… something quite magical happens once you stop taking ‘your_self’ so seriously.
(This is a continuation of last Friday’s post; if you have not checked that one out, you might want to start there, although it’s not necessary.)
It’s not that stress, pain or ‘bad’ things go away. They don’t.
Life is not simply moving; life is perpetually oscillating.
Good and bad, awake and asleep, day and night, back and forth, front and back, winter and summer, young and old, pleasure and pain, life and death, yin and yang … the list is infinite.
Each of these is not a pair of contrasting, individual words. They are ‘two sides of the same coin’, or ‘two ends of the same pole’, as Alan Watts would say.
You cannot have one without the other. Each defines the other.
And so once we see that life is perpetually oscillating, and that there is nothing at all we can do about it, then we are onto something.
This is where a lot of people get tripped up, however.
At this point you can choose to throw your hands in the air, and give up all hope. I tried that once. It doesn’t work.
Or, you can choose to try to control everything which you can possibly control: your ego, the egos of your friends and family, every minute detail of your day to day life, and so forth. Although in the end, that doesn’t work either.
Or, there is an alternative.
You can surrender.
You can choose to see that your_self is a construct. A very helpful one, one that helps you to navigate the world each day. But a construct nonetheless.
From there, you will stop taking your_self so seriously all the time. You won’t be angered nearly as often or as easily. You won’t feel the need to hold fast to some meaningless defense mechanism. You might even see that you have nothing at all to fear.
Gradually, as this happens more and more, through practice, you will begin to drop your mind. You will think less, and feel more. You will connect with others better. Your personality will transform into individuality.
You’ll smile a lot.
Things which used to frustrate you will amuse you.
And, you will still be able to care. To ‘do’. To help others. To work.
You might choose to work differently, or on different things, but you will still function in society.
This is not about becoming a monk. In fact, at least from everything I have learned so far about enlightenment, it is quite the opposite.
We need you to wake up here, not in some monastery in Tibet.
Yes, if you need to, if you feel the calling, you should go. But that is not the only path.
You already have everything you need, right here, right now.
No need to go anywhere, except inside.
That is the bravest journey you can make.