We can hardly conceive of a better world because we find it truly unbelievable that we ourselves are capable of better. “People don’t change” is the common adage. When we take the long view and assess the vast expanse of history, we instinctually know that people DO, in fact, change -- albeit, very slowly. But, in the small moments of our lives, we think “yeah right! THAT person will never change or I can never do that.” In other words, we take the long view as often as we take a shit from the headstand position (or Sirisasana, for short). (Also, that was the visual my mind conjured…I have no good clue as to why) Moving on. Essentially, it’s easier to just proclaim “nothing ever changes” and go on without actually confronting the problem at hand. “I’ll get to the gym more often,” “I’ll save more money,” or “I’ll stop X, Y and Z bad habits.” Things we’ve all said. But somewhere outside of our logic brain we intuit/feel that this program too will be drudgery and at some point we’ll just move on. The strongest right-brains among us stoically hold onto the dream of perfection and keep the lifeless program going. Maybe if I do more; plan more; work harder! Then we’ll achieve our way out of this mess. Be we won’t. Achieving is nice, but purpose, passion and peace, they are the gold standard – and they are undefeated. And this was the “aha!” moment I recently had; specifically, that our plans and programs are dead as soon as we conceive or utter them.
And to my mind, that’s because we don’t really grow by plan or program. I can see that in the first 1/3rdof life, let’s say the first 20 to 30 years, we are “plan” oriented. And that’s a great thing. We need the positive benefits of a healthy ego structure to push back on the world and proclaim our independence; proving to ourselves that we too can play the game of competition and striving. But that game doesn’t work forever. We successfully compete in school, our extra-curriculars, and then we begin our careers, all the while being really intense about winning in each of those arenas. But if we are lucky, at some point we slow down and ask ourselves: is that it? Hopefully, the ego-driven model starts to break down. And it’s not because we don’t want to win or be successful. But because success takes on a new and much broader definition. Competition and winning cannot persist as the highest virtue forever, because it is so self-limiting in all the ways you might expect. Competition as the highest virtue, which is a core belief driving capitalism, necessitates that someone else loses, it necessitates incessant comparison and judgment, it breeds restlessness – and maybe even fear. Fear for those who sit atop their success throne, I think they live in some form of dread as they await the inevitable moment that they're achievements are surpassed and forgotten. To use another old adage, “all records are meant to be broken.” We’ll all be outdone – such is life. Maybe life is giant millstone that crushes you repeatedly until you’re something pure. Sounds tragic, but it’s also kind of nice. I don’t know what pureness looks like, but we all recognize what next level freedom feels like after a good crush. You are lighter, less inhibited and more daring.
And so, in my experience there are few people lining up for the slaughter. NO ONE likes to get crushed. Nobody incorporates “the crush” into their plan or program. “The crush” is life doing its beautifully perfect and harmonious work on you, but we all still believe that we are in charge. We are not. Well we are (in some small ways), but we also ARE NOT. It’s kind of a fun mystery this whole tension between free-will and destiny. But, what I suspect the greatest among us, the most successful, the most wholesome , the men & women enjoying every drop of life, and the ones adding so much goodness to their environment are unmoored from the notion that plans and programs can change them or anyone else. Their modus operandi is FLOW. Their free will is directed toward surrender as odd as that sounds. Their work is inward not outward. And they have an uncanny sense for where the next crush lies. And so they run toward the sound of guns. Perhaps in the end, we are all martyrs whether we like it or not. Best to give up the game sooner rather than later. Best to move into freedom. Best to live than to comply with programs. Best regards, Daemon.