Life goes on, weather you are a hero or a cowered…I read this somewhere. It stuck. It means that life is not personal. It means that regardless of what I want, like, deny, become, live through, etc, I am really just there for the ride. Sometimes the ride may make you nauseous – too many twist and turns on the road. Sometimes it makes you exhilarated, looking at the scenery ahead and around. Sometimes it’s dark and sometimes it’s so bright you have to put your shades on. Either way, the road you are traveling on, doesn’t much care you are on it. You care, though. You think you chose you destination, you find your road and you are going places. You think….
You think, therefore you constantly qualify, analyze and file your experiences in the usual categories – like, dislike, want, do not want, good, bad, beneficial or a waste of time…
You think, therefore you can’t see that life has nothing to do with you.
You think that you are you. You think that there’s a “you” out there that makes it all happen. This you visualizes getting what it wants, suffers when it doesn’t get it. Gets in trouble. Gets out of trouble. Goes on a diet. Goes off the wagon. Goes on another trip.
Constantly trapped by what the yogi’s call “The 5 afflictions of the Mind” this “you” suffers.
1 Affliction: Ignorance. Yes, ignorance as in not knowing the facts, the way of things, what to do, etc. More importantly, ignorance of who you really are. Therefore, Know Thy Self. That’s different than knowing what you want, what you need, what you like and dislike, what you think you deserve. That’s helpful for sure, but that’s just scratching the surface of the illusion.
Know the nature of beingness that is life flowing through this manifestation you call “yourself.” That’s enlightenment. Everything else is circumstantial. Play chips on the board of life you think of as real money.
2 Affliction: The I-maker. That’s the “you” you think of when you think of “yourself” conventionally. That’s the personality which evolves because it’s necessary to navigate through the world of phenomena, because you don’t Know Thy Self and because you need it while you are embodied. That’s also the collection of personality traits that are responsible for all of your karma, suffering and generally the experience of living a life as an individual. That I-maker tends to take over and make itself the all important experience of who you think you are because it does thenthinking. It thinks in terms of itself as separate and it likes to make itself feel better by thinking of interconnectedness and compassion and wonderful aspirations like enlightenment, wholeness and wellness. It plays games like “growing” and “learning,” “healing” and “achieving” and in the process it inflates itself, if it conceders itself successful, especially when it compares itself to others. That is, if left unchecked. How do you check it? Know Thy Self and you will know what the I-maker is too.
3 Afflictions: Attraction. That’s all the things the I-maker likes, considers important and generally gravitates towards. Which is all kinds of fun, when you consider all the things people like and want. The more you have of what you want, the more solid that I-maker feels. It erects a castle around itself surrounded by the walls of all of its accomplishments, possessions, labels and titles, all of its future aspirations, all of its wonderful past experiences and stories about itself. The more of what you want you get, the bigger that sense of ME and I. “This is who I am” you say. “This is what I do.” “This is what I want.” The idea being that the more you get of what you want, the happier you will be because the fuller “I” feels! These are what the “I” becomes attached to. Unless, of course, you Know Thy Self.
4 Affliction: Aversion. That’s all the things the I-maker dislikes, considers unimportant and generally gravitates away from. Which is all kinds of fun, when you consider all the things people dislike and do not want. The more you stay away from what you don’t want the more solid the I-maker feels. It builds a castle around itself on top of all of its mistakes, mishaps, judgment of others, all of its denials. Buries it all in the basement and stands on top bigger than all of it. Bigger than its problems. Bigger than its issues. Bigger than its ignorance. It’s “Who I am not.” It’s “What I don’t do.” It’s “What I don’t want.” The idea being is that the less you have of what you don’t want the happier you will be because the fuller the “I” feels. These are what the “I” becomes disconnected from. Unless, of course, you Know Thy Self.
5 Affliction: The Fear of Death. That’s anything that hints of annihilation of “I” as you know it. The death of a dream, the unachievable goal, the failed relationships, the terminal disease, the rejection from someone else, the disappointments, loss of status, job and friends, the not having enough of (money, house, friends…), the ultimate Death. This is what the “I” feels anxious about, all of the time. Unless, of course, you Know Thy Self.
You can call yourself whatever you like – a looser, a life coach, a day dreamer, an accomplished anything, an artist…those are just labels. They are useful in describing something to someone else or to yourself, such as “This person is tall.” Or “I have HIV.” Or “I am the mother of 2 children.” Or “I am an artist, come check out my gallery,” You are not the labels though. If you can’t live without the label, you limit your ability to experience the mystery of life and you make your life be about your labels.
You can deny anything you don’t like – an addiction, a disease, a friendship, a move to another town, a talent, a psychological trait. It eats you up from the inside, festers there in the basement of your castle. It makes your life about labels. You are not those labels either. If you can’t live with those labels you limit your ability to experience the mystery of life and you make your life about your labels.
Life is not about labels. Life is not about you. Life is just life. So, life is not supposed to be fair. Life is not supposed to be easy or fun, or anything at all. Life IS and it is every moment, weather you are sick, or blind, or preoccupied, or alert, or happy or sad. Life does not know of emotion. Humans do and they tend to attribute their own emotions to it. Life lives. Life happens. Your interpretation of it is yours and yours alone, and therefore, your experience is yours and yours alone. When you Know Thy Self, than you ARE. You live. You happen. All of it is absolutely fascinating, however it turns out. You play the game with skill and you use your chips in creative ways, discovering possibilities and manifesting life through your fingertips like it’s nothing. Because it is nothing and in being nothing it’s absolutely everything. It’s the end of “growing,” “achieving” “learning”. It’s the death of “you” and therefore its life in full force in infinity and eternity….and the bills still get paid, the house painted, the kid’s nose wiped off and the divorce wrapped up. You donated to charities, eat ice cream, pet cows, climb mountains, learn French, yell at someone here and there and vote for your favorite politician…chop wood, carry water. Absolutely delightful. Then the lights go out. Or so it seems. Life still lives. So do you. Again. Or so it seems.
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