Does anything (really) change us?
“Be realistic: Plan for a miracle”
Blessed, truly blessed.
Oops, sorry, it's also Monday. You know, the day we're supposed to get through as quickly as possible. Actually, not to be contentious, but I quite like Monday; it feels rich with possibility and in my case alive to the moment. Odd, eh?
You might think today's rubric another one of those dreary, snake-oil headlines. It might be, but that's not my style.
I'm serious. Deadly serious.
How much of life really changes us?
And when I say 'change' I'm not referring to the inevitability of ageing, the knowledge we acquire or even the expanse of our wisdom. I mean change beyond the ken of our current or any experience.
As you know, if you've read any of my previous posts, I've regaled you with the falling away of my former, career-obsessed, headbanging self and the insight, whose genesis was the formless understanding apprehended from the Heart Sutra, that opened my eyes to a new way of seeing the world.
So what you might say?
You're still the same guy.
Indeed I am.
But then again, not in some holier-than-thou, look-at-me type of way, but I feel a very different person in that I'm no longer caught in the vicissitudes of my former egoic self who thought that he could or should be in charge of his destiny. Don't forget I was the puerile numpty who read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and believed it. Even now, despite the intent and import of the book, I still have some difficulty understanding or even comprehending how easily I allowed myself to believe that I could think myself anything.
I do realise, and I've thought about this a lot, particularly by dint of the amount of time I've hung out in so-called spiritual circles, that by positing my waking up to a new way of seeing the world (it was there all along would be a better way to put things), I'm at risk of being seen or considered better, special or at least different. Trust me, that's about as far removed from the person I am in my actions or speech as you'll ever find. Sure, I can sometimes come across as a bit haughty, or up myself but I'm under no illusion that I'm exactly the same as everyone else save that perhaps, just perhaps, I've been willing to examine more of my unexamined self to the extent where I've ardently questioned, as only a lawyer would, everything I was told or had assumed previously.
I mean, come on, there's nothing remotely special about my invitation to consider your actual experience of life and to acknowledge, in fact there's no escaping it, that everything changes. And from there, it's not a million miles away to notice (I hope) that the label isn't and can't be the form. Sure, it's something but not something I can understand save to the extent that I know enough to keep me out of harm's way. Of course, it's the last point of my exegesis — i.e. we don't will our will — that I know and understand is up for debate — serious or otherwise.
Does any of this mean I'm changed?
To an extent, but there's a mythos to my explanation that almost makes the question redundant.
Well, how can you change something that you already are?
It's no accident that my strapline — for what it's worth — is 'awaken, to True self'. To be truthful, I think it pretty lame in that nothing I say or do is likely to make a jot of difference to whether you see life through the prism of the happening of the moment — a universal flow if you will — or otherwise. For all I know, your purview is that you're in control of yourself and that everything else is there to bend to your will or if not that brazen, you're at least of the view that there's a 'me' who is blown hither and yonder and all you're doing is trying to make the best of what you've been given in a world that (trust me) often feels like it's been established to conspire against your best efforts.
Back to the question.
Does anything really change us?
There's a bushel to choose from: a near-death experience; the loss of a loved one — our soul mate if you will; depression; incarceration; addiction and beating the odds; creativity; love — especially love; and religion.
I'd like to think that they're all in the mix otherwise life would seem pretty hopeless or at least hope free.
Then again, given that life is ending one day at a time, and unless you're a nihilist or somnambulist, I'd like to think that we don't need too many sudden shocks, insights or gurus — especially those — to come alive all body, mind and spirit.
Perhaps you think it churlish or worse still for me to constantly reference nature as my touchstone for what's missing in so many of our lives but then again, as I'll keep saying dear readers, nature doesn't, at least so far as I understand matters, do anything other than be...itself — in all its magnificence. It's not trying to turn itself inside out to make itself better, to JFDI every moment or to get caught up in only a small fraction of its existence, namely its thinking. Yes, you heard me correctly. Why do we always revert to our thinking for an explanation of life but don't see, qua the human essence, how little of us it actually is? At the risk of seeming foolish, we never ask our heart, lungs or body to explain anything and yet we allow ourselves to be tricked into believing that our thoughts are us and we are them.
When all is said and done, anything and everything I say here and elsewhere is merely for your consideration. It's up to you to consider how much you've changed or are open to change and what you think might bring that about. In my case, I'm quite sure that if I'd not had the experience of lying flat on my back for six days in hospital and found, by accident, the Heart Sutra that I've have saddled up my business-as-usual steed just as soon as I'd got out the damn place. Where now that would have left me god only knows but it wouldn't, in all likelihood, have been a pretty place. So, to that extent, although I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I really do think the gods were smiling on me or least jabbing me in the back and telling me that I needed to get my shit together and work out that life — the only one I'll ever have — wasn't about trying to please my whack-job ego but to be all body, mind and soul.
That's enough of my warblings for now. It's that time again. You know the drill. Dog walk, breakfast and legal stuff. Thankfully, I've got a holiday coming up at the end of the week and, frankly, it can't come quick enough😩.
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