Imagine that in your hands you hold an old bow and arrow. It is summer. The sun is rising. You are young and better looking than you are (why not?). All is quiet except for birds singing. You gaze up at distant hills and the last of midnight stars.
You feel like you’re in a movie that only you will see, but that’s not sad. It’s profound. It’s an opportunity for you to enjoy the show.
Wild grass swishes against your legs as you walk into the centre of a meadow lined by trees. The air smells damp. It is cool, not cold. Selecting a spot from which to launch, you position an arrow and raise the bow. A lively tune from your soundtrack is playing. Tension builds. Aiming high, you hope to hell no one gets killed.In this imagining where you are better looking than you are, the arrow is you, the bow is you, the air is you and where you land is you. It’s all you!
There’s unity in what you see. Wisdom is knowing that organisms in a meadow are each a part of it. You are as much a part of the meadow as anything else in that meadow. To feel no separation between yourself and your surroundings – to merge in what you see – is the ultimate enjoyment of the earth-trance kind. People may feel peaceful absorption while gardening, rock climbing, walking on a beach or in intimacy. It is to lose yourself in where you are. It is a subtle feeling as light as a line traced by a fly.
When your mental chatter goes quiet and you feel the landscape seeing you seeing it, that is when you slip into an alternate reality of one. It’s a giddy feeling! Words like, “This is amazing,” come to mind just before you go silent. It’s an ever so slight shift in perspective from how you normally perceive reality. Reality that was out there is now not. There is no out there. Its like a spell that takes you out of yourself, but it isn’t magic or mystical. It’s ordinary. It’s extraordinarily ordinary. It’s a silent, click. The world around is always there, but we stop noticing. Thinking keeps us busy and detached.
TWANG! The arrow zips into the air, where it lands… you don’t care (it’s the flying not the landing that matters).
Such is life.
You’re like little castle in a pond. This is the thrill of your loneliness but it’s tricky because everything has an opposite. There’s enjoyable alone (alone and glad of it!) and there’s suffering alone (alone with self-pity). These things loop.
If you’re happy alone, you’re happy alone but the more alone you feel, the more alone you are. The more self-conscious you feel, the more self-conscious you are.
A person alone who takes care of himself is together. A sign of sanity is to be happy alone and to take care of yourself. To feel separate and alone is to feel broken. On one side there’s you and on the other, everything (and everyone) else. With people, the more alike we are, the more we like, but the more unlike, the more dislike. To feel a kindred spirit is to feel unity. To feel the same behind the eyes, is to feel as one.
In this imagined sending of an arrow into the air, the arrow is you, but what if you tie rocks to your arrow? People who tie rocks of pride, vanity and conceit to themselves weigh themselves down. If your desire is to enjoy life and to increase other people’s chances of enjoying it too, the thing to destroy is all trace of arrogance, vanity and conceit. Humility is one of the most powerful weapons in the life-battle to enjoy.
- Never substitute your own enjoyment for other people’s ideas of enjoyment
- Never sacrifice a life of contemplative sensation for a life of outward success
- Never let haters of other people’s enjoyment interfere with your own
- No worries about work
- No worries about money
- No worries about fame
- No striving
- No pride, no vanity, no conceit
- Remain calm
- Remain kind
- Remain slightly amused at all times
- Enjoy being alone.
- Enjoy being together
- Enjoy sensing surroundings
- Enjoy enjoyment
- Suffer through suffering to enjoy again