How would you rate your life thus far, overall and right now? Would you rate your life thus far, overall, and right now as (select one):
Option 1 Profoundly Beautiful
Quote: “Life is beautiful. I would not change a thing.”
Option 2 Just Average
Quote: “Life is O.K., but there are a few things I might change, if I could.”
Option 3 Rather disappointing
Quote: “Life sucks—more or less. There are many things I’d change, if I could.”
Of course, the above questionnaire is limited and it’s leading. You’re not given much for choices. Most people would probably select option 2 or 3. Option 1 sounds far-fetched—especially given the nature of vales of tears and potholes that we’re in (Latin vallis lacrimarum potholeus).
How can life thus far, overall, and right now be profoundly beautiful when aging, dying and disappointment are guaranteed—especially towards the end. Profoundly beautiful seems only to happen in fleeting moments—here and gone, here and gone, and again, if you’re lucky.
Profoundly beautiful doesn’t lend itself to a permanent state of affairs—at least, not without some training in the art of enjoying (see also: Rainbows, Religious Experience and Nerf Warfare).
This questionnaire may make you say, “Hold on thar, Baba Looey! I’ll do the thin’in’ around here, and dooon’t you for-git it!” like Quick Draw McGraw used to say before hilarity ensuing.
If you paused before option 1, “I wouldn’t change a thing,” your thoughts may have gone to moments that were not beautiful. There may be many non-beautiful moments, but such is the world.
It is what it is. Things happen. Resistance is futile.
Acceptance frees us and expectations are a set up.
From chaotic to predictable and back again, we go like row boats tossed on waves of ups, and downs. The trick is, therefore, to enjoy the rowing (you may as well).
Cue Pérez Prado “Patricia”.
For lots of people (on behalf of lots of people), life may be profoundly beautiful, but, only on occasion. Most people would probably say things don’t seem profoundly beautiful, thus far, overall and right now because, we’re too busy.
Feeling profound beauty takes a special kind of silence and a special sense of awareness of yourself and the place you’re in. In day to day life most people don’t have time to pay attention to paying attention. Only oddballs, musicians, mystics, actors and comedians have that kind of time to waste.
It can get crowded.
Most of the time we’re on auto-pilot. That’s why we don’t notice what’s really going on. What matters most to most people is the life they’re in right now and only rarely is that life profoundly beautiful (or so it feels).
If anything is (or was) profoundly beautiful, we’d hardly notice. We’re critical. We’re oblivious to our breathing and hardly notice birds in the trees or the beauty of life on this blue planet.
But no more. With a click of awareness, from this moment forward (and backward), you will be aware of yourself, of yourself breathing and of your Self living and everything else. You will notice yourself noticing with your senses and with your mind attuned to the miracle of life and living like the wisest wise person ever.
It’s a paradox, really.
A paradox is “a proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory” (source).
In the paradox of “less is more,” for example, how can less be more? Out of two opposites “less” and “more” comes the concept that what is less complicated is often more appreciated (see also: Where Are You? The Paradox of Happiness).
A paradox appears to contradict the truth, but it is an implied truth. It describes an action or situation that seems absurd but is true. It challenges the mind to question common thoughts such as, “Just average is on the right side of terrible.”
Choices we make about what to do now or later and our levels of satisfaction as derived from those choices are driven by comparisons. In economic circles, they call the trade off between now and later satisfaction, “time discounting.”
Contrary to post-modern relativism and lack of truths, the paradox of happiness is that it comes when you are gone!
But, if you want even more than just to lose track of time and get absorbed in what you’re doing, the profoundly beautiful feeling of living life thus far, overall and right now comes only with awareness (see also: “Where Are You? The Paradox of Happiness”).
So the trick is to find your self in feeling aware of yourself feeling aware in the space you’re in, as if you are extended into what is seen.