The name of this blog, Greater Life, could not be any more ironic to this article, but I’ve never been a fan of labels anyway. For some reason, we always find the need to spot patterns in things and categorise or label things, rather than just let them be and accept them for what they are, unique. Speech is as restricting as it is opening to our abilities to interact. The Amondawa tribe lacks an abstract idea of time for example, having no way to talk about the past or future – something that is of great benefit to them. Anyway, I digress.
Book after book, teaching after teaching, I’ve always had that thirst for knowledge, that thirst for something more. I’ve always tried to draw inspiration from as many different teachers as possible without tying myself to one in particular, something I’ve been proud of, and something my past blog posts will reflect, yet I’ve ignored the one teacher of most importance to growth and acceptance, myself.
Even many routes of Buddhism bring about a series of systems in order to guide you towards “enlightenment”, yet few achieve this… whatever it is, anyway. I’ve not thought a great deal too much about it in all honesty. We never accept things for what they are. We put ourselves on these journeys to this place, or that place, but never, truly immerse ourselves into experiencing the present, the now.
Some people will take a vow of celibacy, or others attempt to extinguish desire, without even realising that is a desire too. We’ll seek and seek and seek until we’re blue in the face. Some will even pretend they’re where they need to be, but it is merely a suppression whilst a voice somewhere in the back of their minds cries out for further answers.
Some people will meditate for hours or days, using various breathing techniques and medicines to achieve a higher level of meditation, to feel that sense of connectedness with the universe and tune in more with their body whilst ignoring the beauty of everything around them. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly has it’s place, and this something I’ll explore more in a bit. We subscribe ourselves to podcasts, schools, seminars, conferences, classes and cohorts in order to grow and grow. This becomes an addiction in itself, a thirst that needs quenching.
As I sit here with my latest book, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse a huge realisation came to me after the first couple of chapters. We never get there. All these systems and teachings are great for showing you that there are no answers, there is no destination, there is only the present moment. Funnily enough, this is what people like Eckhart Tolle talk about from the very outset, but can be hard to understand without exploring every other possible route, outwards or inwards.
Everything in this universe is a beautiful dance of chaos and order. As Alan Watts describes looking at beautiful tapestry, if you zoom into the threads with a microscope, it’s just a splayed out mess of chaos with fibres interlinked in every disorderly direction. Zoom in some more, and the cells are in perfect order. More again, just a glooby mess. More again, and you have atoms with perfectly circulating motion – you get the idea here? Just like we come out of this beautiful world, we also come out of the chaos and without it, things would be pretty boring! After all, we’re just on this giant rock, hurtling through space!
We all know that ancient proverb, if a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Of course not! It makes vibrations of waves, and it’s our vibrating ear drums and interpretation of these vibrations that gives it the meaning of the sound. It’s the same with the light that shines into our eyes, of which would just disappear endlessly into space bouncing off things until something receives it to convert it into another form of energy like us. Those stars in the skies would literally be meaningless unless we were there to give it that meaning of beauty. Don’t you think that is magical?
So we receive the light, we receive the sound, we give it that meaning and convert the energy and put it back out there into the universe to be received in a different way, and again, and again into an infinite cycle that never truly dies. As the basic, first rule of thermodynamics states, energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed into another form of energy. We eventually die, and decompose. This feeds the trees, the worms, the birds and as such allows wildlife to flourish, for others to appreciate this beauty, to receive it with the meaning of sound or vision that would not exist otherwise. Do you see where I’m coming from here? Everything is in order, yet chaotic at the same time. Death is rebirth, darkness is light, trauma is growth, and this allows the universe to continue with it’s beautiful, magical and mysterious dance.
We like to think we are special in an individualistic sense, but not in a sense of “oneness”. We are no more special than anything else, but the universe for which we are a part of… that is something truly incredible. We put hierarchy on things, and value the lives of ourselves and animals above all other life, treating them as something better or worse – and the more “intelligent” or “majestic” (or should I say, the more it reminds us of “us”) the animal appears to be, the more we give it respect. But animals too, like us, are far more riddled with emotions and trauma than the flower that just sits there at the side of the road in all its beauty, taking in your pollution and converting it into oxygen, providing for the bees, (even allowing you to pee on it and not retaliating!). constantly adapting to its present situation, flourishing and embracing life. Then there is us, going to a job every day so we can afford materialistic objects in order to impress others, made in a factory by someone that hates their job, doing exactly the same thing, in this endless cycle of egocentric bullshit – who really is the most intelligent here? and why should this hierarchy even exist? Everything needs to be treated unconditionally with love and respect. but most of all, this acceptance of chaos and destruction as a necessary part of life. Most of nature can simply be with it, so why can’t we?
Am I seeking something more? Perhaps. I don’t feel like I need to label it as one or the other. Writing this very post is an attempt to share my experiences with others and hopefully attract more like-minded people, which is looking for more. My awareness is heightening and I feel like this may dissolve, or it may not, and either way is ok, because that’s what it is to be human. Life is quite perfect, just the way it is.
Disclaimer: This is my own personal experience and I could be entirely wrong, but I’m feeling very happy with life, and enjoying the flow of things very much at the moment. As I said earlier, our best teacher is ourselves – so find what works for you!