Aristotle wrote on the things that made a good life. Looking to the purpose of life, found it to be connected with happiness. People seem to be happy when given a worthy pursuit, but is happiness a worthy pursuit unto itself? What is a worthy pursuit? For a musician, it is music, for a carpenter, it is building. So the function of a person could be towards a certain kind of life. Self-sufficiency is considered a virtue, especially that of a citizen who is able to support his family.
To live a complete life is good and noble, but there is not a specific form that one must adhere to, rather a wide array of factors that make up the whole. Happiness is not based solely on one’s fortunes, but rather a happy life can be built up from a lifetime of virtuous actions made into a daily habit.
Note: The following was written by my cousin Alan Imberg about his father Brun who recently passed away. I don’t really ask permission or forgiveness for re-posting this, because I feel it’s important family history that should be preserved, but know that if any content on this site offends, just email me and it’ll be taken down or I can make it private.
My father, Brun Imberg, was many things in his lifetime: sailor, merchant seaman, cable car “grip man”, mechanic, counselor…. a husband (3x), brother, uncle, stepfather.…. recovering alcoholic, spiritual seeker (and spiritual “Luddite”, sometimes simultaneously) and, of course, father. All these roles can lend themselves to seeing him in different lights and context. I suppose that’s what makes the reflection on a life so challenging. As his only child, I’m going to share a glimpse of the importance my father was to me, though not just as a dad but as an example of an imperfect man who set an example of how to (and how not to) recover from errors and failings, finding redemption and grace (both for himself and his son) along the way.
We can never claim to be higher then
another, never claim to have realized what others have not, never hold
ourselves superior in any way to other humans, to other beings, we are all
simply at different points in our paths, we are all simply in the same illusion,
the commonality of the experience of the world, of the world we witness, the
common illusion shared between all sentient beings in this world, is itself the
proof of the unity of existence. This common illusion is the divine connection
that hold us within our identity, into our ego, into this world. As Ram Dass so
elegantly states it, “Don’t prolong the past, don’t invite the future,
don’t alter innate wakefulness, don’t fear appearances.” We must neither
attach to nor reject the world we witness. We must not get lost in the past
experiences that, although they undeniably hold relevance into whom we identify
ourselves as, what we believe, what brought us to this point, it must be viewed
as neutral and equal as any other experience, as no better nor no worse than
any other pathway. As each pathway is equally as valid, it must be observed as
equally valid as every other experience. We must not take away or alter our
focus to block out the world, it is too easy to be ignorant of what is around
us, ignorant of the impact of our actions, ignorant to the world as it unfolds
around us, our focus placed somewhere else, focused away from the world, so
focused we become blind and ignore, focused to push away and reject the world,
focus so strong on a single point that it becomes blind to all that is around. Please click here to read more.
I just came home from the New Yiddish Rep. A play taking place in Israel, about a dirty old man his son and a local streetwalker opens with the dirty old man begging the prostitute for a discount, starting at 10 sheckels and working his way up to her 100 sheckel price, only to find himself unable to get it up. He passes the oppertunity up to his son, a beggar like his father, who is able to perform but is more concerned about his fathers money than the lay in the courtyard.
This production is beautifully played out, and presented in the yiddish language with projected subtitles. The viewer is able to forgive the humble studio setting with folding chairs and a backdrop of flats. Even the dream scenes were believable, with actors standing with eyes closed holding blankets.
I liked it.