DIGGING FOR INSPIRATION

“O Nobly Born, O you of glorious origins, remember your radiant true nature, the essence of mind.
Trust it. Return to it. It is home.”

— Tibetan Book of the Dead

Engineers have proven conclusively that bees cannot fly, because their wings are not sufficient to sustain them

On December 17th, 1903, newspapers around the USA, knowing with scientific certainty that heavier-than-air travel was mathematically impossible, refused to publish the report that the Wright brothers had flown a heavier than air vehicle, … Until Roger Bannister, an Australian runner, broke the mental barrier afflicting all runners, and ran the mile under four minutes, no one believed it could be done, and soon after Bannister’s record-breaking run, runners around the world, knowing for the first time that it was possible, began emulating and surpassing Bannister’s record speed…

Antonio de Oliviera, the most famous Portuguese film director, shook hands with Clint Eastwood at the Cannes Film Festival, and then, crisp, fit, took the mike to thank the festival for acknowledging his work in film. When I saw the video of de Oliviera, and was informed that he, at one hundred and one years of age, continues to make a new film every year, my vision of my own future as a director and writer of plays and films, and as a psychotherapist, became radically and delightfully refreshed. I decided then and there to aim at living at least until one hundred and five, writing, directing plays and films, and serving others as a therapist up to the end.

Such is the power of how we see ourselves and our future that the thought of a man like de Oliviera can transform our thinking. When Martin Luther King dared to face death, breaking dangerous barriers in his resistance to injustice, many people around the planet were inspired to follow his example. Individuals like Sister Emmanuelle, the Buddha, Jesus, Sri Sri Thakur Anukul Chandra Chakravorty, the Baal Shem Tov, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers, Paul Robeson, my brother-in-law McCrea Imbrie and so many other brave, wise ones, can awaken in us courageous new energies and ideas that can benefit the entire planet.

De Oliviera particularly has lifted a weight of limitation from my spirit’s shoulders, so that I now plan to complete one new film every three years from the age of eighty to ninety, one new film every two years from ninety to one hundred, and one a year from one hundred to one hundred and five.

Whenever I feel the stirring of unproductive stress in my body arising from so many exciting new projects my ADD persona has undertaken, stress caused by the seeming lack of time for them all, with a moment’s visualization of de Oliviera my negative stress evaporates, and suddenly I feel like the comic-strip Popeye bursting with newfound strength and energy when he imbibes his invigorating spinach.  But my spinach tastes more like loving kindness, compassion, joy and peace.

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