We are taught since youth to do the right things, develop the right habits, and build a good life. As words are only as good as their interpretation, perhaps stating the formula for a successful life in this way does more harm than good, for maybe we are not building at all…
Maybe life is more like sculpting; not an additive process at all, but a subtractive one, where unessential layers are peeled back, or chipped away- revealing what was hiding inside all along.
Perhaps this seems like too passive an approach to life…as if we didn’t struggle, we would succumb to laziness and passivity.
I think you would have to look long and hard to find a lazy sculptor. Rather, they watch…they look…they feel for the right stroke that will reveal the masterpiece that lies in every block of wood, every slab of marble.
Maybe observing our lives is the most productive thing we can do.
It’s a waste of time to try to fight darkness. In fact, fighting it strengthens it. This makes the darkness grow, and before you know it, you’ve become part of that darkness. The only way to end the madness is to silently seek the light. Seek that which resonates with your spirit, and energizes it, and make no apologies. Anyone who would tell you “You’re going the wrong way!” I might say “tell them to go to hell”, but you don’t need to. They are already there.
Many of us struggle, trying to find our path, feeling that if we don’t try hard enough, we might miss it. Stemming from my own insecurity, I often forget that I can’t fail at being me. For nine gestational months everything fell into place without my hand, without my guidance. Why would I think that the next chapter would be any different, and the more control I grasp for, the less control I have? Let go, lighten up.
Zen, like all self- knowledge, can be ambiguous. What does it mean?
You can only know half of reality, at best.
Consciousness can observe many things, but it can’t observe itself,
because consciousness is the one looking. It can never see itself,
because it’s the one looking.
maybe it’s better just to look, listen, and hear, right now
without trying to make sense of it…because you’re handicapped
coming out of the gate.
There is no doubt that the world is a little chaotic,
to say the least.
It’s easy to bitch and complain about the state of politics,
or the current health crisis.
Just remember that it’s SUPPOSED to be that way;
it’s a challenge to try to steal your attention, your focus,
your Courage…but be still. Hold steady, though the wild winds blow-
that’s how warriors are made, and not one
is without scars.
The debate as to whether the world is ordered, by some unknowable design (or designer), or a chaotic cause and effect has been raging for years. What would happen if we let go of our egoic need to “produce order” out of the chaotic mayhem, and instead, looked for and learned from the order that was there all along, and took up the task of finding the positive meaning, hidden in the Chaos? Our lives are not the sum total of our experiences, but the product of our actions, and the meanings we applied to our storms.
For more on “not believing everything you think”, See Lauren Weinstein’s TEDx talk here
They live among us, these friends of mine but they may as well be from a forgotten era, a time where the work is hard, life is fragile, and the seasons brutal. Though most would perish, they revel in it, and an endless day alone in the wilderness in the dead of winter is if anything- too short. They remind me that the Laws of Nature have not been repealed.
In the mid 1500’s Hernán Cortés landed in the new world. Seeing that he was drastically out numbered, his men asked him what they should do…”burn the boats” he said. If you have a dream, set fire to your “plan b”.
The dance of opposites is what makes everything possible.
Dark doesn’t exist without light,
just as computer code needs both zeros and ones.
We come to grasp, hopefully, that how we choose to use
the experiences of our past, shape who we are
but do we ever consider that the future is also calling us
to who we are to become?
Who we are right now…depends on both.
We spend so much time, and waste so much energy analyzing, criticizing, and categorizing each other. When we are forced to be alone, we are left with the true source of our conflict and confusion…ourselves. Take the time to do what you love to do, because it’s how you handle your isolation that determines your fate.