Live to be free of wants and wanting. What does wanting know? Does wanting know where we are better off? Where we are best off? Does wanting know what is in our best interest? Does wanting care about our best interest? Could wanting make a winning case for itself when it comes to serving our best interest? To being the champion of our lasting good? How many bad choices has wanting forced on us over the years? How many divorces? Wrong turns? Lost hopes? Dead ends? We think we would be lost without knowing what to want. Put it to the test. Go for a week without seeking any advantage. Without exploiting any situation. Without trying to get anything or have your way anywhere. Live without wanting for a week. Instead, consult the silence for what needs to be done in every moment. Listen in each situation for what is called for— with no preference regarding any outcome. Rather than think about what you want, ask the silence what it is time for— and be on guard against influencing the response with a finger on the scale. Want to not-want— as though it is the most desirable thing in your life. It is far more valuable than that! The greatest advantage stems from seeking no advantage at all. Run the experiment for a week. See how it goes.
I said this on 22/12/2007: Beauty grounds us in the reality of present experience. The magic of "aesthetic arrest" wakes us up to the wonder of this here, this now, and redirects us to the way of the simply profound. Beauty is the ultimate balancing agent. Our excesses and deficiencies, fears and dreads, losses and sorrows, resentments and misplaced affections are all transcended and naturally put aside for a while in the aura of a splendid thing. We are centered without thinking about centering, at one without seeking integrity, peaceful, relaxed, without intending or striving to be either. We are restored and renewed by the unaccountable grace of beauty. Still so after thirteen years. And will still be so after thirteen hundred years. Seek out beauty in art, music and nature in a deliberate and regular way. Think of it as aerobics for the soul.
What do you do with all your heart? How many things do you do with all your heart? How often? How long has it been? Start there in improving your quality of life. Your satisfaction with life. Your joy of life. Your enthusiasm for life. Begin with the things you love. Begin with doing the things you love. With all your heart. Let your life fall into place around that. Too often, we settle for working it in as we are able when our life allows-- and like that that becomes never doing it at all.
I believe in about a cabillion things, like the value of what I'm doing for instance— in the absence of any validation or verification whatsoever. It is all intrinsic with me. "I" am intrinsic. My world is entirely subjective. All objective reality has to be interpreted subjectively. We say what it is, and what it means, and what it means to us. What is important to me is important because I say it is— who can know what is important to me better than I do? And if I don't live to serve what is important to me, then upon what basis do I go about my life? I make it all up! So do you! And, there is a catch! The catch is we have to be right about it. We have to be right about What is important to us. What is important to us has to be really important to us. We can't be wrong about that. Our motivation for life has to be flowing directly from what matters most to us. We can't be kidding ourselves, fooling ourselves, not knowing what is important to us and living like a nuclear powered pin ball ricocheting off rubber bumpers throughout the time we have for living, with no direction or purpose beyond bouncing from one thing to the next forever. We have to be absolutely anchored to, and living out of, what is the center, ground, foundation, core and source of our own life and being. We can't be living disconnected from ourselves! What kind of life would that be? It would be a lie. We would be conning ourselves. We would be straw persons. Empty human beings. Going through the motions of life without ever once being alive. The dead Jesus left to bury the dead. We have to be right about what is valuable, and live our life around that, at all costs, no matter what. And this gets us straight to the heart of what I believe in most of all: Silence. Sitting still, being quiet. Listening, looking. Letting it all pass in review. Constantly. Relentlessly. Dependably. Even while we are doing something else. Always examining, evaluating, searching for contradictions, polarities, dichotomies, incompatibilities, contraries, opposites, to acknowledge, accept, balance, integrate, harmonize, atone for, redeem, welcome, incorporate, dance with, live out. Silence is the ground of life and being, transforming everything, birthing everything, all the time. We can't be anything until we can be quiet in the right way, all the time.
Living can take the life out of us— if we let it. It starts with who we are and what we are living for. With what our motivation is, and what our expectations are, and what is in it for us, and why we get out of bed each day. The words extrinsic and intrinsic come to mind. They are the difference between what we get and who we are. If what we get for being who we are is what motivates us to be who we are we are in trouble from the start. What we get for being who we are can be not very much at all. The question is: Upon what does being who we are depend? What keeps us going? What does it take to stop us? Basketball players play basketball. Is their heart in playing or in winning? If they are not winning do they lose the edge in their playing? Does their playing drop off? Do they quit? What kind of basketball player stops playing because they aren't winning? Or because if they aren't playing for a chance at the national championship, they aren't going to play at all? Because it just isn't worth it? Where does "worth it" come from? A basketball player who plays only when it is "worth it" isn't much of basketball player. What will you do your best for, day in and day out because you are you and you love what you do and you live to do it because that is who you are, and nobody can pay you to do it or reward you for doing it because you simply have to do it? Because you MUST do it? What is so much LIFE for you that nothing can take it from you? Find it. Do it. And when you get old and decrepit and can't do it any more, dream of doing it. of having done it. Imagine doing it. Don't ever stop doing it in your mind until senility takes your mind away or you stop breathing. That's being a basketball player. Or a whatever-you-are player. Live your life to play whatever your life has to play because it is who you are. If it is the alto saxophone, play the alto saxophone like you mean it whether you are playing for some big prize or not— whether you have an audience or not. Find what you love and do it because it is you and you must do it because that's what you are here for, and being who you are is doing what is yours to do until you die.