Recently I’ve been wondering about what in my life is fixed and unchanging. There are the walls of my house. There is the physical reality of gravity keeping my feet on the ground (literally, at least, if not metaphorically). There is the fact that I have a body and a husband and two children.
But beyond the material facts, anything beyond an objective description of protons and neutrons is based on meaning and interpretation and this is subject to my perspective at that moment. My perspective changes at any second with different information, new stimuli, according to whether I am hungry, tired, energised, well rested, whether I feel safe or at risk, loved or neglected and an infinite number of other factors.
Anything I think about the walls of my house is an interpretation. Whether these walls represent freedom or confinement, security or debt, completion or a to-do list, achievement or vulnerability depends entirely on my perspective. The same goes for what I think about my body, my family or my presence on the earth.
Similarly, how I perceive the people around me has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. Flaws and character strengths in another are personal, not to them though, to me. Aspects of another that make me feel insecure or jealous I see as flaws. Aspects that make me feel good or kind I see as strengths.
If I am in a bad mood, the people around me are annoying and inconsiderate. If I am in a wonderful mood, I am blessed to have such kind and interesting people in my life. The people around me change because I change. If they are great or awful it is because I am perceiving them to be great or awful.
The same is true of my past. Of the infinite number of events and moments I could remember from my past, the tiny fraction I select are those that fit my perspective at any one moment. And even these memories themselves are distorted, with some elements enhanced and others deleted altogether, again according to the filters of my beliefs, expectations and perspective.
As I think about all this I feel as though I am simultaneously lost in space and as though I have found the only piece of solid ground available to be found.
I am lost because everything around me is a swirling mist of my own creation, a creation that can dissolve and reassemble as something other according to who I am being at that moment. There are no other people. There are only people that I am creating according to how I expect or want them to be. There are no fixed meanings there are just interpretations that change as I change.
I am on rock solid ground because I am beginning to distinguish between the mist and the only things I know are true and unchanging: I have a mind beyond my thoughts and beliefs that is connected to the energy and intelligence of all life. I have the power of thought with which I create my experience of the world. I have awareness of those changing thoughts and of the unchanging universal mind.
I feel as though I am insane. That everything I thought was true and real is sliding away from me. I also feel that I have never been more sane. I am no longer basing my life on something that doesn’t exist.