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George Monbiot, regular Guardian columnist, has "found the key to a good life" through his cancer and says, "Prostate cancer surgery is no fun. But in two months I’ve learned more about myself and the world than in the previous two decades."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -good-life
... You can make resolutions that seem plausible – until they are fully tested. In the article I wrote two months ago, before my surgery, I mentioned the three principles that, I felt, were essential to happiness: imagine how much worse it could be, rather than how much better; change what you can change, accept what you can’t; and do not let fear rule your life. ...
So did they work, or did I abandon them and freak out?
I felt not only that those three principles had been vindicated, but that they could be assimilated into a broader rule, namely: the state of being for which we should strive is to be attached to life without being possessive of it. We should seek to love our lives and live fully, but not to extend them indefinitely. ...
while attachment seems vital – in both senses of this word – liberating myself from the urge to possess has proved an astonishing antidote to fear and tension.
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He also says:
The doctrines informing us that virtue and purity, or the states of jnana or sunyata, can be achieved, in some interpretations, by detachment from the physical senses and the material world hold little appeal for me, whether classical, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist. A large body of literature suggests that wellbeing is intimately linked to attachment – not only to other people, but also to the natural world.
It makes me wonder what meaning he attaches to the terms "attachment" and "possessiveness", and how these would map onto Buddhist terminology. I tend to think that "possession" is a complete impossibility, whereas "attachment" is all too real and can generate delusions of possessing something.
In any case, I'm glad he seems to be doing well and has a strategy for dealing with his problems which is effective.
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