Accepting Everything?

I have been asked how I dared to avocate accepting everything exactly as it happens to be while children are starving, women are mistreated, men are losing their lives in wars and mother nature is being polluted.

Let me get this straight first: I am as moved as you are about these matters.

Accepting does not mean doing nothing about the state of affairs in the world or being in complete agreement with what is happening. It simply is the starting point from where to depart in our efforts to alleviate the situation. If we say “no” right from the beginning we hang ourselves up psychologically and never truly depart. An outright “no” is often a form of denial of “what is”. It then gets us to resignate or revolt and can cause depression or aggression.
What I am saying is that it requires a wholehearted “yes” to the situation at hand to say “no” without getting hung up. Why? As we accept everything as it is, we even accept our objection to what is. Any cycle of suffering starts with a “no” that stipulates further “no’s”. Hence, saying “yes” (even to the “no’s”) empowers us to disagree without losing our (or other peoples!) heads.

Think about it.

Or about the following quote:
“Just as there is no time but the present, there is never anything to be gained – though the zest of the game is to pretend there is.”
-Alan Watts

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4 Comments on “Accepting Everything?”

  1. Um…If something “Is”, what would our unattached “no” do? Are we greater than “Is”? Either suffering is or isn’t. Pick one! You can’t say yes and no. We don’t say yes or no to an illusion. We just recognize it as such and the picture we created with our yes’s and no’s dissolves to Reveal that suffering was not part of what “Is” at all.

    • Suffering is resisting what is. So, you are right, it is not an integral part of what is, but a denial of it. However, if suffering “is” then that’s what “what is” includes. In other words, if we can’t accept we create resistance and suffering. But if there IS suffering there is a chance to accept our resistance so that it may pass and not be prolonged by our resisting the resistance. Every “no” can be turned into a “yes” by saying “yes” to the “no”.

      Now, when I say “saying yes” I mean not getting hung up, or in old fashioned Indian terminology, not being attached. A “no” is attachment, it is the implicit giving credit to an illusion. The resistance it creates hangs us up psychologically (=suffering).

      The post tries to clarify that disagreement out of attachment (a “no”) does not produce beneficial outcomes. Only disagreement out of non-attachment (“yes”) can. You can be both, unattached and disagreeing. You can see that the whole thing is play AND be a human act trying to change the course of action. Then, I’d say, you play sincerely, because what would a play be without the actors?

      • Thanks for that, but doesn’t saying yes to an illusion give credit to it just as much as saying “no”?
        Also, I don’t think “is” is a “play”, but I guess its hard to describe it all in words.
        Good on you for trying. 🙂

      • Once you see the illusion, it is easy to say “yes” to it all. We live in the illusion no matter what. But knowing that it is an illusion makes it much more enjoyable as we flow (“yes”) and don’t resist (“no”).


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