Written and published on 20 September 2013; transcribed on 30 July 2018
Location: Pastorius Reservoir State Wildlife Area, La Plata County, Colorado
- VIDEO BY ALICE
- SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
- Pastorius Reservoir
- Fence Posts with No Purpose, and True Fence Posts
- Walking as a Nonjudgmental Activity
- On Being Open to Things We Discover on a Walk
- Walk Discoveries
- Judgment and Openness
- Play / Persistence
- On Balance
This video is about judgments / openness. And play / persistence. There is a Summary after the video …
VIDEO BY ALICE
SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
Hello, Dear Ones,
I am taking a walk in one of my favorite places, Pastorius Reservoir. It is nearing sunset, and there are a lot of juniper trees out there, not too tall. And then there is this big, open field … Let us see, maybe I can get the full view [Shows field with wild grasses, an edge of junipers by the reservoir shore, and then a little of the reservoir.]
Fence Posts with No Purpose, and True Fence Posts
There is this huge, open field, right? And then, in the middle of the field, there are these fence posts. There is the reservoir, off there, at the horizon. And there are these very peculiar fence posts here, above one of the walking trails.
And the interesting thing is, we have the fence posts, but really no wire there. [Zooms to the base of a fence post, with a loop of barbed wire attached to it.] … There is a little wire there … can you see it? … But it is all broken up.
Basically, these fence posts are just sort of demarcating the middle of the field, and then there are some true fences over here. [Pans right, to the edge of the field on the far side of the reservoir.] This is for the farm that is on the other side. [Zoom in to the far end of the field, where there are some buildings.] And I will bet there are more fence posts over this way, where there is more farm, and a home, and like that.[Zooms back to fence posts in the middle of the field.] But really, these fence posts here … do not have any particular reason to be there, you know? And this video is going to be talking a little bit about judgment and acceptance and the role of judgment, and when it is a hindrance.
I just thought I would mention these fence posts first, because they are sort of like the process the mind has of judging things. And sometimes it is useful, and sometimes it is not. Like here it is not useful, right? … because, whatever purpose the fence posts used to serve, they do not serve any more. So these fence posts do not need to be there, actually.
And on the other side [the side far from the reservoir] we have fence posts that are pretty important to somebody, because they mark off a beautiful farm over there, so that the hikers will not go walking there.
Walking as a Nonjudgmental Activity
And I will have more about this, in a minute or two. I am going to go on down the path. And one thing I wanted to say about paths is: While we are out walking, we are in a kind of non-judgmental mode, you know? I mean, I am, anyway. I am not so sure what is going to be happening down the way, or what I will see. But it is all ok, you know, because a walk is a very accepting mode of behavior. It just takes the scenery as it comes. Look, there is a shadow! [Shows a shadow of herself, camcording. Laughs. Zooms to a telephone pole in the distance.] And way up there, there is something … You might judge it mars the scenery, you know? And it turns out, it looks like it is a telephone pole, probably. And so, something technological and unexpected, you know?
On Being Open to Things We Discover on a Walk
So we run into all kinds of things on a walk, And sometimes we just record the things that we judge to be acceptable. But life is not really like that, you know? Life has its surprises … lots of surprises.
And an open state of mind goes a long way towards allowing us to recognize the new things in our lives, and then decide … not on the basis of prior judgments, but on the basis of the current situation, what we want to do about these new things.
And if we go on, with our mind kind of stuffed with judgments, we might not even see the new things that are coming in as gifts from the Divine. You know? We might not even recognize them. More on this when I find a nice place to sit …
Walk Discoveries[Video of what looks like bush lupine, then long grasses gone to seed, then the far shore of the reservoir, then what looks like wild purple aster, then some mushrooms popping out of the Earth, then the narrow ingress canal to the reservoir, then some cottonwood trees.]
Judgment and Openness
So we are still talking about judgment and openness, a little bit. And I thought I would tell you about some time ago, when I met someone at work who was very judgmental. And the thing that struck me the most about that person, aside from the fact that, when I was around her, it felt kind of like there was a chalk board, and somebody took their fingernails, and scratched them down the chalkboard [laughs] … It felt a little jarring on my nerves, you know?
But the main thing that I noticed was the way that it was for her, and the feeling that I got was that judgment … a lot of judgments … must make people pretty unhappy. I do not know why, because they are judging somebody else, not themselves. It is an odd thing. I think maybe the thing is … because judgement has its good qualities; it allows us to learn things about the world, and sort of set them as precepts for ourselves, so that we can get through life, theoretically, with a bunch of good judgments that allow us to do good things … to live our life happily, you know?
But the thing is, sometimes judgment is good at first, and then later it is not good. Sometimes judgment is just not good in the first place, you know? And so it is good to have kind of a balance between judging people, and being open towards people, so that we can change our judgments any time that we want. And we can do away with those judgments that are really not serving much of a purpose in terms of bringing joy into our lives, you know?
Play / Persistence
That is what I thing: Balance. And I was reading an internet article not long ago, about the qualities of the gut brain … which they called something else; subconscious feelings that we have, and thoughts; Judgments and so forth.
And one of the qualities that they mentioned was called ‘play / persistence’. And I had never looked it up; but the feeling that I got from that juxtaposition of opposites was … You know how, when we are very little, we do a lot of playing, right? And we are very curious, when we are little, very often. And we play.
And play is a very open kind of a situation; it is not judgmental. It is sort of like taking a walk, or hiking. You are just going with the flow, you know? You are just enjoying new experiences. And getting a lot of fun out of life.
And persistence is when we keep doing the same thing, over and over again. Maybe we found it to be a good thing. And we keep doing it over and over again.
So here you have another set of opposites: You have judgment and openness toward other people.
And then you have an attitude toward life that has play as a goal. Or you might really prefer persistence; as in the case of accounting … I used to do accounting once, and I found it to be very persistent. [laughs] … Play … Something like writing, or acting, or some creative endeavor. Play. So again I think it is not a bad idea to include in your life, some play and some persistence. You know? A little balance there.
Oh, it is sunset at the lake. Wish you were here, guys! Well, I wish you happiness wherever you are.
In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
Image: “Colorado Sunflower,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 September 2013, CC BY-SA 4.0
Image: “Colorado Indian Paintbrush”, by Alice B. Clagett, 20 September 2013, CC BY-SA 4.0
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
judgments, openness, play, persistence,