I’ve been AWOL, haven’t I?
Truth is, I’ve been going through a personal transition that has emerged through soul tension. The last year has emerged a time of aimlessness, frustration, and disconnection and I’ve come through it renewed and with a completely new sense of perspective.
“We choose a different journey because our current reality does not reflect a desired reality. That desired reality exists in our heart somewhere. Perhaps its not fully conscious, merely a seed waiting to germinate. But every seed waits to activate and takes us on the heroes path of desires, goals, dreams, and visions. Every journey needs a push to get it going.”
Anything that holds meaning for us – anything that matters has the potential to cause us pain. The problem is that meaning – that things mattering, attachment, anything that we connect with on a deep level, has the potential to cause us pain. The Buddists do a big thing on attachment, and you can see why. It’s their equivalent of sin. Freedom from attachments takes you a good way down the road to total liberation. In fact, it may well be the road itself. And the hard shoulder. And all the Little Chefs along the way.
And maybe even the port-loos in the lay by’s
Here’s the rub though – trying to just dump your attachments, is not easy. Not yet, anyway. Enough to say for now that meaning in whatever form is attachment. And attachment carries some form of tension. When meaning goes, the attachment goes. And so does the tension. Perspective teaches us about meaning.
We are wandering through the woods of life, looking at the trees, and the trees are the things that matter to us (read – attachments). Some we like the look of and take care of, others fall down right in front of us. Some even fall on us. Because sometimes things go seriously wrong. Terrible things do happen to us, or around us. Someone close to us dies, we’re involved in an accident, we find out we have a serious illness, and so on. And when these things happen, the Perspective Machine goes flying up through the trees and into the sky. And all the things that mattered so much to us, we can hardly see from up here.
Someone who discovers they have an incurable illness suddenly can’t understand why they once once worried so much about insignificant things before – unread emails, managing to pay council tax, the fact that they’d put a stone on over the last few years. Hanging up there in the Perspective Machine, you can see so much more than you can on the ground, and now you can see all of the woods and the fields around you, you start to realise those trees are pretty insignificant.
With the news of 9/11 and 7/7 or the tsunami, most of us went shooting up in our Perspective Machines. Suddenly all those little things that we’d been so preoccupied with in life seemed so pathetically irrelevant. Of course, we could also go through a thought process or even a personal transition that takes our Perspective Machine up into the stratosphere, and it goes something like this:
I am one person among 6.5 billion people on this earth at the moment. Thats one person among 6,500,000,000 people. And we live on planet Earth – a planet that is spinning at 67,000 miles an hour through space round a sun that is the centre of our solar system (and our solar system is spinning around the centre of the Milky Way at 530,000 mph).
Just our solar system (which is a tiny speck within the entire universe) is bigger than your brain can possibly begin to imagine. If Earth was a peppercorn and Jupiter was a chestnut, you’d have to place them 100 metres apart to get a sense of the real distance between us. And this universe is only one of many. In fact, the chances are that there are many more populated Earths – just like ours in other universes.
And thats just space.
Have a look at time, too. If you’re lucky, you may spend 85 years on this Earth. Man has been around for 100,000 years, so you’re going to spend just 0.00085 per cent of mans history living on this Earth. And mans stay on Earth has been very short context of the life of the Earth (Which is 4.5 billion years): if the Earth had been around for the equivalent of a day (with the Big Bang kicking it all off at midnight), humans didnt turn up until 11.59.58pm. That means we’ve only been around for the last two seconds.
A lifetime gone in a flash. There are relatively few people on this earth that were here 100 years ago. Just as you’ll be gone (relatively soon). And to go even deeper, you need to watch this amazing video by Emma Blackery (
totes blew my mind)
So, what am I actually getting at here?
I’ve been away. To do some soul searching (about life, and other things). It’s taken some time, but I’m back. I’m realising that with the briefest look at the spatial and temporal context of our lives, we are utterly insignificant. That makes me feel so terribly small. But also, my Perspective Machine, over these last few months, has lifted up so far beyond the woods that I’ve forgotten what the word means, I just see a moving light (and its beautiful). A small, gently glowing light. Its a firefly lost somewhere in the cosmos. And a firefly – on Earth – lives for just one night. It glows beautifully, then goes.
Up there so high on our Perspective Machine we realise that our lives really are just like that of the firefly. Except the air is full of 6.5 billion (miracles) fireflies. They’re glowing beautifully for just one night, and then they’re gone.
With all this in mind….how are you going to spend you’re one and (only) precious night?