Earlier, my son was telling us about a friend whose father was acting particularly ogre-like and maliciously authoritarian and ill-tempered. To the point my son’s friend simply left to stay at a friend’s home for the night.
After he recounted the specific interaction, I joked that he was lucky he had such an easy-going father of such a gentle heart.
My mother was about to launch into a rebuttal with her memorized laundry list of all my past foibles and horrific examples of wanton destruction that have laid waste to the countryside that is my life and those who know me.
I had to stop her abruptly.
“No, no, you cannot bring all that up. I am different now. I am not the same person I was 10, 15, years ago.”
She halted her stream of contrary historical evidence that would illustrate the notion that I ever have had a gentle, happy heart. She knew I was right, and she made some begrudging sounds of concurrence. “I’ve changed a lot,” I continued. “I’ve evolved and found peace. I found nirvana.”
“Oh, you found it that long ago?” my brother retorted smartly.
That got me thinking.
I have changed drastically. My present incarnation is spiritually and mentally unrecognizable from the beast I was in my younger days. Impulsive, living for them moment, impatient, angry, torn, distracted, self-destructive…that was a different angel. What was I then?
What have I become?
I have consciously sought to elevate my state to the highest level possible and at times, the transformation has been so gradual that it’s been imperceptible. In a flash of insight, I might realize just how foreign, how alien, my perceptions and pattern of thinking appears in contrast to others. I take it for granted, as a course of inconspicuous spiritual evolution, and so familiar has my state of personal refinement advanced that I cannot discern clearly the contrast between my serene heart and the tumultuous chaos that is the rest of the World, of mankind’s scattered collective soul.
I’ve arrived at this point in my life where the crux of my drivers, my personal DLL file so to speak, is so radically different than that of most people that I have intricately alienated myself from any and all communion with my fellow humans. They live for food, for money, for external gratification; they yammer for smiles and physical satiety. There is nothing they seek more than release from this catacomb that is called being human. People spend days, all their money, to consume their way into a vague, artificial, material quagmire of bliss that represents nothing more than cosmetic mirage of triumph, when in reality their weak little hungry souls are content to hop from figurative stone to figurative stone as they cross this large scum pond called life. People are content to move, move, move, jump, jump, jump, in circles, and boast of progress but there is no progress because the path they celebrate is one-dimensional as it skirts our existence’s circumference. It is a simple, planar toilsome ricochet across the surface of this thing they boastfully call a “full life.” A full life for most people is merely a busy life, a life bloated with sensation and emotion but little in the way of pain or sacrifice because these elemental building blocks of character must be disguised by the superficial offerings of cowardly shelter.
Escaping growth, escaping ascendance, is a lucrative industry in our wealthy, fearful culture.
Those who can, will; those who can’t, don’t.
For lack of wont, I am alone. For existing in the present, I am alone with my thoughts. I desire little for myself.
At times it’s as if “myself” is a myth, a faultily held notion of incomprehensibility. My essence is writ upon the shadows of my vanished presence. All I seek was found, and all I found is doomed to have never been lost.
There is little this life has to offer and there is a little I ask. This is the most liberating realization but also, the most mortifying.
And this life should comprise a noble journey toward embracing the hardship of battling through the pain in order to discover and realize equanimity and disassociation.
I waited awhile.