We’ve all had the experience of “just knowing”, just knowing that a certain thing is so, that a certain event will happen, that a certain reaction is inevitable, that a certain relationship will either begin or end. In the daily flux of life, these knowings can easily be forgotten as we plough onward with the next issue to be dealt with.
And in saying so, I am reminded of a certain Buddhist friend who assured me years ago that we slip in and out of enlightenment several times a day. And that in itself is a certain kind of knowing, one that calmly underlies our struggles and sufferings.
Anxieties, doubts and irritations can chip away at our knowing, distracting us with their energies, and sometimes derailing our various plans and projects. Viewed from a deeper perspective, that is exactly what physical incarnation provides, intoxicating distractions.
You know where you are going but those rest stops can be so amusing. Often those rest stops become the journey, a catalogue of temptations that can be examined later when the leisure of retirement or afterlife pleasures precipitate some soulful accounting.
The body and its needs, the emotions and their drives, the ego and its ambitions, the passions and their imperatives…on examination they can seem all too indulgent and surplus to actual needs. But in their day they drove us, the embodied spirit, to sample the many prizes, tempting but transient.
Of course we can always laugh at ourselves, at our prideful clowning.
Then we can see, all too clearly, how we entered incarnation, full of aspiration, but succumbed to that treasure trove of fears, anxieties and doubts as our inner bulb of knowing lit up their shadows. We covered up with the “common sense” that family, education, religion and society piles up around the anarchic spirit that all humans come armed with, the one that frightens those who have already absorbed some decades of rational conformity and feel wise in passing it along.
Mum and dad know best, let the school show you how, let the pastor interpret the prophet, let college corral you into convention. All, of course, is well intentioned and often comes with some money-back guarantee. Society is investing in you because it needs willing participants. Those walls of fear require a constantly replenished population of contributors.
That’s you and me and everyone we know.