Sunday, September 8, 2013

Is It Too

Is it too late, baby?
Too late now?
Too late, baby?
Too late now?
Too late for you
To realize everything
Could have been alright?

- World Party, "Is It Too Late?"

* * *

Time is a rip tide: the further into it you go the stronger its pull. At least that is the feeling that steals over you in the first blush of middle age as the infinitude of youth gives way to the harsher linear quality of days, months and years.

Yet, at some point the tide releases you into larger, oceanic currents whose motions are not felt in the same dire way. It is a release from the straining and striving to overcome the circumstances you find yourself in, and it becomes a birthing into a new way of being shorn of hubris, pride and the ego required to swim against tides. The question is whether or not you will reach this place before your death, or if your death is this place.

The question is: Is it too late, baby?

* * *

The life you have is the life you chose. Not its outward markers, but the inward ones, the habits of thought and belief that are the starting point for how you meet the world. There is a popular idea that states if you wish to change your life, change your thoughts and your life will follow as a cart follows the ox. And I will not argue its truth. Perception is reality.  Instead what I will argue is this change is not a switch being thrown with a click of the heels and all is well. Understood as a fix, this is a cruel hoax. No, lives don't change because of incantations or affirmations or the saying of holy words. Lives change when the awareness grows inside of you that regardless of your circumstance you are always free to choose your response to it. Each response is valid: struggle, acceptance, despair, humor. But this is life in the rip tide. There is more to come.

Each response to circumstance is a sign pointing to something beyond that sign, that signifier. Just as when people imbibe their religion as literal, historical fact (and so confuse metaphor with reality which then allows them the comfort of any atrocity) so, too, does it happen when you mistake your struggle for nobility, acceptance for wisdom, despair for clarity and humor for lightness. In this way you create your own religion, your own font of reality. The role you have taken on (martyr, sage, victim, clown) ossifies as this is where you are most comfortable, certain of the signs and signifiers you have builded up.

But like the blind men and the elephant, you only know the thing in front of you - not its entirety.

* * *

Recognize your soul
And everything's alright
You got to see the whole
And everything's alright
C'mon, give yourself a break
And everything's alright
We'll be breathing deep
And everything's alright
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon
Everything's alright

* * *

Your life is the accumulation of your choices. And you are always free to choose how you live it. Yet, our lives get fucked, pig-fucked, stuck, ground down, worn-out and the sense of being trapped is palpable. It brings on sleeplessness, doubt, worry and fear. How can this be, if we are free to choose the sort of life we live or at least how we live our lives?

Here's an answer. I'm not saying it is fact, or some truth you must obey. I'm just putting it out here as a possibility, something for you to consider, play with and see where it leads you.

You're not seeing the whole. You only see yourself in isolation. You only see your struggle in the moment and the larger oceanic currents are unimagined. You have taken your unique response to living your life and stopped there. Yes, you are free. You are also still fucked. If you recognize your soul then you must recognize the soul in each and all. If you reject the idea of an animating spark, the timeless inside you, then by needs be you reject it every where you set your eyes. if you consider the possibility that you have a soul it changes the ground beneath your feet. Remember, perception is reality and if you perceive the soul inside you then you can't help but feel the grip of time loosen from around your neck.

Yes, your circumstances may still be hard, unjust, but your suffering is no longer useless and filled with pride. You can transform it into meaning, a gift to give others so they might be reminded they are not alone, but are part of a whole, their lives part and whole complete. Just like you.

It is never too late to recognize your soul. It is how you see the whole. It is how you give yourself a break. It is how and why everything's alright.

* * *



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