Wednesday, November 28, 2012


     I’ve been relaxing more lately, partly because I’m finally starting to understand an essential fact about life. I grew up with the idea that the nature of reality was what might be called "many-ness", but now I see that it’s actually oneness. From my earliest memory, it was impressed upon me -- by family, friends, the media, and the general culture -- that life consists of crowds of distinct people, distinct situations, and distinct ideas, all of which are struggling with each other. Life, as I learned it growing up, was a never-ending free-for-all among limitless ill-disposed and aggressive components. My main occupation, I came to believe, was to keep myself from harm and win as many of the day-to-day disputes as possible. Now, however, in my 8th decade of trying to assemble some sort of sensible picture of reality, I’ve come to understand that the many-ness view is simply wrong. Instead of being many, the Universe is just one. It’s not a confused collection of dissimilar and disordered physical entities, but rather a single cohesive and harmonious expression of itself. The entire Universe, I see now, is as unified as a single cell. As in a cell, everything that happens in the Universe happens for the good of itself. What this means for me is that I should give up agonizing and struggling, because there’s no other person or thing that’s out to hurt me. In fact, there’s no “other”, period, and no separate me. There’s just the one unified and endlessly successful Universe, of which I, and everyone else, and all of our apparent troubles and tribulations, are a seamless part. We all share in the single, stunning enterprise called Life (of which death is just another essential part), as closely woven with each other as the molecules in a cell. This realization, to me, calls for much more relaxing than struggling.

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