Tuesday, May 25, 2010
History and Mystery~That's All There is Folks!
I was talking to a friend of mine online, you know, one of those late night, profoundly deep, face book chats one has when they've had too many mojitos and not enough sleep? No? Oh, must be just me then. Any who...during the course of the conversation I wrote down something I said, knowing I would never remember it otherwise.
I told him there are two parts to life, history and mystery. That is it.
So now, what does this mean?
Well the first part is obvious. We all have a history. We all have the past that shapes us into the person we present as, the identity that most of us consider ourselves. We have memories of family and friends, childhood games and tragedies, harms we have done, and those done to us. We are shaped by the memes and opinions of the people of the culture we are raised in, the community that accepts or rejects us and our own reactions to all of these things in our past. The adage goes that those who do not know history are bound to repeat it. The truth of that is we set so much of our life in motion according to the recorded diary of information in our brain that we use our history as our reason for doing or not doing that which makes us the healthiest, happiest individual we can be. We were harmed so we harm, we were unaccepted so we are not accepting, we were damaged so we damage. The converse is true as well. Our history is important we are taught. We pour over family trees, brag about great warriers in our ancesty, complain about our lack as a child and express regret over that which we missed out on or chose not to do.
Our history, however is only as valuable as the lessons we learn from it. If we do not question our history, if we are bogged down by our fears, if we do not question every single thought that was implanted by others throughout the course of our lifetime, then we will never reach the pinnacle of actualization and meaning that we all hunger for.
And that questioning leads us to the mystery. For in that questioning we start to understand that what we thought was our truth is indeed, a great unknown. What we were afraid of, is in fact, not all that real and that what we were attached to is no longer relevant in our lives. This is a scary thought to many people but it is in fact, the great truth.
It is all a mystery, all of life, and while we can make some guesses as to which way things will go based on past experience, we truly cannot know from moment to moment what will happen. To worry about it is a waste of the present and to be afraid of the mystery is even a greater waste of the moment.
I spend my days in wide-eyed wonder, embracing the miracle of each moment as they unfold like a braided ribbon you open one silken turn after another.
There is a quote that I love that goes sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.
I have noticed that the great thinkers, Emerson, Thoreau, even Einstein, all of them known for their exceptional brilliance, lived their lives in a state of constant curiosity and wonder, seeking, never satisfied with what they knew but almost childlike in their search for what they had yet to learn. Their intelligence was not how they identified but rather their questing for knowledge was their driving force. We remember them as being smart, they considered themselves unknowing.
A while ago I was listening to Leonardo DiCapprio being interviewed and he said when he was younger his thirst for knowledge was so great he would get depressed just knowing that he would not be here long enough to learn everything. It was a relief to me that someone, anyone else, in this world felt that way because it was how I had felt my entire life. I hope Leonardo got over that, I know I did in time.
I realised there is the greatest mystery, the one that probably causes more fear than any other, and that is the mystery of what comes after this life. Once I became steadfast in my belief in the infinity of the spirit I relaxed in my desire to know it all now. Because there will be time after to learn the rest.
And also, if we are to approach all of our moments with an insatiable zest, and live life in wonder and to its fullest, should we also not approach the great mystery in the same manner? Shouldn't we rejoice that we will get to travel into that moment, the one that takes us from this to the next. Will it just not be another movement from one moment to the next, just as we went from the last moment to this one? Is there really any difference, though the body is gone? I don't believe so.
What do we do with this information once we have it and understand it? We make sure that each moment's mystery evolves and leaves behind the greatest and most profound history that we can make.
Mystery makes history but does not depend upon it. And that folks, I believe, is all there is.