Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Our Time

In Canadian society, we have formed a very unhealthy relationship with time. Since we began measuring life in years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds and even hundredths of seconds, we have moved further away from our "
organic" state being, into one with a false sense of synchronicity, calibration and chronology. While this structure aids us in many ways, undeniably, it also establishes an illusionary fear that permeates us to our very spirit. In our language, how often do we hear euphemisms such as "time is our greatest enemy", "we are battling the clock"or that we must "fight the signs of aging"? Words like "deadline" also surmises our fear and leads us through life, fixated often, on our mortal end. In our 24/7 world, we are stressed, 'live' at a pace that precludes us from any real 'living' and robs us of our live's simplistic beauty and needs.

Think of some of the health issues that we face in this modern day, and ask: how many results from our anxiety or fear created by time as we know it? Then ask: what is the validity and basis of these fears? The Buddha taught us that there are a few things that we can not avoid in life: aging, illness and death. These things can not be changed, yet we seem irrationally fixated on trying to do so. How often are we distracted in the present, panicking about the past or the future- what needs to be done, and what is the fee for chasing such illusions? I am not advocating that we do not plan for the future, nor denying that we are products of our past. What I am saying is that we need to be conscious of what we are doing in the present - the only point in our existence that we do influence, and act accordingly. Would we not think someone to be mad if they dedicated their lives sitting in front of a stone and wishing it to become a flower?

The Christian "Serenity Prayer" speaks volumes:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace

Many of us do not enjoy the moment. We must realise that life is the journey and that the fulfillment of goals lies in the process. We are where we are at this very moment. This may, at present, be a time that is passing through boredom, a sense of loss, self-doubt, immense joy, ecstasy or peace. Regardless, this moment is also fleeting and will not last forever. Finding joy in during the times of difficulty, such as the solace of a dear friend when the rest of the world seems to be gone to hell in a hand-basket, will allow us to maintain that sense of joy and the simple beauty and wonder which is the moment, and therefore, our lives. We have a sense of what is good and what is not, and I completely believe that "if it feels good then it probably is".

In the end, time will pass, irregardless of how we choose to live. Should the world turn to dust one day is of no matter, nor is it a sad thought as we are not presently in that world any more than we are in any other point of the past or future. Likewise, a life of joy or misery is largely determined by us. Truly, how you decide to live your life is solely your concern. That being said, a life of happiness, joy and peace is most likely what we each seek in our own way.

I am sharing these thoughts to assist the battles that I face in my mind a mind conditioned to accept so many of our imposed societal constrictions and sense of growing older- but also because I share the hope that others will find their own inner peace and reconcile within our social confines. I am learning that the company of a good friend, the embrace of my daughter, peace on my Yoga mat, a nice Islay single malt, the craic that flows when I play music with my mates or a good book all surpass the fireworks and climaxes of life as they form the constancy of our experience. We need to make these moments happen more as opposed to filling our time with fretting, self-doubt or self-annihilation.

And so, I bid you all farewell and will leave you with one of my favourite Irish blessings:

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”


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