CWH: A Quote from 'Three Pillars of Zen' - Explored!



Good evening everybody!!


Back again for a conversation with Chris Ogle pertinent to his status shared earlier today.


The quote shared, which led us to our conversation, can be found below.


"There are many people who spend their time giving aid to the needy and joining movements for the betterment of society. To be sure this ought not to be discounted. But their root anxiety, growing out of their false view of themselves and the universe, goes unrelieved, gnawing at their hearts and robbing them of a rich, joyous life. Those who sponsor and engage in such social betterment activities look upon themselves, consciously or unconsciously, as morally superior and so never bother to purge their minds of greed, anger and delusive thinking. But the time comes when, having grown exhausted from all their restless activity, they can no longer conceal from themselves their basic anxieties about life and death. Then they seriously begin to question why life hasn't more meaning and zest. Now for the first time they wonder whether instead of trying to save others they ought not to save themselves first."


This kind of quote can at first put up your defences, it did for me, in the way that I like to think I give or do things selflessly without it somehow (consciously or subconsciously) stroking my ego, or that I get anything out of it. But that led me to ask why? Why was it triggering that response out of me? Do I need to defend myself against it?


Of course it is up for interpretation when you look at it in conjunction to your own life/journey/actions, but as an observation from a person (The Three Pillars of Zen author) who has been on this earth a lot longer than I, and is much wiser, it is worth thinking about from a societal perspective and enjoyable to explore the why's behind not only the reason we give / make charitable endeavours, but also why reading such text can illicit this defensive type of thinking.


What do you think?


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