Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Still Waters

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.

Joseph Addison
Hello Ally
I once knew an actor named Brown (I don't remember his first name, sorry Mr. Brown) who had one very effective process in working out his performances. He began with the idea that what his character wanted, above all things, was peace. Like water seeking it's own level he wanted to achieve calmness, and every thing in the play that disturbed him was something to fight against. It gave him a good solid objective for every role. I saw him perform a few times and it was clear the technique worked well for him.

When he described it I thought about how easy it would be to apply that, not only to acting but to many of our actions in life. We want to be happy. We want to be wealthy, or at least solvent. We want to be healthy. We want the things that concern us in our lives to be harmonious and uncomplicated. We want our work to be done satisfactorily. We want our lives to run smoothly. In short we want peace.

But our days seem to be filled dealing with things that interfere with that peace, that calmness, and even though some of the efforts we make are joyful ones, they still relate back to the state of ultimate contentment.

But there's another side to that coin, it's the tight shoes theory. Why wear tight shoes? Because it feels so good to take them off. Why take on difficult or strenuous activities? Because it gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment. We can sit back, relax and congratulate ourselves for having done it, whatever "it" was.

There are a great many things wrong with the world that we can get all riled up and exercised about if we really want to. There's no point in turning the back and ignoring them. But there are people working hard to make still waters where trouble rears it's angry head. If something rocks your boat it helps in the calmness category to support them. To assuage guilty feelings is not enough, nor the point. That brings no lasting peace. But to care is the positive remedy for all the world's ills, and that is best done from a place of quiet confidence.

Sometimes contentment requires a humble and contrite spirit. If real peace is achieved those states are well worth having. They are the cure for active feelings of rage, resentment and revenge. With those emotion close to the vest there is no such thing as peace. Those are the disturbances that Mr. Brown would have fought against as the play progressed. To dispel all the negatives from one's heart and mind is the pathway to the still waters.

DB - Your Patient Vagabond
My sincere apologies. The old gremlin has been at work again and I have lost the file that contained the 6 answers I got for the question. I spent 2 days trying to get it back but failed. Hence I am unable to post the answers I got. As for the rest of you, you're off the hook.

I've decided to drop it and turn my attention to a Winter Question. For those who answered, I am very sorry.



pacifica62 said...

I know that I would like my life to be harmonious and uncomplicated so that I could be surrounded with peace and calmness. That state of ultimate contentment, I have surmized, may never happen to me in this lifetime. Doesn't stop me from trying to pursue it though, far from it.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The lower our expectations, the easier it is to be happy.