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May 20, 2010


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Maia Duerr

Wonderful post, Barry, and you present us with a good koan. (We must be in some Jungian synchronicity blog wave... this morning I wrote about something similar, though from a different angle, on my blog -- http://jizochronicles.wordpress.com)

It seems to me that the idea of containment/pollution from our innermost thoughts and feelings is a kind of Freudian framework. Perhaps those bubbling, subterranean emotions don't need to lead to pollution... there is also the path of transmutation. I wonder if that very aliveness that we can potentially feel may only come when we're willing to go deep inside and play with those elements, rather than avoid them or let them explode.

John Small

At first I started to take issue with this metaphor. Seems the lesson would be to stop drilling and leave all that stuff beneath the surface where it's safely contained: Where it belongs in the balanced terrestrial scheme. I see the difference now. The oil pocketed in the Earth's crust is not as poisonous, where it naturally occurs, as what we stuff beneath our own crusts. Dukka, imbalance... human nature seems to include putting too much of things where they don't belong. We unloose oil that would be better left where it is; we attempt to contain things that might be more beneficial left unconfined.

So, yeah... putting a Haliburton Cap on my seething human nature... I didn't think that was going to work for the oil well, and I don't think it's gonna work for me.

sit baby, sit.


be aware - recognize - let go - smile


I try and work with the flip side of this metaphor: anger as a fuel that helps me move out of a rut or protect myself from a threat. It's an available source of fuel but a toxic one that damages both the inner and outer environment.

Molly Brown

As it is above, so it is below, isn't it? I was speaking to my brother about this last night, so hoping that someone (Haliburton) would be punished for this disaster, and then came around to the fact that I still drive a car, and that really, what we are doing to the planet we are doing to ourselves. There is alot to think about here, isn't there Barry?


I'm not sure if I really have any control over those unseen emotions - whether the lottery of life I have drawn is this law abiding citizen with a tendency to control feelings versus the murderous instincts of a serial killer. I see change happening but I don't know if it has anything to do with all my plots and plans.

I do also connect to the idea that the planet is our body as much as our own and wonder how dirty our nest needs to get before we understand the costs of our lifestyle. We always do self-correct, eventually.

Thanks for the thoughtful posts this week.

mama p

hee, i have to admit, first words i thought of when i saw that photo was not "containment" but

That Sinking Feeling...

...which corresponds well to what you've written, I think. For myself? I think the trick lies in bearing the same amount of acceptance, un-ruffledness and compassion toward my own "upwelling" as I try to do for others. (As in, "oh, he must be having a hard day" or "of course she's upset, she just lost her grandmother" or "certainly it'll change in the next moment. i won't take it personally".) It's hard, somehow, to extend that same care to myself! When I'm successful, though, I notice things flow a bit better, in a healthier way. (or at least, there's a lot less overwhelm.)

Barry Briggs

I'm truly grateful for your carefully considered comments. Thank you.

This ongoing work - of remaining alert to the "what is" of our life - continues to fascinate, inspire and puzzle me. And I feel some considerable urgency around it, as I increasingly see how my own impulses, thinking, etc. produce difficulties in my life and in the lives of those close to me.

Of course, it one sense these impulses, thoughts, etc. are just the truth - perfect and complete, just as they are. And yet when I don't work with them with responsibility and care, they do create . . . an oily slick that gums up the works.

Thanks again!


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