We all are guilty.
Sometimes I am like a sham shaman, other times I am sincere, just like you, to my own self I am true. If life is a stage truth is not an issue it is the acting that matters. Speech is ‘the gift of the gab’ they say, action is what matters. An actor said “Sincerity is of the utmost importance; once you can fake sincerity you achieve top billing.” I would add “You are then a star, a role-model for the naive to emulate.” To recognize the fake, the young and green need to mature. Immature people are influenced by celebrities and stars and the parts they play. In both cases antisocial behavior is made to look acceptable and clever. In life everyone should be authentic and play their part to the best of their ability and set a good example.
To put it another way, ‘This above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow as the night the day. Thou can’st not be false to any man.’ A father’s advice to his son as quoted in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. All the world’s a stage, whether it is ‘as you like it’ or not, and men and women are merely players: I agree with William ‘they come and go; and one man plays many parts in his life.’ On stage acting matters but in life sincerity is of the utmost importance. My father’s advice was “Talk’s cheap, it takes money to buy whisky.” We need a bright and noble star to emulate. As an example that helps us act honorable to the best of our ability.
Sham or shaman, Taoist, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or any one of their innumerable branches does not matter to me. It is the sincerity of their actions that I focus on and it is not the action in its self that matters it is the intention of the action. A doctor cuts, a butcher cuts, the same action with a different intention. Criticism can be meant as helpful advice or to hurt. Knowing the difference takes calm deliberation and wisdom. All the above mentioned beliefs contain some wisdom and a lot of out dated stupidity. To play our part to the best of our ability we need to be unbiased and learn from all the best of the best role-models whether mystic or scientist, Philosopher or priest. Sorting out the facts from the fiction and the useful from the pointless that is the challenge.
The skin of a banana is discarded what we value is the nourishing food it contains. Behind the clouds the sun shines, and when we understand, we realize the clouds also have their uses. Things are not always as clear as a cloudless sky or as easy to peel as a banana. Like the weather all things are subject to change. Understanding the complex nature of life is one of life’s greatest challengers. Understanding the value hidden behind the worthless takes an open mind and patience, combined with study and practice.
Some things from the past are useful other ancient things are obsolete. Who today uses a cut-throat razor to shave with? But there are many out dated beliefs from the past we still cling to. Some of these beliefs are more dangerous than a cut-throat razor. Science has given us a longer and easier life full of wonderful inventions. Believing the world was made for man to exploit is why these inventions are misused. We mistakenly blame science, believing we need to get back to the good old days. What is needed is to stop the greed and the wasteful destruction and share these gifts rather than abuse and fight over them.
Life is not a stage, we are not play acting. We need to stop the play acting and be genuine. Buying not what we want but only what we need. Do not support people in power, both political and religious that are promoting fear and greed. We need people who promote caring and sharing. Sensible leaders are needed that promote conservation and sustainable energy production. Religious people argue about things that happened thousands of years ago. Our personal undivided attention needs to be directed to peace. War causes heart ache and devastation to the planet. Science can turn our down ward spiral around if we each do our individual part. To thine own self be true and it will follow as the night the day. Thou can’st not be false to any man. This means questioning our actions, mindful of how we as individuals are abusing our fellow man and nature.