Saturday, August 28, 2010

We Are What

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

- The Dhammapada

* * *

I hate to use that opening passage from The Dhammapada again, but there is nothing else as apt that I can think of to get this started today.

Another marker of the fucked life is a life willing to fill in the blanks of any given situation with its worst fears and doubts. This tendency to provide a narrative where there is none, or where there is an incomplete one is part and parcel of what I do here, of what other writers do in every sort of work they do. But when this habit, this very human need to provide context to the gaps and voids in our lives takes on the flavor of our fears, our self doubt, our meanest proclivities, then we are fucked and it has all been done with smoke and mirrors.

Our minds conjure reality and we follow. The life you are living is the life you have imagined. Feed yourself thoughts of fear and defeat and betrayal and you are defeated, betrayed, and a'feared.

Think about the last time you placed a call to a friend, your lover, someone you want something from, or expect something from or hope to get something from. The call goes out and if the call isn't returned quickly, or isn't as important to them as it is to you, or whatever hinders your hopes and expectations from being fulfilled what story do you write to fill in the blanks? Does your mind run to ruin? Do you imagine the worst, that you've been mistaken about your previous desire because they didn't give you what you wanted when you wanted it?

As a child I imagined car crashes when my parents weren't home when they said they would be. As a teenager I imagined laughter behind my back when I screwed up enough courage to ask a girl on a date. As an adult I imagined my work was unappreciated and it became so.

All such thoughts are limiting. All such thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies. All such thoughts are born out of nothing, except the need to craft a story out of the bits and pieces of information at hand. The downfall is that information is filtered through our worst fears.

Now imagine the reverse.

Just as the negative thoughts dictate the effects of your life, so too its opposite. There comes a point where you must let go of filling in the gaps of any given narrative with what is smallest in you. Let it go. Admit you don't know everything and when you feel the urge to color in the missing parts with your darkest aspects let an alarm go off. Stop yourself. There is nothing but sorrow and a further fucking ahead. Imagine who you would be without this habit. On the whole, it's a better deal than stretching your metaphoric dick so that it's long enough to fuck yourself.

* * *

It is a paucity of faith to imagine only the worst - a rejection of all that is possible in your life. We settle for what is small because we are small, afraid to be the giants we could be if only we had the balls to embrace our lives instead of always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Shoes drop. It is how it goes. Knowing this how can you delay even another second before you shake the dust of your wings and the sleep out of your eyes?

Live. Be unfucked. Death awaits us all, but Life is only for those willing to live it out loud.


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