What characterises ordinary living? What if I said:
Separation. I occur to myself as being separate from all else that is – the tree, the grass, the river, the mountain, you.
Survival. I am committed to my survival – to make to the end of the day, intact. You could say that my genes have wired me to survive so that they can pass on to the next generation.
Fixing. I am fixing stuff that is not as I say it should be. I strive to fix myself, fix you, fix this, fix that. Fixing shows up as necessary to ensuring my survival – my place in this world.
Searching. I search for answers on as to how I should behave, how you should behave, how to fix stuff, how to get ahead in the world – from books, from magazines, from the internet, from you, from the gurus / experts, and sometimes myself.
Striving. I am constantly striving to get somewhere other than where I am. Striving bo be somebody rather than whom I am, a nobody or not good enough. Striving to attain money-status-position-power. Striving to look younger/older, more beautiful/less beautiful.
Someday. I tell myself that someday I will be the person who I want to be; someday I will be living where I want to live; someday I will be living how I want to live; someday I will be living with the kinds of people I want to live with; someday I will have the money that I need to have; someday I will have the right job for me……..
The Matrix. I am fully enmeshed in the matrix that is my mind – concepts, ideas, fantasies, dreams, ideologies, points of view, fears, concerns, desires, attachments – and in the process I am not present to the experience of living. I drink tea and am not present to the experience. I drive and cannot even remember driving. I eat and do not taste my food…
Faulty / Not Good Enough. I occur to myself as ‘faulty’, ‘insufficient’, ‘incomplete’, ‘not good enough’ and so I do my very best to ‘look good, avoid looking bad’. So I strive to achieve to get access to the symbols that show people that I sufficient, complete, good enough, important, signficant…..Yet no matter where I get to the context that gives me being (and the doing that arises from that) is one of being ‘faulty / not good enough / incomplete’. I might fool others, I don’t fool myself – not for long anyway.
Present to what is missing/wrong. I look at life through the lens of the ‘glass half empty’. Something is missing that I really need to be OK with what is so, to live fully. Something is wrong – it does not match my point of view on what should be so. So I either complain or start fixing. I am not present to the ‘glass being half-full or completely full’.
Struggle. Life, our living occurs as a struggle – at work, at home, with family, without family, with friends, without friends…. – a never ending struggle to have things be the way that I want them to be. And as soon as I get what I want, I want something different or I want what I have to be different.
What is the access to extra-ordinary living? I have been reading (again) a book that I read many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed. This time I read it very differently and this passage showed up which I want to share with you as it provides an access to ‘extra-ordinary’ living:
“Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die – so now, wake up
and be content with this knowledge: There is no need to search; achievement leads nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now!
Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see.
And the only laws are paradox, humour, and change.
There is no problem, never was, and never will be.
Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world.
No need to resist life; just do your best.
Open your eyes and see that you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God.
Wake up, regain your humour.
Don’t worry, you are already free!”