Even though you are naturally buoyant, you imagine that you don’t know how to swim. Every day you imagine that you are drowning; you feel swamped by reality. You can’t even breathe anymore and it just seems like the water will get deeper and darker forever. And then you meet someone who can explain it.
When I help someone I’m not some kind of magician. I don’t make any water go away. I teach people how to swim (in their own consciousness). Even after enlightenment, the Buddha still had Mara (hell/the devil) for a companion. The water of life will always be there. But that’s no big deal once you truly accept the fundamental truth that we are all naturally buoyant, plus you can learn how to swim to wherever you want to go.
You’re trying to figure out how to get better and I’m telling you that you’re already better, you just don’t know how to enact your own natural health. By asking the questions, why am I so sad? or what’s wrong with me? we weigh ourselves down with those heavy ideas. We use words to build magnifying glasses so that we can study all of the things we don’t like about ourselves and the world. I think you can see that it’s obviously impossible to lead a good and happy life when you are choosing to focus on things that don’t make you feel either good or happy.
Your natural buoyancy is impacted by the weight of your words. You can use words to build ideas that you can swim toward, or you can build ideas that are heavy, weigh you down, and hold you back. But it nevertheless is an active choice you make. And you don’t need to learn how–you just have to understand the connection between your thinking and how it weighs down your experience of the world.
When you say, Scott I cannot be happy because this terrible event happened in my past, I simply remind you that you are talking about another day’s weight, today. You must work to carry that weight into today. You had to remember that story, then build it in words. In fact, the weight is made of the words. The words tell stories that create chemical reactions which you feel as emotions. If you find your words are heavy, stop creating them with your imagination. Then the natural buoyancy of your soul can carry you back to the fresh air of the surface.
Everyone argues with me. You all tell me that you cannot let go because--because I don’t understand how bad it was. And yet I do. Because all human beings are using the same chemistry to create our experiences. We’ve all cycled through the chemicals that you’re using right now. So we can be empathetic if your description of the chemical is evocative enough. You can help us to remember when we were afflicting ourselves with it. But even if we are empathetic, that won’t help you until you choose to drop the weight of the words. And if you argue, it’s just more words.
You’ll tell me the words are valuable. It’s your story. These events or this view define you. You can’t imagine letting them go. They are like valuable gold bars that you’re weighing your life-balloon down with. But there is no value to gold in the real world. Gold is for egos. In the realm of spiritual reality, the only thing that counts is clarity. Quietness of spirit. The natural buoyancy of life.
Do not hold yourself down with words. Do not drown in concepts of your own making. Do not create broken hearts and troubled souls and personal violations and betrayed trusts. All of these words will add up and they will weigh you down. Nothing is needed but your quiet self. Without the weight of your story, you will naturally float to the surface where the breathing is easier.
Go quiet. Let go. Rise naturally into peace.
I look forward to meeting you there.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.
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.