Try standing absolutely still for ten seconds.
No matter how hard you try (and, as we’re about to find out, trying hard is the problem), something is always moving.
You’ll always be swaying, at least ever so slightly, back and forth a bit.
Or, if you decide to tense up your lower body in order to absorb the sway, then you’ve done nothing more than shifted the force into outward and downards directions. You’re still moving, just differently.
You can go in the opposite direction, surrender, and do nothing. The more relaxed you are, you’ll become almost completely still, but again, here, there is no absolute to be achieved.
What is actually happening here?
It’s a little bit like the image presented in The Matrix, when Neo finally ‘sees’ that everything inside the matrix is actually flowing, bright green code.
That’s what is happening inside – and outside – your body, all the time … you.
You are happening. You are a verb, not a noun. It would be more correct to say that you are ‘you_ing’, than you are just you.
Life is always in constant motion, not just inside of you, but outside of you as well.
(Of course, you’re not actually separate from the world around you. There is no ‘fixed boundary’ between you and the air.)
But even putting that notion of interconnectedness on the side for a moment, if we move forward with the more practical feeling that we are separate from the tree, the fact still remains that the tree is never completely still either.
It is always growing, or shrinking, or something. It is always ‘tree_ing’.
We use nouns to describe most things in English, but that is not the case in all languages. Other languages use verbs much more than we do.
All of this is not to say that you should begin speaking German, or worry about how you’re ever going to sit still.
What it is is a reminder.
A reminder of something fundamental, something that you have always known, but perhaps forgotten.
It’s very easy to forget this notion of constant motion, fluctuation, and change because that is how we set up our culture.
We deliberately set it up to fool ourselves. To make ourselves forget.
But we’re not that smart. We can only fool ourselves for so long. Eventually, we will all wake up.
It’s just a question of when.
If you can wake up from your slumber, if you can once again become aware of the fundamental truth that surrounds you, and at the same time move through your day in the conventional way (go to work, love your family, pay your taxes, etc.), then you are onto something.
Then you are no longer allowing yourself to be fooled.
Then you are in on ‘the big joke’.
The big joke is ‘you’.
Once you stop taking ‘your_self’ so seriously, something quite magical happens …
… more on that next Friday.