2017 in a nutshell

All my troubles begin with a single thought: That I can control Life.

It all boils down to that. That's when I start tumbling down that great black hole of MEH which spits me back out in the light a couple of weeks later, dazed and blinking at the sun.

Whether that's a back injury that incapacitates me or a misfortune I didn't prevent, or a mass extinction of animals that I cannot halt or a loved one whose pain I cannot take away or a job I didn't get, there exists somewhere this thought that I could have done better, that I have failed.

This thought leads to fear, separation, shame, guilt. These in turn may lead to anger or anxiety or in my case, an inwards-directed anger of particular bitter flavor called depression.

Where does this thought come from?

It stems from belief in this I that is unworthy, flawed, bad, broken, useless.

Like all beliefs, I picked this one up along the way.

I am slowly, but surely, not buying into that belief anymore. Not only do I not believe with such conviction that I am deep down unworthy, flawed, bad, broken and useless, I have started questioning the very concrete existence of this thing called I.

Through psychotherapy, mediation, reading neuroscience texts, deep questioning of my beliefs and contact with Nature, I am starting to realize that this agent called "I" is a set of neurons in my brain put there to ensure my survival as a physical organism. It is sensitive to dangers (fear, aversion) and to rewards (pleasure, attraction) and provides information accordingly to my brain in the form of thoughts. It uses past experiences as input to provide a model of the world that helps my organism navigate through this material life. It is an amazing tool developed through billions of years of evolution.

Dear Mind,

I thank you for your service. I appreciate you keeping me alive and safe. I hope you have enjoyed your reign of 29 years. Today, you are giving up your seat of power.

Who is this I to think it can control Life, to think it can defeat the mighty forces of nature that have been around forever, infinite and perfect? Such grandiose thoughts are merely an illusion, taught finally to those who would not wake up by the finality of Death: complete and utter annihilation.

For the past 4 years (in actual fact, much longer) I have gone through an "identity crisis". First to discover in horror and relief that none of my thoughts were actually real. Then, to figure out what is.

The only thing I know for sure right now is that I am. I exist. Furthermore I don't have life..I am life. Every time a thought or emotion or image arises in my mind that begs me to feed into it, I try to stop and question it and put it to the test. Does this come from the Source of life that I know to be real, or does it come from mind? If it is illusion, it is deprived of attention, only to fizzle away like the mirage it is.

This is why I enjoy spending time surrounded by trees, plants, butterflies, animals, flowers. They are the most evident, most joyful display of Source there is. If only human beings could be as transparent to the light as a wild anemone, what wonders on Earth our eyes could behold.

What is the Source? A mystery. One cannot gaze directly at what one is.

Life is a process and it will unfold as it wills. Allow your destiny to unfold unobstructed. Practice getting out of your own way.

What else is Life but a chance to get better at living it more fully, at becoming more in love with the present, more enamored with the arising and the unfolding, more in tune with the ebb and the flow, with the deep mystery of every experience of being ALIVE.

Life was never meant to be caged in the security of certainty, even the dwellers of the quantum world would whisper this to you if you would listen.


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