Lessons From Terlingua 2: Live and Let Live

Lessons From Terlingua 2: Live and Let Live

[The following is taken from the lost testament of the Terlingua Naz.]

Live and let live.

It’s going to be tough as fuck any other way.

If you have a critical mind, you’re in for a tough life. Especially in Terlingua. There’s chaos and disorder everywhere… if you try and tame that chaos and disorder in other people’s lives, you’ve got a hard road ahead.

St. Francis of Assissi by Collie Ryan

St. Francis of Assissi by Collie Ryan

Live and let live. If someone’s extreme enough to move to Terlingua, you ain’t gonna change them. Even if you could change them, how do you know it will be best for them? Even if it is best for them, do you want the eternal responsibility that arises from changing someone? Even if you do accept the responsibility for the changes that they’ve made, how can you guarantee you’ll be there to help them in the future?

So many of the most talented people in Terlingua are fuck-ups, drunks, dopers, sickos or worse. Any attempt to help them is doomed to failure; they are walking their own path. No one can walk that path for you; we can only provide sympathy and encouragement.

If a guy is homeless because he’s a drunk, the worst possible thing you can do for him is invite to crash with you. He’s already at a stasis point (life is just a succession of stasis points) and “Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.”– George Sand

Let his drunk ass sleep on the street. If you’re really committed to changing things, build a homeless shelter. At least then you can leave your work behind you at the end of the day.

The Buddha Guatama teaches us COMPASSION AND DETACHMENT. If you are not enlightened, those seem like polar opposites. THEY’RE NOT. Suffering and pain are eternal; we cannot eradicate them. We must be emotionally detached from individual instances of pain and suffering. HOWEVER, we must practice universal compassion; all of the people we meet deserve our detached compassion.

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.– Aldous Huxley


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2 thoughts on “Lessons From Terlingua 2: Live and Let Live

  1. Amy Ellis

    In addition, I would say it is a lack of real compassion that would allow you to move that drunk onto your couch instead of letting them sleep in the sand. True compassion sits back with understanding, an open heart, and let’s the fool fall – how else do we learn if we don’t experience the landing we were aiming for?

  2. Jon Blackmon

    Hell, it ain’t so bad passin’ out in the sand, I’ve done it several times and found it worth repeating. I always have a dog or two to sleep with, they keep the snakes and “compassionate tourists” away. If you see me passed out in the dirt with my dogs, just leave me be. I ain’t hurtin’ anyone, not even myself. In fact, I advise you to let your hair down and try layin’ in the warm sand in the cool evening with your favorite beverage and and companion, ya’ might find you like it too much!