Friedrich Nietzsche said the goal of maturity is to live as one who is directed from within, "like a wheel rolling out of its own center" (Joseph Campbell). I prefer the metaphor of a gyroscope turning out of its own center, maintaining its own balance and harmony amid the chaos and upheaval of its circumstances. Remaining true to itself through all of the trials and ordeals of the journey. At the end of the DVD Sukhavati, which is The Pure Land in Mahayana Buddhism, and which Campbell says is right here, right now, and that becomes so when we see that it IS so! Just by changing the way we see things, changing the way we think about things, changing the way we feel about things, we change our perspective about things and that changes everything! At the end of the DVD, Campbell says, "All you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your freefall in to a voluntary act. Joyfully participating in the sorrows of the world changes everything!" In order to do this, he says, "You find the immovable center, and you can survive anything." It is the place of perfect freedom, letting things come and go as they will, without expectation, without agenda, without opinion, but with compassion for all things and for the experience of life just as it is.
The days don't live themselves. They need us for that. Each day calls us to step into it offering our best to the day and its possibilities. We make the day better or worse than the day before by the quality of our response to the circumstances as they unfold before us. Something happens and we do something in response. Our response matters. Our response to the first thing that happens shapes/forms everything that happens from that point. We live to redeem in the next moment what we did or failed to do in the last moment. The day's momentum can get quite out of hand in just a few situations, so it helps to stay on top of things with responses that are tuned into the moment from the start. "What is happening here? What it is ain't exactly clear..." And we have to bring ourselves fully into play, listening, looking, hearing, seeing here/now in each here/now that comes along in order to know--not think about, but KNOW--what's what and what is called for in response in every one. We do that by meeting the situation just as it is, without expectation, agenda, opinion, seeing and doing what needs to be done automatically, spontaneously, as the need arises in the moment of its arising, moment by moment. It's like bronco riding. We settle into the saddle and they open the gate. From then on, no thinking, only knowing/doing in response to the aliveness of the moment we are riding-- for a lot longer than the eight seconds at the rodeo. Ride 'um Cowboy! Moment by moment. Every day.
One thought on “May 23, 2022”
I particularly loved the lines: “The days don’t live themselves. / They need us for that.” Many thanks!
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