Part Three: LIVING HERE…(resized version)
It’s funny how far we go to get away from our self, only to someday find we not only never left, we never returned either! It’s at that point not far from here where we’ll pick up our story about living here. And we’ll reflect a little on life up to now, in the spirit of Mark Twain, who famously said: “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Back into Muchu
In some ways, I could characterize my life as a long trip to Muchu. Now “muchu” is a Japanese word for “in the fog” and it pretty much sums up the beginning, middle and almost the end of my venture into figuring out what’s going on here since I was born on this planet some 68 years ago. We’ll not end up going into this fog too much, since the point of all this is to start here and end up here, except to say that all of us make the trip to Muchu, and most of us never get out until we die. It’s important to understand here that we in truth, never actually entered Muchu – much less stayed in that fog – except in our mind. So we’ll be talking a lot about this, our human predicament of actually having our feet firmly on the ground of being while living our life mostly in our head. And we’ll continually point out the subtle yet very significant difference that awareness makes.
We’ll examine the nature of this awareness in the same spirit as our 16th century essayist and friend Michel de Montaigne, in “gentleness and freedom, without rigor and constraint.” And just as he often quoted Plutarch, we’ll occasionally leaven what we’re cooking here with quotes ala Michel just to add a little extra flavor. I do so partly because one of the things that happened to help me find my way out of Muchu was his thousand page map of his explorations. His warmth and wisdom, then as now, remains to this day as one of the reasons – if any are needed – for me to write, or you to read, any of what follows. And for you and I to also say about life what he said about his own time and place: “What I saw, I saw well.”
Indeed, Michel saw well, and that which he saw is the same for us today. He saw the need to “forget much of what you learn” if you really want to know for yourself, the nature of things. And he further cautioned us to “be slow witted” in our search. In hind sight, his approach suited me well, as I was already inclined in my search to avoid material and mental waste in favor of concentrated ethereal efforts to wake up. Like him, I was quick to embrace the need to ease into these important things; to not be in a hurry. “If I encounter difficulties,” Montaigne noted, “I do not gnaw my nails over them; I leave them there. I do nothing without gaiety.”
And so, on that note, perhaps it’s time to venture “light footed and fancy free” back into Muchu, if only for contrast. Indeed, it’s only by realizing where we think we are, that we may come to locate our real self clearly and, as always, right here; and to join Michel in spirit when he says: “I find I am nearly always in place, like heavy and inert bodies.”
( TBC -To be continued, it seems!)