Thursday, May 31, 2018

Shifting from Fear to Love

     During a massive shit storm, persevering may be a heroic achievement. "We have to learn that what cannot be cured must be endured." Michel de Montaigne

here's the problem, the most significant of life's challenges - constant change, aging, sickness & death - are ultimately incurable, unavoidable, uncontrollable.
     “… living with a terminal disease is like walking on a tightrope over an insanely scary abyss. But living without disease is also like walking on a tightrope over an insanely scary abyss, only with some fog or cloud cover obscuring the depths a bit more – sometimes the wind blowing it off a little, sometimes a nice dense cover.” Nina Riggs. “The Bright Hour. A Memoir of Living and Dying.” Simon & Schuster, 2017.

     Montaigne once more: “Did you think you would never reach the point toward which you were constantly heading?”  
     What if our fervent wish to cure the incurable, or even to endure (while 'raging against the dying of the light') is completely wrongheaded? WHAT IF fearful aversion to life IS our actual basic problem?

     WHAT IF instead, we gradually lean in close to carefully examine real life, warts & all? WHAT IF without any judgment, without any preferences, with a truly open heart-mind, we open ourselves to real life, complete with its constant change, aging, sickness & death? This means letting go of ALL our deeply-conditioned aversions & associated magical thinking: secular, new age & religious. 
     Can we cultivate such a mature, honest direct relationship with life?
     This demands we let go of fear, and instead, approach life with LOVE. Very radical, counterintuitive, YET ...

     Imagine now continuously practicing this. The fact is, you really can, AND there's no better alternative! So how does embodying this radically new perspective change your understanding of the following, otherwise frustratingly inscrutable, wisdom sayings?

          "The mind creates the abyss
          and the heart crosses it."                                   Nisargadatta

          "I was born
          when all I once feared
          I could love.”                                                         Rabia Basri 

          "Always do what you are afraid to do."            Ralph Waldo Emerson's Aunt Mary

          “Someone I loved gave me a box full of darkness.
          It took me years to understand that this, too,
          was a gift.”                                                              Mary Oliver


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