Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Bumping Game


There are no formulas; no prescription nor set of rules, which stand alone as sufficient to insure fulfillment or realize our potential. The hope of all human kind is the same: to find our way, to make sense of our existence and discover the means whereby we can make a difference and reach the end of our days and say with honesty “I did my best.” To simply eat food, grow fat and move toward the end without examining our own life, as it is lived, rather than the way we think it might be is an utter waste. In such a case we have ignored the ever-present voice that calls to us, “Who are you and why are you here?”

None of us can live a life of abstraction or fantasy even though what we ordinarily imagine our reality to be is nothing more than that: an illusion we mistake for substance and yet it is also the only reality we’ll ever have. Most all of us mistake this life of conditions as the sum total — all that exists. Others more fortunate understand life as the conditions and the unconditions. And a rare few go further and see these as united, beyond our rational capacities. Such people enjoy a peace, which passes all understanding because they experience no separation between one dimension and another. Their lives are the lives of others as well as their own. They experience the ever-changing joy and agony of their fellow humans. They know in their bones the true meaning of compassion and wisdom not as matters of an isolated individual who has constructed a philosophy or theory, which they propose as a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Instead their knowing gets patched together one moment at a time. They flow like water rather than fixed like a stone.

We come into this world with no answers, not even aware of the questions. Then we begin. We move. We bump into life and it bumps into us. We fall down. We get up. We’re hungry and we seek food. Thirsty we seek water. We are besieged by moving objects as if we were balls on a pool table. We remember and think to ourselves, “How can I avoid that” or “How can I repeat that”. We project and we plan and the bumping continues. “That didn’t work. Try a different approach.” Then we try the different approach and it too fails, or it succeeds for a time only to fail again. The cycle repeats and we learn, adjust and adapt or we become crusty, stodgy and stuck.

The rulebook didn’t come along with our birth and even if it did there could never be a book that worked very long in this bumping, changing world. Clearly there are no answers so long as we stay transfixed and wedded to the movement. The clue should be evident: The problem is seeing. The solution is seeing. But it isn’t the ordinary seeing that matters. The ordinary way is the problem. The ordinary way leads us into further problems of bumping and getting bumped. It is what we don’t see that matters, not what we do. What we don’t see has no movement. What we do see moves and we respond and try to either get out of the way or gravitate toward a moving target.

Why do we care? What compels us toward one moving target and away from another? Why not stand still and let others do their own the bumping and getting bumped? It’s worth looking into and what we discover upon examination is that we either crave what attracts us and try to retain it, or we resist what we find repugnant. But why? What part of us needs, desires and tries to avoid? Are we experiencing anxiety, fear and incompletion? Is that what this is all about? Yes. It is. It’s that seeing of what’s here and the presumption of insecurity and incompletion that is driving the bumping and getting bumped.

So seeing is the problem. Seeing is the solution: Seeing both the seen and seeing the unseen and understanding which part of us is experiencing the perception of problems where none exist. And once we understand that great matter then it is time for the rest: Seeing the one doing the seeing — The unseen seer; the one always doing the seeing, the one who doesn’t move which allows movement and engages in the bumping game. Why? To tire of getting bumped and bumping so that we can discover the bumper.
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