Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How do you feel?

If you are feeling helpless, angry, powerful, righteous, superior, inferior, empty, bitter, or fearful about the future, look to your daily life. Everything you need to know is there, in the form of the same tired thoughts and the huge amount of energy they consume, in your useless and unnecessary acquisitions, in your table barren of simple wholesome nourishment and absent of guests, in your drab or gaudy walls, in the averted glance of your neighbor, in the competitive nature of your conversation and business dealings, and finally in your looking to others as the cause of your unhappiness and lack of joy in your life. Each is a source of conflict, nervousness, exhaustion, and discontent, and, if not understood, illness in its deceptive, myriad forms.

It is not a question of rich or poor. If you are breathing, and can read this (on the internet, no less!), then you are your own revolution. Revolution is not millions of people rising up and exchanging one leader for another, one system for another, only to start the same disappointing, bloody process over again. Revolution is what you do, now, this moment, whether you are alone in your room or waiting in line at the grocery store.

The choice is obvious and clear. You are not only what you eat, but what you think, speak, and do. A simple, sane, calm, helpful act has infinite range in this world. By setting it in motion, you become the proverbial pebble in this miraculous pond, this magical life that we are only beginning to understand. The same can be said of your negative actions, those intended to hurt others, those meant to show how right and intelligent you think you are, even when you are missing the point entirely and society and family is collapsing around you. They too have an infinite range, and, as sure you as live, will come back to haunt you. The truth is, you are living with them now.

The solution? There is none. And that is the beauty of being alive. There is no road to take, no direction, no answer. Time does not exist. It can not help you or hinder you. There is no great rule to live by. There is only opportunity. You can make the leap. You can make something beautiful. You can be irresistible, and irresistibly in love with this life. You can extend an open hand. You can smile, you can forgive, you can let go, you can breathe deeply, you can understand the tragedy that others are living without sinking into despair, you can be the dear child, the wise parent, the tender grandparent, the faithful friend, the steady companion, and the unselfish helpmate all in one. But not by waiting. Not by pressing buttons and shouting and denouncing those whom you have consciously or unconsciously placed in charge. They cannot hear you. They are you. You must hear yourself. If you cannot take the simplest step in alleviating the pain of someone who is near, or share in their joy, then you must see the absurdity in condemning and blaming others. There are no others. That very concept is a mirage. The closer you come, the farther away it is, and in the end, you die with a mouthful of sand.

And that is the end of this letter. Or is it the beginning, dear friend?

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