it is effective not whether it is realistic.

The best myths help us to become the person we were meant to be, to grow to our full potential as human beings. And if our myths don’t help us do that they need to go whether they are true or not. And one of the best ways to identify myths that aren’t working for us is by listening closely to nonsense ideas. The ones that are inconsistent with our fundamental beliefs.