Tree Stump

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About Tree Stump

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  1. Haiku Chain

    Come on and dance along! Now it's time to celebrate! Four thousand Haikus!!!
  2. Haiku Chain

    last rays of sun, white then red, bleeding to darkness as cicadas chant
  3. Haiku Chain

    Encompassed in us Our first smile, first love, our death Waiting to be read
  4. Haiku Chain

    relived at a glance i pause to collect myself closing my eyes, gone
  5. Haiku Chain

    only to return old photos, so well hidden stolen memories
  6. Haiku Chain

    gulp it down and burp! the sweet cycle of nature what goes in comes out
  7. Haiku Chain

    rest my head and sleep nothing else for me to do peaceful afternoon
  8. The After Death Question

    Hi marble, Yes, you make some very good points. What you're talking about is sacrifice and martyrdom. Correct me if I misunderstood. One can look at probably the best known case of martyrdom (best known, that is, in the west) - the crucifixion of Jesus - and see 'evidence' that he feared his death. Yet he accepted it. Do the two have to be mutually exclusive? When my daughter was younger, sometimes when I would tuck her in at night she would start crying. She would tell me that she doesn't want me to die. She feared for my death, something which is quite natural for children of that age. I simply hugged her, and told her that is the sincerest expression of love, and thanked her. Somehow that provided consolation, it made her understand the identity between love and attachment. She could accept that fear because now it was inseparable from love, it was part of the same thing, and she valued that love more than anything, and knew she had to accept it for what it was. But I never asked her to stop fearing. In martyrdom - that of a soldier perhaps - he most certainly fears. But what he fears is loss of something greater than his life. He is able to identify with something beyond his own ego. He fears for life, just as Jesus did, but can accept it because he fears for others' lives more than his own. I don't think in that process he fears any less for his life, but is confronted with a greater loss. Just as my daughter can accept the fear for her father's death because she is confronted with the greater loss of the experience of love itself. To quote Alfred Tennyson: " 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. " When one's life becomes the absolute (ie. the greatest loss) then that is simply egotism. All things must be in their place. But that doesn't mean that we stop or even reduce the appropriate fear for our own death. Neither should we train ourselves to. Rather we should open our eyes to realize that there is a greater 'Truth' out there, and accept where our life stands in relation to that. - TS
  9. The After Death Question

    Well, it's ok I'm not saying I'm scared of you. Seriously though I didn't intend the comment to be flippant... and it's difficult (impossible?) to talk about the topic in the abstract. To my mind, it is natural for those living to have a general will to live. I think that being fearless towards your own death must necessarily affect your will to live. The two go hand in hand. If I love something, I fear losing it. If I'm honest, every second that I have that thing, I simultaneously fear losing it - and that lets me make the most of every second in its presence. That's true love, it is true life. It makes the event of its loss not as surprising, acceptable even, but no less feared. The same goes for life. If I fear death, that's not a negative thing: to the contrary it means that I value life to the maximum. This is the true respect that is due to something: that you accept it for what it is: for its limited nature but for what it truly gives us while it is here. To truly accept something is to fear losing it and to value having it. Fear and respect are not mutually exclusive. What does it say if one does not fear loss? It appears to speak of an indifference to its present value. A resignation to its temporality that compromises the value of its very presence. Perhaps signs of a detachment that shows insufficient respect for the dignity of its present existence, of what it can still offer. Being fearless towards death seems to devalue life. Now, saying all that, I get the feeling that you are actually talking about accepting death after a full life. Accepting that one has given all one can give, and that there is very little else one can offer. I understand the thoughts that arise at that point in life. But I still question whether one would actually see any less value in their life and in living. Perhaps if one was in immense pain, or had lost their mental clarity. Perhaps when one undeniably finds that end of their life approaching. Perhaps that would be accepting that very limitation you understood, respected yet feared all of your life. But in most cases, that time has not come. - TS
  10. The After Death Question

    Indeed, I totally agree. People who have no fear of death scare me. - TS
  11. Haiku Chain

    Pooh sleeps fitfully As Eeyore shares his problems: A true listener
  12. [TTC Study] Chapter 21 of the Tao Teh Ching

    I'm interested how you reconcile your interpretation of the TTC with lines such as: Ch 5: "Heaven and Earth are impartial [are inhumane/not kind]; They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs. The sage is impartial [is inhumane/not kind]; He sees the people as straw dogs. " - TS
  13. [TTC Study] Chapter 20 of the Tao Teh Ching

    Sometimes fear IS wisdom, mixed with value for our life. Sometimes fear is an objective assessment of our strength that delusional self-confidence obscures. I don't think we should ever underestimate our intuition, it's something our body has built up for millions (if not billions) of years. Our 'wisdom' is something we've built up for a couple of decades at best. - TS
  14. [TTC Study] Chapter 21 of the Tao Teh Ching

    Yeah it's clear John Wu has taken a liberty in adding 'within me'. Why do you think this is valid, are there other verses that point to the way Tao as being within (in consensus) ? - TS
  15. The After Death Question

    You say that you don't think emotions are bad, yet you're offering ways to lessen their impact. That's a detachment from emotions which, in my mind, is an oxymoron. Emotions are intended to have impact, they're intended to move us - hence 'eMOTIONs'. Why should they not have lasting impact? Why should they not inform subsequent emotions? Isn't it possible that nature intended the old emotions to mix up with the new emotions? Perhaps we may experience something as unique as ourselves that way. edit: I will add - as an afterthought - that a real problem is when people invoke/invent their own emotions, based on irrational fear, or unrealistic expectations in a relationship, for example. But that's not an attachment issue, it's an overactive imagination issue. - TS