It’s easy to embrace the light, the sunshine, the warmth on our face. But we must also strive to embrace the darkness, our fears, and uncertainty. Facing the darkness is the only possible way of seeing the stars that can only be seen there.
Mark Twain had some great quotes like “Never argue with a fool…onlookers may not be able to tell the difference” and “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it”.
These may be paraphrases, but Mark Twain was keenly aware that the biggest threat to our well being is our own rabid thoughts, and unchecked emotions.
I see the danger every day…looking back at me when I brush my teeth.
Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “As the circle of our knowledge grows, so does the circumference of the Darkness”. Darkness is often equated with ignorance (“until I saw the light”), So its no stretch to say that the more we know, the greater our ignorance. In fact, he was also know for the saying that “a person’s intelligence can be directly related to his/her ability to entertain a contrary viewpoint from their own, without needing to believe it”. Maybe it would be wise to adopt a neutral stance as we age, toward new, perhaps strange ideas. Maybe it can best be summed up by a little plaque my daughter gave me when she was very young; perhaps an indication of the thoughtful woman she was to become. The Plaque said, simply, “I’m not young enough to know everything”.
This little gal and her brother showed up at my doorstep about 12 years ago. Don’t know where they came from. Morris, Peanut’s brother, disappeared about 6 years ago and I, like others in the neighborhood, were devastated. Still, Peanut has remained constant, and she continues to teach me so much. She never cries. She never destroys anything. She largely leaves the birds alone (though every once in a while, keeps them in check by demonstrating her abilities)…in fact, she was relaxing on the porch under a birdhouse brimming with a new House Wren family, who paid her no mind. She is always ready to meet the occasional neighbor on their walk, and she is definitely the queen.
She puts “Alone” contestants to shame, as she has effortlessly survived her entire life outside, and never once showed an interest in coming inside. She expects nothing, appreciates everything, and adapts to anything. We could learn so much from her.
Oh, and I’ve never seen her white fur dirty. EVER…
We all have limitations. We all have fears. We all have doubts, at one time or another. We must be willing to see them, in order to overcome them. But the hardest perhaps, is to objectively observe our own mindset, our own beliefs. Rather, we will defend them, and often with vigor. It has been said that intelligence can be measured by one’s ability to entertain another thought or believe, without having to believe it. It may be true that the more we learn, the less we know; the more our certainty, the greater the uncertainty. I hope one day I learn enough to not believe anything.
We humans are curious animals. We can build crafts that can take us to distant planets, and explore the curiosities of the quantum world. For us to grow into our full potential, however, we need to stop prostituting our time in the NOW moment, paying with lethal doses of misery, for the promise of a concept of a happier tomorrow. TOMORROW NEVER COMES… it’s just NOW wearing a different suit…but you’re still languishing in misery, because, well, that’s what we’re suppose to do, right?
Probably the most courageous thing we can do is to entertain another belief. Another perspective. We feel an existential “loss of balance”, fearing that by examining another belief, we have to believe it first, or we will be lost in free fall. That’s probably why most of us can’t entertain another perspective; we hold on tight, and continue to try to see it from this nice safe place. You won’t see anything new, without the courage to leave, even if only temporarily, our comfortable, familiar and safe place. We don’t have to believe something to examine it…but we do have to let go of our firm grasp on our current perspective. Try it. You won’t fall.
“In the end I’ll know…but on the way I wonder” ~Cat Stevens
I’ll always remember that lyric, but I think its truth is often over looked.
Believing is the result of theorizing, and as such…it’s just a mental game. The mind feels, at first, curious… maybe lost, maybe lonely; it has to figure this shit out. Why is this one way, and that another way? What is the truth? What should I believe? It’s always worth remembering…that analysis, like dissection, is an aggressive act…resulting in the death of the observed. We take a life to find out what life is! How could that ever work?
In all our mental dissections, we create borders, boundaries and beliefs…and call it truth. Nothing you can ever think is the truth…any more than you can get wet from the word “Water”.
Our beliefs give us comfort in a sea of uncertainty…but at the price of dividing us all, and dissecting humanity.
Ultimately, the spirit will realize truth, but until then…I’ll be wary of beliefs.
If you are looking for salvation at some future time, that is just another way of saying that you are not “there” now. You are always “here”; and how you think, look, act, and say determine what your “successive NOWs” will look like.
BE the light. BE the Change.
See the change.
If we only had the wisdom to fix what was destined to endure, and let go of what was fated to break, we might then realize that there is nothing to fix. and only NOW to endure.