SEEING THE BIG PICTURE
More and more I realize that whenever I manage to see the “big picture”, any problem disappears and contentment reigns. Unfortunately, however, I spend a good deal of my time looking at the “small picture” – the picture that shows me as a separate, vulnerable entity surrounded by countless threatening entities. In this small picture, I am constantly struggling to think, act, guard, defend, acquire, keep -- and get a lot of things done. Life, looked at from this myopic viewpoint, is a constant, mindless, chaotic free-for-all. However, when I have enough composure to pull way, way back from the minute-by-minute skirmishes and get a distant view of life, I see that, actually, there are no skirmishes at all. Instead, life appears, at that distance, to be more of a beautiful dance than a messy brawl. I see that there are, in fact, no separate entities at all, but that everything blends together in a fascinating swirl. The things I labeled as “problems” when I was seeing the small picture now seem to be merely swirls of a certain kind – swirls that eventually disappear into other swirls if I’m patient enough to keep watching. It’s as if I’m floating high above the earth, watching with fascination the dance of life – including death, joy, suffering, gladness, and sorrow. Of course, I’m also part of the dance. What’s especially wonderful is that, from my distant vantage point, I can watch myself – little Ham Salsich – going through the twirls and bends and leaps of my life. In the big picture, it all seems curious and odd and interesting, never tragic and terrible. Yes, there’s suffering, but I see that there’s also joy to balance it, and that there’s always enough peace alongside pain to maintain the equilibrium. There’s good and bad, just as there’s day and night, rest and activity, death and life. In the “big picture”, everything works together exactly the way it should, and the universe is contentedly spinning along in the only way that it can. It’s a great picture to look at now and then, especially when I seem caught in the frenzied scuffles of the silly but enticing “small picture”.