We die because it becomes too much trouble to keep going. We Peter-out. We dwindle down to nothing. Our knees go. Our eyesight goes. Our teeth go. Our hearing goes... The list goes on and on. And we get to the place of saying the hell with it. I'm suggesting that longevity is not the point, and that quality of life is. The phrase "quality of life" needs to be explored. What does it mean to you? What number would you give the present level of the quality of your life-- with 1 being next to nothing, and 10 being beyond compare? My best would be a 6, here and now. I think I will blow the whistle at 3, maybe 2. This is my 77 April 5th. I think 87 will be stretching it. More like 83-84. In the meantime, I'm going to devote myself to the pursuit of what interests me, and see where it goes. You are, well, up to you. What do you see for yourself? What do you intend? How shall you proceed? This point of demarcation between me and you gets us to the heart of the matter, two of them, actually. The first is that we see things the way we do because it is the way someone we admire and/or want to please sees things. It is the way the people we run with see things. We aren't going to change the way we see things until/without changing the people we admire/want to please/run with. This in the key factor in determining how different things can be with us. Alcoholics, for instance, have to change the people they hang around with if they want to quit drinking, and they have to start hanging around with people who don't drink, or with no people at all. Etc. regarding all of the things you want to stop doing and/or start doing. Who you run with makes all the difference. The second is that the way things are is just the way things are. It is easier that way. Streams take "the course of least resistance" on their way to the sea. Don't we all? There is no reason for it. Saying "God's will" is saying "It's just the way things are." Ask, "Why is it God's will?" Or, "Why does God want things the way they are?" Gets eventually to, "That's just the way things are!" So, "cut to the chase" (Take the course of least resistance) and go straight there with no "beating around the bush": "That's just the way things are!" What are we going to do about it is the question. "This is the way things are, and this is what we can do about it, and that's that." What are we going to do about it? That's the question that only we can answer. We better be quick deciding. It will be too much trouble to fool with before long!
There is our life and there is how we live it and that's that. What do we mean by the life we are living? What do we intend? What are we doing? What is our life's work? Our "body of work" consists of what? What are we about? What are we up to? Who are we showing ourselves to be through the way we go about living our life? If we were to "do better," what would we do? Does it matter? Does it matter to us? Why does it matter? Why doesn't it matter? What are we doing here? What are we going to do with the time left for living? Drink more beer? See the sights? Party hearty? Look for some action? What??? We answer that question whether we mean to or not. Why not mean to? Why not give it our best effort? Why not live the life we would be proud to have lived? Too much trouble, you say? Great epitaph. "I woulda done better but it was too much trouble." You'll be proud to live with that for eternity. You should have a tee shirt made up, wear it around the beach. Drinking beer.
"Live the questions." "Dance with the questions." What questions? All of the questions! Find out for yourself what questions are your questions to explore/answer through the way you live your life! Our life is the answer to the questions we are living-- and to the questions we are failing to live. Refusing to live. What are those questions? The ones we have nothing to do with. What are they? I'm living to discover the place of silence, stillness, solitude, reflection, experience and questions in my life. What are the questions that are important to me? I'm living to discover them. I am my own experiment with silence and introspection. Can we find a reliable guide through our life just by attending what arises, emerges, appears, occurs to us in the silence? Is silence a source of direction that is trustworthy, valuable, reliable in leading us into a life we would be proud to live? What is the source of the silence's wisdom? Direction? Guidance? How does the silence know what it knows? What knows beyond the silence that uses the silence to commune with us/me? What is the source of my life-- of my vitality-- of me? Are we all connected to each other by being connected with the silence or with what is beyond the silence? In communing with the silence, are we communing with ourselves and with each other? Is there a collective "mind" directing, enthusing, vitalizing all of us? Are we all "plugged into" the same source? Are we capable of being choreographed, harmonized, united, formed into one universal/cosmic being? Are we violating some sacred principle when we break the silence and presume to speak for That Which Is Beyond The Silence? Would it be better-- in sync with That Which Is Beyond The Silence-- to simply be quiet and see what arises without saying how things are and ought to be, but just wait, and see? No authorities? Just servants? Of the silence? Just the silence? And us listening? Waiting? To see what emerges? And doing what needs to be done about it?
Hermits, recluses, solitaries, loners, and unsociable sorts have the benefit of silence going for them. Not that they can't create their own noise and distractions, but they have the opportunity to avail themselves of the grace of the moment that is upon them in every moment. Whether or not they take advantage of it is on them. I don't know that hermits, etc. are any more centered, focused and grounded on and living out of their own, original, nature than the rest of the population, and I think balance and harmony require "the other side of the coin" to be upright and intact and operating on all levels at peak performance with a good disposition and no impeding deficiencies. Where to draw the line between too much and not enough of anything is the perennial dilemma. We have to be aware of the importance of walking two paths at the same time between the Yin and Yang-- the contradictions and contraries-- of our life throughout our life. We balance the opposites, integrate the polarities, bear consciously the pain of our conflicts and make things work as best we can-- as best they can-- moment to moment in each situation as it arises, and let that be that. There is no solution to the adamantine truth of Yin/Yang. We negotiate and compromise and "walk with a limp" all along the way. Minding how we go, and seeking the guidance of silence as we are able every day.