Sometimes I feel like I’ll have to explode before I’ll be able to contain how freaking awesome being alive is. I know you primarily take it for granted—that’s your only actual problem. All of your other problems are made out of that problem. While I’m amazed and in love every single day, you’ll stop everything and be filled with the present moment only a few times a year, and even then only for oceanfront sunsets, snow-capped mountains glinting in the sunlight, or maybe for puppies or a really funny cat video—and hopefully always and for sure babies of all kinds. My point is, you really are selective and that’s because you’ve mistaken the things you’re looking at for what you’re experiencing. But what you’re sensing and what you’re experiencing are often two different things.
The reason I think everything’s amazing and you’ll only agree to be amazed if conditions are just right is because you’ve begun to interact with the names of things rather than the things themselves. It’s what the Buddha meant when he talked about The Illusion. So if you see some bird that’s common in your area, you’ll glance at it and identify it, but you won’t look closely at that particular bird. Because just like any other creature, they’re all unique. But unless we feel some semblance of love or the attraction of curiosity we don’t look for the uniqueness. We don’t look to see, we just glance and identify.
Next we assess and judge. We make a value judgment of how much of our attention does this or that deserve? And things that are presumed common or known will be skipped over as soon as they are identified. This is why you can look for your keys several times in the place that you actually find them—because the other times you were assuming they weren’t there so you found a part of the desk that had no keys on it and you looked there to confirm to yourself that your presumptions were correct. And with that useless bit of self-verification you come to believe that the keys aren’t there and that you didn’t see them, when in fact the light that makes up your vision definitely did enter your eye. You just didn’t use your thoughts to turn those waves into a particle you recognized.
So how do you see the keys? How does the everyday world become magnificent? Well, you have to actually be in the world. Because those aforementioned assumptions happened inside your head. When you think your keys are not there you are living in your thinking and not in the real world. Do you see how your ego can even blind you? It’s remarkable how much it can distort what’s truly going on.
The world is so enormous that you cannot even begin to fathom its scale and complexity. Your job is not to make sense of creation. You weren’t put here to figure out the answer. You are the answer. You are creation being lived-out. So you can quiet your mind. Do you hear me? You can go quiet inside. Those conversations are nonsense. So rather than identify, evaluate and judge the universe, just be yourself within it. That is your responsibility—that is your aspect of creation to realize—the aspect that is you.
Now do you want to know the cool part? You don’t like sunsets or puppies. What you do like is the feeling of shutting your mind up when you look closely at those things. So it was never the things themselves that were making you feel awesome, it was that they encouraged you to be fully with them, and therefore they lead to you being quiet inside. So you don’t need to add anything from the outside to realize enlightenment. You just need to go quiet and your inside will naturally manifest. So now you can surrender. You can stop looking for the keys to life. They were in your hand the whole time. Now you can go live.
Have yourself a stupendous day.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.