On this New Year's day, I’d like to recommit this blog to No-self Help’s largest vision: the greater good.
Remembrance of our no-self nature organically results in a wider perspective. At the absolute level, the universal consciousness that animates us reminds us that ultimately there is no difference between living things. Serving others is, in essence, serving ourselves.
At the relative level, in which we identify with our individual mind-bodies on a day to day basis, no-self help reminds us that we are interconnected. No one is fundamentally separate, standing alone from the rest of life. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviors influence each other and the environment around us.
I hope to pivot this blog in 2020 toward this last point, our influence upon the environment. The turn in year and decade invites us to take stock of our priorities. For me, helping inspire constructive, collective change with regard to our largest self – the planet – rises to the top of the list.
Not only is this a priority in terms of helping mitigate, if possible, the avalanching effects of climate change, but it also carries personal urgency. The dam of despair and helplessness threatens to break with each exposure to the news. Taking action helps fortify me and prevents against a deluge of paralysis and resignation.
For me, approaching the New Year with a clean slate, psychologically speaking, requires conducting an inventory of behaviors and attitudes and lifestyle choices and assessing how aligned they are with my larger values. The aim is to walk the talk. To root out denial, hypocrisy. To cease being complicit (albeit, unintentionally) with the twentieth century consumer identity my generation was born into that has contributed to the current environmental crisis.
The research has spoken, be it along the lines of positive psychology or climate science. We know what helps vs what hinders. Responsibility is simply “the ability to respond.” My New Year’s intention is for this blog to help keep me (and perhaps others – if they are interested and willing) accountable to that goal.