Imagine you’re in a conference room. It’s late afternoon. You are an unemployed interloper attending a conference session. You came in from the cold when you spied cookies and an empty chair.
You have food, warmth and health and the people seem nice. You enjoy the idea of people but not their irritating glances as if chewing a cookie were a crime. The conference room you’re in is well lit and warm (but not too warm) and the cookie you eat is sweet (but not too sweet). As Goldilocks would say, “It’s just right.”
Such is simple enjoyment so stumbled upon.
Everyone in the room is well fed and has their own chair. Your chair is fantastic. There’s nothing quite like a good sit, when you’re in the mood for sitting. Above your head like a halo is a speaker. You hear a barely audible Al Martino sing Somewhere My Love and imagine Russian sleigh-rides.
It’s a beautiful day for you to enjoy (until security arrives).
You watch a man sleep as a woman fiddles on her mobile device. You wonder if you end with your skin (are you a letter therein?) or are you like a leaf on a tree or a cell in a body? Is a bird no more separate from you than your fingernail is?
And you wonder if your presence here could have been predicted based on the temperature outside, your genes, propensities, location, desperation and desire for free cookies? How free are you?
Such are your thoughts as you eat your cookie and ignore the keynote speaker with all the answers.
You study each person and wonder: What’s it like to be another? Is another person’s feeling of awareness the same as your own? You think, “Yes,” but how do you know? Couldn’t you just as easily be someone else as you are yourself? If you were looking out of someone else’s eyes right now, how would you know? You can only see outward. You are always you to yourself.
When did you know you were you? Are you not in a different form from when you were born? Every year you change like a snake sheds its skin, could this be your own form of reincarnation?
The presenter up front is talking about competition, globalization and robotics as you float on the music of Love is Blue and ponder poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s words, “I am signalling you through the flames. The North Pole is not where it used to be. Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest. Civilization self-destructs… What are poets for, in such an age?” (Poetry As Insurgent Art, 1975).
At the back of the room is a coffee urn and cups. You get up, fix yourself a cup and return to your chair. No one seems to care. No one knows who you are. Such is anonymity in the city. Everyone here is a name tag to each other.
Busy talk and mental chatter about globalization, competition and robots keep realizations away, but of course, on this cold day in October, realizations don’t matter.
It’s a nice room with non-threatening people who keep themselves busy not killing each other. You feel peacefully purposeless. There is nothing to be or do. You are content. Could this be the essence of enjoyment?
Looking down you see a stain in the rose patterned carpet that looks like Bette Midler and hear “The rose” quietly playing on the speaker above your head.
It’s a miracle to you (and only you)! (For more on this phenomenon of significance in coincidence see the free book “And Then“).
Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence,” but then again, he said women are monstrous, slavery is natural and the brain is of minor importance.
In the Secret of the Golden Flower a mythical Master said, “That which exists through itself is called meaning… It is contained in the two eyes… If one can attain purposelessness through purpose, then the thing has been grasped.”
Could purposeless purpose be enjoyment itself? Is this a spiritual paradox grasped? You look around with your two eyes – aware of yourself as you are where you are – and see just as two eyes saw thousands of years ago and will see thousands of years from now.
Only the name tags change.
With sudden gradual recognition of yourself as you are, you enjoy. You feel light sitting heavy. Sometimes all it takes is the taste of a cookie and a passing fancy.
With an appreciation of yourself – of your own particular idiosyncratic ridiculousness as you are, in the crazyness of where you are – you can lighten up and feel 65% oxygen (which you are). You can enjoy being a balloon in time.
Let go and fly by the seat of your pants on the waves of this little big planet of ours.
Smile with purposeless purpose and enjoy whatever comes.