Letting go

I hadn’t quite realized until very recently just how very damaging the human ego is.

I have been letting go of late, just allowing things to pass me by. Not ignoring them, nor people.  Just not getting fussed about “stuff”.  It seems to add a whole new layer of serenity to life.

Of course it may not last. I may get all busy again, and grumpy.  But while you are able to let go, you notice with gentle amusement just how much others don’t. Let go, that is.

We had a vicar to stay the other night. One of our favorite guests and a man who has gained enormously over the years in wisdom. He was saying how fortunate I was to be able to let go and that given the choice, he would very much like to do the same. To retire, to go inwards, to preach occasionally in glorious chapels but not to have the daily struggle of a job.

It has always puzzled me, the financial side of life. How do you let go as a busy stockbroker, let alone as coal miner.  Maybe the Dalai Lama can manage a busy life and retain inner peace but I don’t think I can.

And so you are left with slight discomfort, guilt almost.

I have always struggled with these beautiful words:

Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns.

It sounds so right, is so right and yet in the modern world seems so unachievable for “everyman”.  For the “Man on the Clapham Ominbus”.

Well I have no answer to that, except to surmise some gifted souls are able to carry tranquility within wherever they go and whatever they do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind.

The fact of the matter is I am lucky hermit, with just enough to be able to close my door and my mind to much of the world.  And I have only just realized that.

I was at a gathering the other day and was struck at its turbulence. Not House of Commons debate style but nonetheless surprisingly un-tranquil for what should have been an evening of serenity and peace.

And it seemed to be the ego which was at fault.  There was no clear leader, or at least none the assembly was content to follow peacefully. The would be head was constantly challenged, her decisions questioned and debated. The majority stayed quiet (perhaps like me they were watching with wry humor) but one or two definitely knew better and were not afraid to say so.

Perhaps that is why I so often find myself alone and in silence. It suits me thus.

I do like people, I really do. But I find posturing so tiring these days. And so amusing in a fashion.

And so I shall continue to let the world pass me by.  To resist getting drawn into debate or petty rivalry. To mind my own business and bury my head, if not in the sand, then at least somewhere very quiet and very private.

There is so much in the world which simply does not matter. And there are so few things that do.

I think deep down we all know what really matters; or would know if we were able to think about it. If we had the time and the inclination to develop a quiet awareness of what to keep and what to drop and then act on it, we might just find ourselves on the right side of the Wardrobe door.

In any event I will carry on trying.

Image by Olle August – Pixabay







  1. Right before this I read that you don’t have to do everything consistently or perfectly to benefit at least somewhat. Looks like letting go is beneficial even if you can’t always do it. I admire your detachment and ability to find amusement at contentious events and aspire to do better at that myself. My Like button refuses to do its job but if it’s worth a like, it’s worth a note. On this day of gratitude in my tattered little ex-colony, I’m grateful to you for the insights in your post and wish you well.


    1. Thank you for your kind comment. It does take a certain amount of time to learn what is beneficial to you and it is not always so easy to put it into practice. I seem to have got into the swing of it recently and find it very beneficial! Do you have a website? If so I would like to read about you and your world.


  2. I love those words of Jesus. The mindset that lies behind them is the reason why I’m so political – we cannot live well in this system and therefore it must go.

    I’m so happy for you that you are finding a greater ability to withdraw into the silences. It’s a beautiful way to be and one I’ve lost the ability to do so much as my health and my mental health have worsened. It’s so essential for clarity and reset and peace, and knowing what is important.

    And joy. And the world needs a week bit more o’ that.


    1. Sue

      Thanks you for your lovely response. I am sorry that your health is not so good – it is difficult to be joyous when in pain, mental or physical. Yes, those words are wonderful. It ought to be possible to lead our lives in accordance with them but the world and its resources have been grabbed and hoarded by the greedy and the acquisitive. In particular private ownership of land seems such a nonsense to me. Why should one set of people be able to keep the vast majority from living off the land? In some senses I wish for a return to the hunter gatherer mentality (and indeed practice, in a modernized version).

      A fund manager out in Hong Kong once told me the Philippine economy sucked because it was so easy for people to live there under a tree in clement weather and wait for the fruit to drop.

