By Joseph Rain, Author of The Unfinished Book About Who We Are.
Death happens to all of us. Nothing is required. One simply sits back and waits. Maybe see a film or two in the meantime and feed our body and mind with anything that comes to hand. Easy.
But living, I mean truly living, well that takes courage. There are challenges to conquer, obstacles to overcome, places to visit and people to communicate with. And there is joy and pain, laughter and sadness, celebration and mourning. And we’re constantly being tested, questioned, confirmed and overruled, and this demands courage. Such a pain.
But above all, to truly live, requires that we face our greatest enemy, the SELF, our Ego. I mean, who am I? Who are you? Does anybody truly know? How can I be who I am, when I don’t actually understand the subject I’m discussing? Why do I feel what I feel and why do I do what I do? OK, so I have a brain, but who’s in charge? The Self? But who or what is this so-called Self?
The closest I come to a reasonable answer is that the Self is essentially a “flow of awareness.” But who’s directing the flow? Who is there to guide me, be me, and take responsibility when things go wrong? This is a never-ending circle of me chasing the Self.
Now you see why living is so scary and why it demands so much courage. They say the final frontier is out there, in the stars, but really, it’s right here and it requires that we go within and face the Self. This means facing truth, reality, the many temptations, the ugly sides, denying the wrong and pursuing the so-called “right.” I mean, it’s so much easier to just ignore the Self and simply concentrate on others, on everything out there. That’s fun and you always get to blame someone else.
So why bother taking the hard way? Why looking within? Why do the heroic stuff?
Here’s how I see it. It took nature billions of years to put together this spectacular show we call life and all the amazing stuff surrounding us. I mean, a circle is pretty cool and so is the DNA, and all the planets and galaxies and stuff out there. But there is more: there is a purpose to these things. Namely, a circle and planets are round for the same reason our DNK and galaxies are spiral; these are very EFFICIENT shapes. Yet, why would nature bother with efficiency?
To make things more complicated, nature didn’t stop at efficiency. It went on and produced intelligent, self-aware beings. We’re not just aware, we’re aware of being aware and this necessarily raises the question of RESPONSIBILITY (response-ability), our ability to intentionally respond to situations. This puts us in charge of reality and gives us the power not only to co-create what happens in the world, but also to investigate our meaning and purpose. How cool is that? Or, should I say, how scary is that?
But, why? Why bother with all this?
Because as intelligent, self-aware beings we are designed for GROWTH. It’s as simple as that. Why growth? Because growth is just very efficient. We either grow or decline, these are the only 2 options on the table. And consciousness inherently seeks growth, expansion! Growth requires that we seek out and implement the most responsible and efficient solutions. In simple terms, we want to IMPROVE and this requires right action. Right action in turn leads to growth, while bad action leads to decline.
From this it naturally follows, that good people are also strong people, courageous people. Because bad stuff is easy, it often needs no doing, while good stuff takes planning, responsibility, and action for the greater good of the world. In short, it takes guts! Most of all, there is so much beauty and pleasure when we make things right! Ultimately, all we want is to FEEL GOOD.
Just think about it. Living should never be about doing wrong because life itself most probably came to be when Nature took “right action.” Otherwise, I reason, there simply would be no life. There simply would be no-thing.
So, try it out. Follow the truth of the Self. Let go of your expectations and attachments and simply be “Who You Truly Are.” The real You. Stop dying and start living. Take the wiggly path, for it’s such a spectacular journey. Go on, have some fun!