Ideas and philosophies have a shelf-life. They must be kept fresh and renewed or they will spoil. If left unattended, the same ideas and philosophies that once nourished you and helped you grow can poison you and make you sick. Become aware of new ideas that can refresh your way of life and be open to the fact that your old ideas and philosophies can work for you for some time, but when the shelf-life has passed, those ideas and philosophies could also harm you.
Liberalism, contrary to popular belief, is facing backward in considering the injustice of its ancestors. Conservatism, contrary to popular belief, is facing forward in considering the psychology of its descendants. Definitively, it seems in the modern world that neither side really knows which direction it's facing, and men of the sharpest judgment are simply turned off from picking either of the poisons.
The Buddha taught that all life is suffering. We might also say that life, being both attractive and constantly dangerous, is intoxicating and ultimately toxic. 'Toxic' comes from toxicon, Pendell tells us, with a root meaning of 'a poisoned arrow.' All organic life is struck by the arrows of real and psychic poisons. This is understood by any true, that is to say, not self-deluding, spiritual path.
There are people who are destined to taste only the poison in things, for whom any surprise is a painful surprise and any experience a new occasion for torture. if someone were to say to me that such suffering has subjective reasons, related to the individual's particular makeup, i would then ask; is there an objective criterion for evaluating suffering? who can say with precision that my neighbor suffers more than i do or that jesus suffered more than all of us? there is no objective standard because suffering cannot be measured according to the external stimulation or local irritation of the organism, but only as it is felt and reflected in consciousness. alas, from this point of view, any hierarchy is out of the question. each person remains with his own suffering, which he believes absolute and unlimited. how much would we diminish our own personal suffering if we were to compare it to all the world's sufferings until now, to the most horrifying agonies and the most complicated tortures, the mostcruel deaths and the most painful betrayals, all the lepers, all those burned alive or starved to death? nobody is comforted in his sufferings by the thought that we are all mortals, nor does anybody who suffers really find comfort in the past or present suffering of others. because in this organically insufficient and fragmentary world, the individual is set to live fully, wishing to make of his own existence an absolute.
There are times in my life when I have been medicine for some while poison for others. I used to think I was a victim of my story until I realized the truth that I am the creator of my story. I choose what type of person I will be and what type of impact I will leave on others. I will never choose the destructive path of self and outward victimization again.