This morning, I saved a young raccoon from a larger & older one. It seemed too serious to be play or intimidation, so I suspect the older raccoon was acting on an instinct to reduce the local raccoon surplus.

This is a good example of the dual nature of anything in life. I saved a young raccoon so it could live a little longer, but this contributes to raccoon overpopulation. It may well have been better for the raccoon population as a whole if this raccoon didn’t grow up. Of course, I know this, and still saved it. And would do it again. It is the natural thing to do in such a situation.

It seems that anything in life is like this.

It is good from some perspectives, and not so desirable from other – equally valid – perspectives. And when I find a richer and fuller view, embracing many of these perspectives, both are there at the same time.

Anything will change. It is like this now, and will change into something else. From one perspective, it may be good, and then may change into something less desirable.

I don’t know the consequences of it at different times in the future. It may have desirable consequences now, but undesirable later on, and it may continue to shift that way. (As in the story about the Chinese farmer and the horse.)

I don’t know how it will appear to me in the future. With new experiences and insights, I may come to see it in a quite different light than I do now.

Others may see it in a quite different way from how I see it now, and if I knew about and understood their views, I may recognize that as equally or more valid and insightful.

And really, I cannot know. I cannot know how something will appear from a more comprehensive and insightful view. I cannot know the far reaching consequences of any event or situation. I will always view and filter any situation from limited experience and insight.

This recognition doesn’t necessarily change how I live and act in the world. Usually it doesn’t. But it is good to notice.

And it is good to notice this in another area of life, and allow it to sink in. Allow it to reorganize my view, feelings, and perhaps actions – hopefully in the direction of more sanity, kindness, and wisdom. And then notice it in another area.

Another facet of this is the bittersweet quality of life.

Life has joys and sorrows, ups and downs, in a conventional sense.

And my experience here now, in immediacy, also has a bittersweet quality. There is a quiet joy inherent in any experience. And also a recognition of the mixed qualities of life, the shifts of joy and sorrow. It is here, and also over there, which is also here.

Whether it is here or not, it is in someone else’s experience, which is also here. It mirrors what is here in this human life. It happens within my own field of experience. It is my experience, in a very immediate and literal sense.

It seems that with a more open heart, there is also that bittersweet quality to any experience.


  • raccoons
    • bittersweet – life inherently bittersweet, and experience inherently bittersweet when an open heart
      • joys and sorrows in conventional sense
      • suffering, and quiet joy inherent in experience itself
        • suffering/discontent, if not here, then there, which is also here
    • anything happening
      • good + bad – from any one perspective, and especially when bring in more perspectives, richer/fuller view
      • it will change
      • we can always compare it to something better, an ideal
      • don’t know how it will appear later, or what later consequences may be (Chinese farmer story)
      • we cannot know – apart from how it appears from the first few ripples of any action, judged by the few perspectives and limited experience/insight we bring to it
    • still act as before, but good to notice
      • when notice, softens/releases identification w. shoulds, b/c they are not absolute anymore, they are tempered by this insight/recognition
    • raccoons
      • tried to kill off a youngster, probably triggered by overpopulation
      • saved the youngster
      • but may have been better for the raccoon population as a whole if it didn’t grow up
      • of course, do it anyway, but good to acknowledge

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