Thursday, March 3, 2011
Life is an Action, Not a Thought
There should be no excuse for a spiritual moment. I'm having one. And this moment comes courtesy of my internal angst and incessant thinking. Will that "monkey mind" ever cease and desist?
F. W Robertson a nineteenth century preacher is quoted as saying:
Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done. Life is an action, not a thought.
We are so much in our minds. We think and think and mull and go over and over our thoughts as if we they were so important and then it leads to...yep, more thinking and less action. So much time is wasted in thought instead of emptying our minds and finding the space inside ourselves to connect to our inner self - to just Be. Thinking happens when you want to become somebody instead of just staying who you are. Thinking objectifies - from the thought to the object and then to the emotion. Thinking doesn't help us discover our soul; it helps us mask ourselves.
I remember studying existentialism at Berkeley in my theater classes. We had to read Sartre's Being and Nothingness. One of my teacher's said, "You are what you do." That stuck with me ever since. I wanted to be that woman who is her action. That's great. That's part of the collective unconscious of my being. But as I'm identifying with my action, while my life is my action, I can get caught up in the thinking of the action and instead of doing the action.
We all have this kind of loop going on in side our heads. "I am what I do." "I identify with what I do for a living, as a father, a mother, a brother, a sister." The actions gets confused with the being.
So much of what we do is self-serving. Our days are about us, what we think about people, places and things, references to the past, to the future. Where is the present and where is the truth in our lives? It occurs to me that we might be losing our souls to thought?
Sometimes I believe I might have been doing just that in the last couple of weeks so caught up with the need to make decisions about my future and thinking of taxes and my operation and recovery. Where is the present in all of this so-called life I live. I'm passing the present by. It's eluding me. I can't find it.
Easy to lose the sense of self, the honest connection to others when I'm preoccupied with being preoccupied. Time becomes more important than it should. Time runs my life. Racing. Racing. I'm racing from one class to another and not taking the time to live my life as an action. I'm simply reacting in this context.
I don't want my life to be just a series of thoughts. I want to go deeper and get to know my soul, my divine being. I know, as a person who studies yoga, that I want to return more mindfully to meditation, to letting go of my thoughts and creating space to be present for myself and those that I love. I think that's called consciousness raising.
I have a fifty year high school reunion coming up and I have reconnected with my elementary and high school friends and I want to stay present for those whom I've loved in the past and still feel that love in the present. I felt I was giving lip service to my recent connections even though I was feeling joyous about our returning into each others' lives. One of my friends is very ill and I am tremendously concerned about her. My oldest friend since we were two years old and I were expressing our concern about our mutual friend and it occurred to me that not only was I not living my truth - my life was just a series of thoughts and that did not make me particularly free - but I wasn't creating space for myself in relation to my ills friend and to others in my life. Here goes the thinking again. I have not been creating space for action, the truthful living experience that allows for connection and real intimacy.
A path to self is to get out of the way of self and behold the path - or another way of saying this is to follow our Tao, our truth and our journey. I'm going to try to get out of my way, get out of my mud, and do That which is free to experience and just let It be, keeping full attention on and directing my mind to the now. I will know the truth.
Hope that wasn't too heavy for anyone. However, what triggered my awareness is likely old high school friend who has Rheumatoid Arthritis and lives in pain. She consistently shakes up my sense of self and help me to stay in the present. My old school friend and I are planning to visit her in June. I'm so happy about this. This moment is my truth, my deeper and more profound experience that arises out of just plain old Being.