If we’re doing some form of festive celebrating over the next week or two –or any other time, really– we should give ourselves and others the profound gift of our full presence. By ceasing our searching, wanting, fearful thinking about every part of life, our minds can go quiet and presence occurs.
In that silence a new world suddenly appears; a world where everyone and everything is allowed to be who, or what, or where they are. It’s like ordinary life but without all of the disappointment that comes from our own desire to judge and categorize and order the world according to our own personal priorities.
Our judgment creates conflict in our life because there are literally billions of humans. What are the odds that we would never meet any that would have had the experiences, or be raised in ways, that would make them unappealing to us? We would likely be unappealing to them too. And these people can be in our own family. They are inevitable.
If we encounter this situations with our egos we are in trouble. Egos have ‘perspectives,’ which are forms of judgment, so it is logical that people’s egos will eventually end up disagreeing over something. But that would still only be because of differences in our judgments. not our souls. We are the thing that creates the judgments.
In the end, having egos arguing over Christmas dinner is like an argument featuring puppets reading from scripts based on who their characters are –it’s why arguments often sound the same way when they feature the same people.
The frog reads the lines that represent the frog’s life experiences and the princess reads the princess’s lines based on a princess’s life experiences. No one has any ill will, but a disagreement can easily ensue just from the honest differences in our perspectives.
In this other world –where we’re quiet inside–more things make sense,. If we remove our judgmental voice-over and replace it with greater awareness, we begin to see our own ego as our puppet.
We accept that our puppet is the way it is because of a combination of our genes and what’s happened in our lives. We start to feel better when we realize that other puppets are also the way they are due to the same kinds of forces. This makes our disagreements less personal and more like a strange form of theatre.
When we’re in a state of ego –if we’re being a puppet– we have difficulty letting others be who they are. In reality we could just let the person be who they are without protest. If we rise above our croaking ego –if we go backstage– we realize that we are the puppeteer, enacting the character of our ego and its judgments. The puppeteer is the soul that learned the ego’s lines.
We are the thing that performs it our ego –it is our soul’s shadow. It does all of the complaining about ourselves, others and the world around us. Meanwhile, the real us silently lets the world be.
We can enjoy life or a family holiday dinner when we realize that our job is not to fix the world or others unless they ask us to as a part of that journey. We can stay silent inside, knowing that everything is unfolding exactly as it should based on what preceded it. Everyone is logically being the puppets they trained to be. Rather than creating conflict, we can just enjoy the show.
If we can let that wisdom unfold we gain distance from the drama. But by staying silent inside we can live in a state of grace; devoid of fear and desire, with peace in our hearts. It’s a silence worth pursuing.
May grace be conjured at your dinner tables this holiday season.
Thank you everyone.
Regardless of what your tradition may be and what time of year it may be celebrated, I would like to take this Christmas occasion to offer you all heartfelt thanks for your readership, and for those of you who have worked directly with me –it has always been a pleasure.
As usual, there will be some changes to the blog over the new year. I also will not be writing posts from now until Wednesday, January 1st although the current plan is to add some interesting features for the new year.
Over the next week do your best to be kind to your days. Have fewer expectations about the world and about yourself and just focus on the act of ‘being.’ Without a head full of yakking criticisms and self-criticisms, many people realize they are far better off than we often think we are. It makes for a wonderful life, so bless yourself with some of that silence this season.
I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
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 over-thinking, 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 still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.