Renate McNay: “Do you think one has enough time in one lifetime to work through all of the delusions & traumas and become fully free & awake?”
Reggie Ray: “Maybe that’s not exactly the right question. I personally do not believe that the purpose of life is to reach an end point of any kind whatsoever in human life or any other kind of life.
If you look at the universe, the universe never reaches an end point. You can say ‘Well we have the Milky Way. That’s an end point. And we have the Andromeda galaxy. That’s an end point.’ But it’s not, because these two are merging. And then there’s going to be a new super galaxy.
In the same way, I see life as a process of unfolding. And each moment of life gives us an imperative of the next step. And so, when your grief (over her son’s death) came up, your imperative was to work with it, to go into it, and to explore it, and to see where it wanted to lead you. And where it lead you was to an amazing place. See also: http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.ca/2012/03/85-phoenix-process.html But then of course, there’s the next moment, and the next project. Life is a constant unfolding.
When Buddhists teach about ego and egolessness, what they’re really saying is that there is no fixed point in our lives, nor should there be. That life is a process of constant, constant unfolding. It’s life & death, life & death, and life & death.
Even psychologically we know that we go through cycles. A lot of times people think that the up-cycle is really that’s it, and that’s where they want to be. But if you meditate a lot you realize the down-cycle is so important because it leads to a new and more integrated up-cycle.
There’s been a lot of research into the teenage brain. We have a fifteen-year-old son. One of the fascinating things is he dysregulates - meaning he goes into a down-cycle, fragments, comes apart, falls apart, has emotional upheavals – then he re-regulates, and it happens three or four times a day. And research shows that that’s how they grow. That’s what growth is. It’s the light & the dark, pain & the pleasure, happiness & sorrow, going through night & day cycles.
And I think that that’s what life is. And I wouldn’t be that surprised, nobody really knows, but I wouldn’t be that surprised if it continues through death and beyond. I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”
Reggie Ray ‘Finding Realization In The Body’ Interview by Renate McNay