Pema Chodron’s (felt it necessary to post)

 LIVING BEAUTIFULLY

As individuals we have plenty of fundamentalist tendencies.  We use them to comfort ourselves.  We grab on to a position or belief as a way of neatly explaining reality, unwilling to tolerate the uncertainty and discomfort of staying open to other possibilities. We cling to that position as our personal platform and become very dogmatic about it.
 
 The root of these fundamentalist tendencies, these dogmatic tendencies, is a FIXED IDENTITY – a fixed view we have of ourselves as good or bad, worthy or unworthy, this or that.  With a fixed identity, we have to busy ourselves with trying to rearrange reality, because reality doesn’t always conform to our view.  
 
That’s what it means to be in denial: you can’t hear anything that doesn’t fit into your fixed identity.  Even something positive–you’re kind or you did a great job or you have a wonderful sense of humor–is filtered through this fixed identity.  You can’t take it in unless it’s already part of your self-definition.  In Buddhism we call the notion of a fixed identity “ego clinging.”.  It’s how we try to put solid ground under our feet in an ever-shifting world.
 
Often the first blow to the fixed identity is precipitated by a crisis.  When things start to fall apart in your life.  You feel as if your whole world is crumbling.  But actually it’s your fixed identity that’s crumbling.   Cause for celebration.
 
The real cause for suffering is not being able to tolerate uncertainty–and thinking that it’s perfectly sane, perfectly normal, to deny the fundamental groundlessness of being human.
 
We grab on to a position or belief as a way of neatly explaining reality, unwilling to tolerate the uncertainty and discomfort of staying open to other possibilities.  We cling to that position as our personal platform and become very dogmatic about it.
Thanks for sending Don!

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