We are pulled by our desire to conclude our journey. We want to be done, complete, finished. We want to graduate, and become aware. We want to be enlightened; to merge as one with the light in everlasting godly heaven forever and ever.
Wait. No we don’t.
In truth, that would be infinitely boring. How many of us see kids at Halloween asking to be a white light that beams love and Oneness? Sure, we really sort of are that, but that’s not what life is all about. Life is a performance in the very best sense of the word.
Life isn’t some course where we graduate and become enlightened. We’re never done, there is no reward but life itself. We can learn how to find it, but enlightenment is a verb, so we can’t hold onto it. We can’t even desire it or it vanishes. As Yoda told Luke in Star Wars, if we’re trying then we can’t possibly act to unite ourselves with ‘the force,’ for the force is always within us.
The pure concept of trying implies a ‘tryer,’ and a separate ‘thing to be tried.’ The moment we have distinctions between things —the moment there’s an us and an outside world— we are experiencing a form of duality where our separate ego needs to apply a quality to something in order to interact with it. (That’s what Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was really about.)
If we are past the moment of reality creation into dealing with our judgment, we are out of the State of Enlightenment. We are past the moment of now.
In an emergency a hero isn’t consciously thinking, “Oh I will save this other person’s life.” In that state, people are simply being in the moment and they are responding to the universe authentically. At that level they and the person they are saving have their fates unified.
If a guy doing CPR can be in an Enlightened State, then that’s way more interesting than being a boring white light. But for that to happen, someone needs to have a heart attack. The adventure of a lifetime is out on the road, where life is on the line. It is life’s temporary quality that gives it its value.
Since we’re only here for a while and there’s no destination and no prize, we might as well have fun with that. It’s like Old Bill said in Hamlet, “To be or not to be,” that is the only question.
There is no way for us to spend any real time being that white light and we shouldn’t see that as our goal. There is no way for any individual aspect of the Universe to know the entire universe, we need the whole universe to accomplish that.
There is no God-Perspective for us to attain, that is mistaking all-knowing for peace. Rather than understanding more, instead we understand and surrender. As they say about Zen; one does not get answers, one loses questions.
We can only achieve that state if we can see the wisdom in the open trust that must accompany total surrender. We should not be striving to achieve some magical life. We’re supposed to realize that the one we’re living already is magical.
We have enormous possibilities for fun and excitement but not if we keep thinking in the same old patterns. Real success isn’t getting anything, it isn’t achieving anything, it isn’t owning anything, conquering anything and it isn’t loving anyone specific. Success is when we understand how reality is created and through that understanding we are able to love everyone and everything we encounter as an experience.
So let’s talk about loving. Sometimes loving is hard. When someone’s dying, love can be painful. When we have to show tough love with an addict it can be very hard for both people and it can lead to our most painful decisions. But pain isn’t outside love.
We can truly love a movie or a song even though it has some really, really sad parts in it. Likewise, to love our lives —to enjoy our life— we don’t need to be happy all the time. Nor would we want to be happy all of the time, that would be too consistent to be interesting. We just need to enjoy the ride.
We are not supposed to be okay all of the time. If we want to know how dull that would be, imagine watching that play. A play where everything goes great for the main character. Booooorrrrrriiiiing.
But what if we’re okay with not being okay? Because that’s what that Buddha meant when he said that the acceptance of suffering is the end of all suffering. If we will accept it as a part of life there is nothing wrong with being not-okay.
Our ego-based judgments are a bit like the weather —some people choose to complain about it, some people don’t. But neither thing changes the weather. Some people live with some troublesome weather, others live with the same weather but they add bitching to it. The weather we all must accept. The bitching is a judgmental illusion that we choose to superimpose over the weather in the confines of our own mind. That responsibility is on us.
As we progress through the stages of awareness together, I will do my best to provide very specific instructions on how to accept and forgive. We can be very specific about how you can easily have all the confidence you want. While you’re in the appropriate state of mind.
I won’t have to be hazy or nebulous or ambiguous about how to get there because it’s very easy and very obvious once someone who can actually do it points it out to us. But it is not something we learn and forget, it will forever be something that we either do or don’t do.
I’ve done this for a lot of people now and there is no reason I won’t work for anyone reading this as well, because this is about how we all form reality. In this place everyone is equal.
This isn’t hard. This is our nature.
Welcome to this part of our journey, together.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.