Living Without Trying To
Life is a spontaneous event, not a planned activity
You are born, you learn, you wake again from sleep every morning; all of this happens by itself, without any effort from you.
Perhaps you believe in free will, and in the ability of each individual to steer their life and change the world. I have no desire to challenge this view; in fact I’m offering an expanded picture of your freedom to do so.
Here is the paradox: you wish for your essence as an individual to be manifested in your actions. For this to happen, “You” must disappear.
You must stop searching for vindication. You must give up all effort to enforce your ideas of Right and Wrong.
(It is a figurative “must” — I don’t recommend working to try and live up to these words).
These beliefs and opinions and stories are not You. They are a reactive response within your mind to sensations you can’t describe. For example, you may have criticisms of someone’s character and feel they are legitimate, but which only occur to you because of an uneasy feeling you get from them. If they warmed to you, you would feel those criticisms lose relevance almost by magic.
That which is reactive is not true: its existence is a contingency, a side effect. The fact that you can’t stop thinking when you want to, should be a strong indicator that your thoughts are not reflecting reality.
Identification With Self
Those who come to the practice of mindfulness and breaking the identification with involuntary thought will have worries. They’ll say “I like X, Y and Z about myself and I wouldn’t want to give that up.” They worry that they’ll lose their sense of responsibility and ambition, or that their reputation will suffer when they’re not there to protect it.
You will not become listless and irresponsible once you break your identification with involuntary thought. In fact, since you will start to fully experience awareness, you will have more energy and good will.
You don’t need to schedule love, desire and charity on your calendar. These impulses happen by itself. The idea of applying effort to realize them is just another pattern of energy within awareness.
It’s an uncomfortable one, even a painful one, but that’s OK.
Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog