Forgive me if I ramble a bit today. I am interested in revisiting a concept I was exploring about a year ago. My interests in the natural world have led me down mystical and scientific paths of thought, and I am trying to make sense of it all.
In a way, I can see how tempting it is to chose a path and stick to it, i.e. religion or academia. I think the genius of Buddhism lies in the idea that the best path lies right down the middle. Choosing a path and identifying with it creates certain problems. Perhaps the reason I have consistently chosen the mystical path vs. the scientific is because of a deep mistrust on my part of any type of authority whatsoever, which is why I haven't ever really considered so-called "higher" learning as a legitimate avenue for me to walk down. My life has presented itself to me as a path with a few twists and turns, and mostly I have trusted my feelings to be my guide, as opposed to my reasoning. I am wondering now if this isn't just another way to fall into the gutter of sides, the old "us and them" approach. Even now, I still view educational institutions with mistrust yet some longing toward what I may have missed. And in some ways I miss the comfort of having a religion everyone respects, one that has a page in the newspaper. But in my heart and mind I am steadily floating down the mystic river, way from both religion and academia. Mostly because of what I feel and know to be true, what resonates with my very soul.
At the same time I float gently down this murky river, I am becoming more certain that most of my actions have been influenced by reasons that have been fed by emotions. You could say I am guilty of the big bad no nos of Buddhism, ignorance leading to desire leading to suffering. A central premise of Buddhism (and Buddhism doesn't have a monopoly on this concept by any means) is that we swim in ignorance and that if we shed our ignorance, we have no choice but to act mindfully. So without that mindfulness, we act like shitheads, even if we don't want to.
The happiest people I have met are those who can live without a dualistic mindset or any strict adherence to so-called "normal" time and place schedules, other then that which flows normally from living a life. Free range people, I guess you could say.
My mistrust of authority and institutions comes in part from their inability to allow free rein to minds and bodies alike to find their own course towards nourishment of the body, mind, and soul. I also have this deep feeling that what we conceive of as "new science" is only rediscovering ancient wisdom that we have lived with for a long time. We have come to a point in human technology where science resembles mysticism and scientists are wacky artists, and religions resemble old schools and priests are sullen teachers. The fluctuation is strange.
I personally don't really believe in or want any titles, labels, or occupations. I simply want to be alive and come to understand how and why I am alive. I simply want to live as a free range mystic knowing full well I will become nourishment to the universe in this endless story we call life. As a free range mystic, nothing that nourishes me is out of reach, and I am one with everything. Forget even that title, I am Andrew Richard French. Forget even that name, I didn't choose it, nor does it resonate with me as the person that I am. I am simply me. I am I under the sky, watching the grandfather sun and grandmother moon as they watch me.
Design Process and International Project Case Studies -
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