My New Year's Resolution is to have no more opinions.
In fact, I invite you to join me in this most important
& essential resolution.
There will be no opinions in this post, but only
well-established facts with citations (available upon
The main problem with the world is opinions. Opinions
are the source of all evil. What is true of the world
is true of each individual in the world. The main
problem with you or me is opinions. Opinions, both our
own and others, lead us to take actions, and 99.9% of
actions, both internal and external, are pointless
wastes of time. The greatest action, the greatest fact,
is silence. Silence &, of course, stories, which are
not opinions and never were.
Please try to read this without having any opinions.
Or read it once while having opinions, and see how
upset it makes you, then read it again without any
opinions, compare the two, and you will see how
pleasureable & emancipating opinionlessness is.
Look at animals. Animals have no opinions.
Opinions lead to war, disease, indigestion, bad dreams,
power outages, even wet newspapers, for what are
newspapers but pure unadulterated opinion. The rain
has no opinion, and who wins the battle between the
newspaper and the rain?
An opinion is merely internal conflict given outward
expression. It gives a false feeling of satisfaction
that the conflict has been resolved, but in fact the
conflict has been doubled, because now I have the
conflict as well as the opinion, which I must support
& defend, further distracting me from a true solution
to the conflict. Solving an inner conflict with an
opinion is like banging one's head against the wall
to stop a headache.
The conflict can only be solved by telling a story.
The story can only be told by treating opinions as
characters who are trying to find out what the hell
they are doing & why, while acting as if they know
perfectly well what they are doing & why.
I could never list all the things I have opinions
about (politics, sports, movies, food, books, weather,
religion) for there is nothing in the world that I do
not have opinions about, often many and sometimes
These opinions are not opinions about the things I
say they are about, but rather fashionable (or
unfashionable) costumes designed to hide from the
naked silence that I most essentially am. Out of
that naked silence come not opinions, but stories.
Opinions are not stories, and stories are not opinions.
It is only my opinion that tells me I cannot have no
If opinions were removed from the world, peace would
immediately prevail. If opinions were removed from the
individual, serenity and enlightenment would instantly
commence. Please take a moment now to see this for
yourself. The only thing that stands in the way of your
seeing this will be an opinion that is frightened of
what will happen to it if you stop having it. Please
do not keep having opinions simply because they are
afraid of your not having them anymore. Don't worry
about what will happen to your opinions once you stop
having them. Opinions are like fleas. When you brush
them off, they will find another warm body to grab
hold of and sink their blood-sucking teeth into. And
the only teeth they have are wooden and the glue holding
them in is dried & cracking.
Look at things. Things have no opinion.
As you read these facts, you may be having opinions
about them, including, "These are not facts," and "Life
would be lifeless without opinions," and "Stories are
full of opinions," and "I don't like silence."
Opinions are not ideas, any more than a belch is a light
The fact is that there is nothing more boring than an
opinion. An opinion is like gas. It may be startlingly
pungent for a moment or two, but it passes and nobody
People whose opinions I first admire will one day be
people whose opinions I cannot believe I ever listened
seriously to, much less admired. I may love them, but
only because I see through their opinions to the unique
opinionless mystery at their center. This is a sign that
I am becoming ready to give up the most important opinions
of all, my own.
Do I really admire my own opinions as much as I like to
You know what they say about opinions and everybody
having one, and that is a fact. We not only have one, we
have billions. Imagine if everybody had billions of the
other hole thing.
What is really happening when a person resists the idea
of no longer having opinions is that he or she is simply
terrified of the thought. So intimately do we relate to
our own opinions that the thought of not having them is
kin to having no identity at all, even no existence!
I have an opinion, therefore I am.
In fact, opinions prevent me from being who I am. I can't
begin to know who I am as long as I confuse myself with
my opinions. Whatever I am, I am not my opinions.
All opinions have been had billions of times before. There
are no new opinions, only old opinions about new products.
Opinions make me feel strong, definitive, bold, confident,
but it is all a mask to hide from you and from myself.
Under my opinions is nothing but the pure fact of
enlightenment. A mind will never be satisfied by opinions.
Mindfulness is utterly empty of opinion.
Is it possible to have no opinions? As I write these facts,
the negative opinions we may have toward them is only because
we feel threatened (unnecessarily) by them. My opinion
center sends out danger messages to me because it fears
that it will be shut down. But opinions are obsolete and the
opinion center needs to be shut down. When the opinion center
has been silenced and mothballed, I will enter irreversible
nirvana. When I have an opinion, such as that the previous
sentence is not true, the nirvana will vanish, though it will
still be there, patient & peaceful behind the opinion.
Opinions are the source of all worry, dread, ulcers, cavities,
embarrassment, procrastination, bad breath, sitcoms, headaches,
even death. I cannot counter these facts with opinions,
any more than I can sneeze down the Great Wall of China.
There are no opinions in heaven, no opinions in the soul.
Heaven is silence & stories; the soul is seeing, listening,
feeling, hearing, knowing & unknowing.
Hell, however, is nothing but opinions, non-stop, all at the
same time, day & night, forever and evermore.
Therefore, I resolve to have no more opinions in 2011 and
beyond. Join me, won't you?
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Posted by Richard Martin.... at 3:11 PM