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A three bedroom house in Carefree, Arizona

The ride to Carefree! Oil painting, 1970's, artist unknown

We listen to our mind like our car radio. It feels some days like we’re driving along with the radio cranked up and angsting every time the street lights start to change, never change and always change! Fortunately, those sirens of our mind are not where life is lived; they’re where life is thought about, right? Well, yes and no.

For most of us, Reality is “what I think and what I feel.” And that all depends on the day, on whether we’re mooding up or mooding down. Our moods, personal and collective, provide the feel of our life. And, of course, we’re all for those sunny days with the top down! That’s when we get to thinking that living in a place like Carefree Arizona would be nice…real nice!

In fact, we’re addicted to our minds, to compulsive thinking, thinking… thinking. It all adds up to a life driven by desire and fear. It’s like the wealthy Brazilian father I read about who surprised his dear daughter with her dream car – a pink, armored VW Beetle – and commented: “My greatest fear is to see disappointment on my daughters face.”

Indeed, our desire not to fear is what leads us to seek solace in all things. And if we don’t find it in things, then we search for solace in thought – in hopes and dreams. Either way, these imaginary gods we invent are not only religious ones, but also what we find in our culturally pre-programmed heads and hearts…in the sacred and profane thoughts and feelings we so desperately want to believe are real and true.

“When belief in the eternal becomes impossible and there is only the belief in believing, men seek their happiness in the joys of time.” Alan Watts

There’s nothing wrong with believing, of course, except to say that a belief is a thought about reality, and not reality itself. We see the world we believe in; the world our mind labels “real”. While in truth, there is a world, an unknown reality, not apprehended by any form of mental knowing or belief.

In fact, reality is not something to be known by our limited body/mind sensations of it. It can only, ever, be found in the being of it. And being is not a thought, not a feeling, not a place like any other, including Carefree, Arizona. Being is not about any concept we may have about it. It is existence, in and as, awareness, or what we may call “direct knowing”.

“Being” is a Carefree Zone, where we no longer understand the present in terms of our memory; where we no longer view the unknown through what we think is known; where the living of life from a personal, limited and still-born Me and Mine perspective is part of what’s seen but not nearly the whole of it.

Being embraces our egoic and fragile self-conception tenderly; it lovingly frees us from the weighty burden of belief in it. Being allows that which our minds have constructed as “me’ to be deconstructed, and it allows for a letting-go of the immense imaginary non-being or Identity we innocently cobbled together from found bits of hair, shells and string. You know, all those itsy bitsy glittering things that crows and humans collect!

We turn down the volume of the radio/mind, and dwell in the ground of silence we are. Of course, everything remains the same; the world turns the way it will, but we find our movement now originating from unmoved Being. And action comes from a different place. In the words of Nisargadatta Maharaj: “With lucidity (satva) the motive behind the desire is goodwill, compassion, the urge to make happy rather than be happy.”

And that applies wherever we live and have our being.