Conception. Experiences. Death.
Life. One experience after another. Transient, temporary, split second, fleeting experiences.
Depending entirely on how we understand the nature of those experiences and us as the experiencer, life can be hell on earth or the miracle beyond all miracles.
And, if we’re honest, it can be really shit.
Awful experiences coming at us out of nowhere – arguments, boredom, betrayal, redundancy, poverty, bullying, anxiety, depression, illness, divorce, loss. All that stuff that we wish would just sod off and leave us alone. Everything we most fear but which seems to follow us around.
And to get away from it we cling desperately to the stuff that gives us some respite, living in terror of losing the only ray of light we have. Or relentlessly seeking out something better.
And that seems to be what life is. Fearing or fighting the bad experiences. Clinging on to or yearning after the good ones. Trying to come up with the key to escape it all. Life spent looking for a better life. And let’s face it, in all that exhaustion, resistance and unrest, death starts to look more and more welcome.
From conception to death. Fighting, fearing, clinging, seeking. A shit life.
Are some of us just born unlucky, destined to never have the great life that others seem to have? Or can it be different?
Let’s have a look in a bit more detail at this whole conception, experiences, death thing.
There is conception. (If you want to know more about that, ask your parents. Not my job.)
And then there is a body. A body that is charged, electric, energetic, alive, in constant renewal, growth and change.
This body, all the while changing, remains a miracle of sensing. Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, all riding in to compensate for each other when necessary. A body designed, down to the tiniest most mind-blowing detail, for sensory experience. And – would you believe the luck – this sensory miracle is born into a miracle world of things to see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
So what have we got so far?
A vibrant, dynamic, sensory being in an energetic, uncontainable sensory paradise. An infinite world to experience. A body designed for the experiencing. And a lifetime in which one experience after another can take place. Aliveness experiencing aliveness.
The aliveness of the baby moves it towards its mother’s breast and continues moving towards what will sustain, nourish and nurture. Life moves itself towards what will allow it to continue. Life moving towards life. Movement to and from what is indivisible. This is the nature of life. Daisies emerging from the cracks in concrete. Trees, roots exposed on the cliff face, flourishing. A lost dog finding its way home over hundreds of miles. Life knows how to be alive.
So far so brilliant.
But then this fluid intelligence, this rolling wealth of riches, this seamless merging of life into life seems to pause.
Pauses because an idea of self has emerged.
And this self in order to exist must separate self and other. It must divide up life.
There is this self, here, me, I. And there are those others which are better or worse than this self.
There is this moment here and there are other moments that are better or worse.
There is this experience and there are other experiences which are to be feared or sought.
There is that way of life which is good and this way of life which is not.
And the self tries to navigate its way to a secure life. Resisting and seeking. Trying to establish, protect, defend itself. Trying to create a life.
It tries to take on, with struggle and confusion, the job that life is already doing so effortlessly.
To exist, the self must reject this moment. It must reject this experience. But this moment, this experience is who we are. It is all there is. And all it is is life experiencing itself. Us, as life itself, experiencing ourselves.
This idea of a self cannot allow for the fact that no experience is separate from it. It cannot comprehend that it is made of exactly the same transient thought stuff as the experiences themselves. It cannot fathom that life only exists right now. It cannot admit that there is no other.
As long as the self continues with this faulty premise, then it looks like there is a separate identity called ‘I’ in a world full of things to resist and to seek out.
And this is what makes for a shit life.
Because the misunderstanding masks the glorious, pulsing, vibrant aliveness of the right now. It covers up the miraculous perfection of this exact experience. It hides the uncontainable, unstoppable life force that we really are and makes us out to be some fearful, limited, vulnerable being.
And this will continue right through until death unless the self gets to see something more truthful.
Because the truth is, there is no job for the self to do. Life does not need managing or re-directing. Life has life nailed. Experiences cannot be resisted and sought after. They just are as they are. There is no other for the self to defend itself against, there is only, always the real self, life itself.
And when the thought-created self sees this it can relax. It can see that there is nothing for it to do. It can drop its illusion of control. It can just let life live itself (which of course life was doing anyway). This is the end of the seeking and resistance.
And now there is only openness. There is just life finding its way through the perfect vehicle of this body. Beating its heart. Breathing air into its lungs. Moving its limbs. There is the pure joy and vibrant peace of life creating and experiencing itself. This is who we are.
Unstoppable, irrefutable, uncontainable life. All of it.
Enormously. Abundantly. Magnificently.