The Wisdom of Un-plan
We place such a high value of knowing what we’re doing in this culture; of having a plan.
I have no plan.
Sure, I have desires, goals and such–
but not a plan.
And that’s not easy–especially in a culture that expects us to know what we’re doing.
But I’ve had plans. I’ve gone down many paths. All dead ends.
Because they weren’t my path.
I chose those paths so that I could have a path.
Does that make sense?
Yes, there was some passion there, but mostly I was running from the void of not knowing what I was going to do with my life.
I thought, some place must be better than no place.
And to some extent that may have been true.
Now… it’s no longer sufficient to just do something for the sake of doing something; so that I can make myself or other people happy to know that I’m not just a green leafy vestige bending aimlessly in the wind.
I’m no longer running from the void.
I’m living from the void.
I believe that’s where the magic is.
The great mystery.
Gurdjieff says we can never encounter the unknown
from a place of knowing.
I believe that’s why plans don’t work out very well. I mean, they do work out on various levels: we can have the career, we can land the awesome husband or partner; we can start a family.
But as I get older and look around me, most people aren’t very juiced by their situations. They get into a comfortable place and are mostly running on auto-pilot.
I’ve never allowed that to be who I’ve become–at least, not for too long.
For me, there is hardly a greater sin than boredom.
If I were God, that would be my only commandment:
thou shalt not be bored…
for too long!
The magic is in the unknown.
It’s a ship captain letting go of the sight of shore.
It’s a baseball player being willing to step off the safety of first base, so that he can get to second.
Wondering into the unknown takes courage; it’s a risk.
We are risking safety–
or the illusion thereof.
Because is there really safety in this world?
Is there anything that we can say, definitively, that is here today and will be here tomorrow?
Besides celestial bodies like the sun and the moon, I’m not so sure.
All of our lives can be drastically altered in a single moment; a single decision:
Somebody checking a text while driving.
A sudden health complication.
The market tanks and your company goes under.
A freak violent act.
A freak of nature.
Yet, we build the foundation of our lives on this illusion of safety: the idea that what is today will be tomorrow.
Folks, it’s an illusion.
Illusion #1: There’s such a thing as real safety.
And yet… as Neale D. Walsch contends… ultimately, we are safe.
But not from the perspective of our meat suit. If we extend outward, however, we can see that we never die…
and that we were never really born.
Death isn’t the opposite of life.
Life holds no opposite; it’s unending.
Think about it: the opposite of death isn’t life…
We existed long before “birth,” and we will exist long after “death.”
Our lives are like a single ocean wave, crashing back unto itself after a blip of a ride.
We start as ocean, we become a wave, and we end up returning to ocean.
So, in the grand scheme, there’s no reason to be afraid.
Because life continues.
Illusion #2: That we were, at some point, not part of the whole.
Even when we’re a wave, we’re still part of the ocean.
Even when we’re a unique human being, we’re still part of the totality of life.
Illusion #2 is really the illusion of separation.
We think we’re separate from other people, but we’re not. We have artificial separators like race, gender, religion, etc. But if you trace back human history far enough, don’t we all come from the same family?
(And if you go back even farther…)
It’s so easy to forget, though.
I believe that a part of being human is in the remembering of who we really are.
I believe in faith.
Faith for me is trusting the moment; trusting that where I am now is the right place.
And when it’s time to be somewhere else, I’ll get a hint or a sign or the opportunity will just arise out of thin air.
But until that happens, I’ll do my best to commit to here… now.
And when we do that, I believe (and have corroborated this through my life experience), magic happens.
There is something to be said to being in the flow of life.
Here I am. I’m working on a stable writing career. But I have no plan other than to be sustainable.
And I’m also open to what may come; that things may happen that take me in a different direction.
I’m working on being more available, more receptive to life, as Gurdjieff beckons us. Or, as one of my other heroes, Parker Palmers, says:
Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it,
listen for what it intends to do with you.
I’m meditating regularly.
I’m stripping down the social programming to see what’s left.
I’m practicing being more comfortable living from the void.