“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
– Thomas Merton
I would like to think that my changed philosophy on life is nothing more than growing up – at 46 I’ve waited a long time – but it’s much more than that.
In the early days, it was all about being something or getting somewhere.
It just is.
And I when I say it just is, I don’t mean from a resigned, I-don’t-give-a-damn perspective. I mean falling completely into presence whatever that looks and feels like.
On one level, this sounds completely preposterous: “Why do we need fall into any moment, when we are already living it?”
But are we?
The trouble is that our conditioning reinforces the internal voice (the commentator) that chides, excoriates, criticises and puts us in our place. No doubt, there isn’t a day that goes by when we’re not having a conversion with our inner self for fear that the internal chatter will keep playing and playing on our mind.
However, consider your earliest childhood memory. It’s unlikely the case you were consumed with self-doubt and anxiety. In all likelihood, things were just as they were.
You didn’t judge.
You didn’t plan.
You didn’t wear a false mask to fit it (play is play and doesn’t resemble the faux personality that we adopt to fit in).
This conditioning is all pervasive. Indeed, we’re condemned to live under a set of rules that order our lives – get a decent education, find a career, get married, have children and acquire a bushel of experiences all in the hope of making ourselves happy. But it never works out that way. How can it when the egoic identity exists to foster and reinforce conflict?
You see even if you understand that you have to let go, even that can become another goal: “I must learn to be completely in the moment.”
What if I said you were the moment?
On the physical plane, it’s impossible to understand.
You appear to touch you arm. That’s real enough isn’t it? But it’s the experience that you’re in love with.
I could go on but I fear being drawn into a reductionist argument to the point where we will argue as to what exactly we’re composed of.
I have to admit that to come to this point so late makes me feel foolish. Why the hell did I strive so hard only to discover that everything just is? But I’m quite sure that if I hadn’t that I may never have discovered Zen Buddhism, my mentor Ando Perez and the teachings of Mooji and Adyashanti.
Part of me would love you too to go beyond the banal self-enquiry that we default to in time of self-reflection but I know that’s unlikely. As I see things, when you’re ready to move away from your conditioned self and enquire within then nothing that I write is going to make any difference.
To be clear, this message isn’t about asking why you’re here or what’s the purpose of life. No. It’s to live in peace. To live truthfully. And to accept that you’re not the conditioned self.
One final point. I accept that one blog post will never convey the profound change in my life, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to place a stake in the ground as to what I believe it means to live fully in presence.
Below is a series of podcasts on Audioboo which expands further the Awaken the Genius message.