Sunday, July 13, 2008


July 13, 2008

It came to me this morning, with a great shock of recognition, that I have spent most of my life doing an activity that makes absolutely no sense. You might say I’ve been acting like an insane person, doing the same absurd and pointless thing over and over again. I’ve been engaged in this lunacy almost every moment of almost every day of my life, which adds up to about 1,370,000,000 acts of sheer madness. Incredible.

Surely a reader would be wondering just exactly what is this craziness that I’m speaking of, and it is simply this: For more than one billion moments, I have been trying to protect something that does not actually exist – my ego. From my earliest memories, I have envisioned a separate, isolated, independent person called “Hamilton Salsich”, and have spent most of my waking moments trying to protect that person. By constantly being either aggressive or defensive, I have done my best to maintain a security fence around this supposedly distinct ego. What’s shocking and sad about this is that the discreet and unattached individual called “Hamilton” – the entity I’ve been exhausting myself trying to guard – has never really existed! It’s been an entirely a creation of thought and imagination. Since I was a baby, this notion of separateness and isolation has been imprinted on me again and again by my cultural surroundings, but it simply is not true. It is not an accurate picture of reality. The truth is that nothing is separate from anything else, nothing is isolated, and nothing is independent. The “I” called Hamilton is no more separate from the rest of the world than a single wave is separate from the ocean. One wave trying to protect itself from all the other waves is no crazier than me trying to protect myself from my environment. I am my environment and my environment is me. The universe is a single ocean and I am a wave, always changing, always merging and blending and disappearing in other waves. Waves aren’t aggressive or defensive; they’re just whatever they are at any moment in the infinity of the sea, and I should learn from them. I should realize every moment, as I did this morning, that the vision of an endless fight between a separate “me” and a separate threatening universe is just that – a vision, an insane view of life, an irrational picture that has no resemblance to the harmonious oneness of the astounding universe I live in.

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