Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Stepping onto a busy city sidewalk is much different then just watching. Joining the flow produces a quick step, a jolt, what you might call an anxiety of movement. Just stepping into a moving flow of people brings an immediate desire to move and get somewhere, any where, like being caught in current. Such is a microcosm of the human condition, that perpetual state of motion called Life. We are either in a state of getting something accomplished or a motion to start the next thing. It's lather, rinse, repeat kind of moment.
Certain places are the apex of such energy, large cities become the magnets that draw like energy to their frenetic pace. They are the places where people of accomplishment go to do and get things done. But isn't that true of most of us, as we turn from humans 'being' to humans 'doing'.
Thoreau's Walden reflects on that mindless striving which never gets us to the place we really want to be. As Thoreau says, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." I wondered at what point do people start to question whether they are living life or is it that life is living them?
Finding a way to live deliberately as opposed to reacting to the series of life events thrown at you moves you from the just doing to the actual being. I wonder if we will get to a place where you no longer need the future to find fulfillment. When the seeking no longer involves doing but occupies that place where you can just 'be' at whatever it is you are wanting to be at the moment, without the sensation of needing to get to whatever 'next' might be.
It is as if we are reaching for that satisfying place that only we control. One that isn't influenced by others but one by chosen through our reaction. Contrary to what we have been taught or told how we react to any situation is under our control, even if the circumstances are caused or influenced by others. When running to the future for some help in the present, you realize the mostly we are dealing with just another form of procrastination. The next accomplishment can only succeed when it is followed by a pure purpose, one that originates in the need to be and not just do. Like Thoreau, it is finding a simpler place where your needs may be fewer but you provide the ability to adequately fulfill them yourself.
So it is when we make the decision to just deal with the now, we start to lose that strong urge which keeps us running to the then. Movement is never a bad thing, neither is getting, but it is good to consider the eastern thought which says...stop moving, stop thinking, and there is nothing you won't understand.