Crossing to the other shore
"I can see you think I'm a crank. It doesn't matter. This is what I know. Human nature, the human heart, the spirit, the soul, consciousness itself — call it what you like — in the end, it's all we've got to work with. It has to develop and expand, or the sum of our misery will never diminish. My own small discovery has been that this change is possible, it is within our power. Without a revolution of the inner life, however slow, all our big designs are worthless." — Black Dogs, Ian McEwan
Today, I'm one day closer to death.
(As are you — sorry, dear reader.)
This was the first thought that came into my head, as I lay awake just after 5 am. I found it both shocking and inspiring.
But there again, the temptation previously would have been to look to the material world with which to bring meaning to my eventual demise. You know the drill: climb the mountain, big up the goal setting and achievement and talk up a better life.
Now, it's an inner journey and has been since March 2010 when the Grim Reaper and I had our little tête-à-tête.
You might think there exists a conflict between the outer realm and the inner one, the latter being somehow better or more achieved (or vice versa) but I don't think so. They're both part of the same thing, namely the happening of the moment. However, I am suggesting for the nth time that (and I generalise like hell) more time needs to be spent if not discussing the interiority of our lives then actually practising self-enquiry. But here again, if we're not careful, we end up looking for something material — i.e. enlightenment — in the hope of a better life.
Not that it's my shtick to dole out advice or exhort a methodology but (and as tautological as it sounds) how can you seek something you already are? You can't. All you can do is reflect and contemplate on a life well lived and appreciate or apprehend that crossing over to the other side (or should that be going within?) isn't some New Age fantasy but a recognition that you are much, much more than the sum of your thoughts.
Of course, you don't have to accept anything I say — always go to your actual experience of life — but it's my position that we're no more and no less than an expression of the forever changing, universal flow. Remember the immortal lines from the Heart Sutra:
emptiness is form
form is emptiness.
I realise, of course, how ineffectual this type of language is in dealing with the vicissitudes of life but if you're concerned why, despite doing all the things you've been told to do manifest a happy life it hasn't happened, perhaps it's time to look in a different direction for said peace and/or contentment. Then again, if you're not drawn to examine the unexamined life then you won't. Period.
Anyhow (as I always say), it's that time again. Me and Alfie need our daily constitutional.
Have a wonderful weekend.
PS. This was the playlist that I had on the go in writing this piece. It's so beautiful despite the name!
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