      Well who needs an economy if you could live like that?


  3. It’s great to see you setting off on this new way of being! What a wonderful change from some of your earlier writings! Maybe you’ve been laying the groundwork for this through your honesty and courage in those earlier writings. Having the courage to explore your struggles in public, I imagine, must require a certain amount of transcendence of your ego already. I’ve admired it greatly, because I don’t think I could have shared my darker moods as you do here (thankfully, the worst of mine were over before I was online). I also know how weird it is to see other people getting all caught up in things that don’t matter – it’s a bit like when you’re the designated driver on a night out. 😀


    1. John
      Thank you for your kind words. Its a very odd feeling to arrived at this rather peculiar stage. I don’t know whether it will last but I am enjoying it while it does. You and I have talked of “work” but for me it really does seem to have become more or less impossible now. This daft blog has assumed a greater importance for me and in a different sort of way than I had originally envisaged. I don’t know why I write to be honest – it just seems to have become a compulsion. I suppose I am mostly writing for myself as a sort of catharsis, and certainly it helps me to clarify my thoughts and feelings. It helps me to work out in words what I believe is important and what I believe is not. Hence I guess the title: “Weltanschauung”. Where my ramblings will lead me from here I have no idea, but they have become oddly important to me.


    1. You have my permanent permission Keith. I looked into this a while ago and apparently my paid for sub on WP did not allow me to add a Reblog button. But I will certainly look onto it again. A


      1. I seem to have fixed it. There is now a wordpress image at both the top and bottom of each post. Click this and it shares the post to the website you enter. I hope!


  4. Hi Anthony,

    Great piece, I enjoy your writing style very much. This is the first post of yours I’ve read but I’ll check out your blog more thoroughly this coming week.

    I particularly like the quote. I may have read into it a little too deeply, and I’m missing context, but my interpretation is as follows:

    I’m not sure it’s about letting go completely. This human life is made worth living by the endeavours involved. Life is more than the single body and mind, and as always there is the struggle for us as sentient beings, interacting across time. Conflicts are brought about as we deal with our knowledge of the future and act out of choice. As the birds go with nature, and perhaps struggle less, so their lives have less meaning.

    Just my thoughts…

    Best wishes,



    1. My take is a technological, economic and social one. And of course the quote is very Taoist in a sense. It seems to me that the universe is a place of plenty, particularly as we learn the skills of “alchemy” – we now know we CAN turn one element into another. Provided we can create heat equivalent to the center of suns.There is plenty for all if only we would or could change our economic model. If we did not allow great wealth to be amassed by the few, land could be used by the many for instance. Is it right that landholders on this rocky planet can keep other people off their patch and thus prevent them from acting as birds – in other words picking the fruit from the trees and the crops from the fields.

      We were all created equal and we die equal. Somewhere in the middle the whole situation is turned on its head. Animals have the right to flit and wander and to enjoy the resources on the earth but are prevented from doing so by capitalism and our social and economic systems.

      And conflict would not be necessary were it not for evolution where we all evolved to fight and kill to achieve survival.

      I do not believe that struggle and conflict are necessary and certainly the religious have taught this point of view over millennia.

      I believe we will increasingly have it in our power to change our nature and to make a “heaven” on earth. Technology will enable us to rewire ourselves and to eradicate suffering.

      Whether we do that or not is another question.

      BTW in the WordPress reader I can not find a “Follow” option for your blog.



      1. Hi Anthony,

        I appreciate your take on things but I can’t agree that we are created equal. Humans are born neither with equality of opportunity or equality of genetic predisposition. I would suggest that the only way we are all equal is in a taxonomical sense.

        Also, the animals are not really ‘free’, they are constrained by nature in many ways. They too are obliged to survive until they die. Most don’t ‘flit and wander’ without good reason.




      2. In which case perhaps you can agree that equality and freedom are the way that the universe should be. My belief is that one day this will be true in a literal sense. The Abolition of Suffering, and a world of plenty. See David Pearce The Abolition of Suffering. We will (if we survive) be able to do away with the horrible results of evolution. And be unconstrained by nature.


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