Every morning when I awake, I am reborn. The self of yesterday is a memory that functions as a useful guide. The habits and routines I have in place make a certain amount of automaticity evident. Get up, meditate, walk, shower, coffee n breakfast (or not)… and so on. If, however, I were to take a snapshot of “my world” at exactly the same time every day, we would find differences at all levels from the gross to the minute. The larger cycles of time, season and date are obviously in play, but so too are the day to day, hour by hour, minute by minute and second by second swirls of energetic movement that ensures that we live precipitously balanced on the edge of an abyss of constant change in which absolutely nothing endures. Even “I” appears to be a fiction.
We could say that the only reason we do not all go barking mad at once, is that we are taught to believe that what we experience as reality is stable and reliable. However, when that belief is undermined through the myriad types of loss we face through the simple fact of living and being alive, then fear and anxiety can send us into a tailspin. We suffer because what we are emotionally attached to, and invested in, is ephemeral.
A friend of mine once scoffed at the idea I gave voice to that all human endevour is due to desire. It is desire that propels us to seek comfort when we are uncomfortable, to eat when we are hungry, to socialize when we are lonely, to create stability and order where chaos reigns. The basic desire to fit in with our peers will work to modify our behaviours so that we become “like them,” rather than risk the chance of being outcast and susceptible to the vagaries of the environment. The trouble is though, that as we expend efforts to fit in and fulfil our desires, that we become thoroughly attached to the idea of a separate and individual self with unique personality traits, ideas, opinions and possessions. There rises the idea of “mine” as opposed to “yours” – or further definitions that divide the “us” from the “them,” with perceived differences in statehood and religious beliefs having expressed themselves in conflict and war.
The reality is that when we become aware of our propensity to attach to self, person, place and thing… that we can release ourselves gradually from this bondage through the gentle art of non-engaged observation. Oddly enough what emerges, over time, is not some callous and distant automaton, but a compassion filled nature that loves and nurtures the ephemeral even more. A paradox.
Watch, observe and be.