I lived the first 38 years of my life pedaling around familiar terrain within sight of the hospital I was born in. Early marriage, family, career, cars and houses – you know it! – the whole imported dream that turns into a nightmare! Of course, these nightmares are exactly what we need to wake us up! And we’d all be suffering that dream today, if not for the sheer potency of (unimagined) reality to bring us to our knees. In truth, life has its own very subtle yet powerful demands which, sooner or later, must be faced. In my case, my imagined life took me on a long ride away from home, then brought me back with a steep drop down the back of Mount Ego, at speed and with no brakes! Suffice it to say that I fell into Grace; that in losing all control over what I wanted, I came into contact with what I needed. That contact is what we could call communion-with-Self.
Self – an introduction.
Never, in those wildest dream-days, could I imagine that today I’d be sitting here in Berkeley writing this article about Natural Well-Being founded on the simple recognition of who we are and what this is. But before we explore that, I’d like to tell you one more short story about something that I saw recently in the New York Times that amazed me enough to remember a few relevant details (but not enough to copy it for any future, fuller, reference) The article was about a major, world-wide study done by teams of social scientists at well known universities on the structure and functioning of humans in society.
This extensive study took 6 or 7 years to fully conduct, and it involved the in-depth investigation of all humanity – across almost all the languages, nationalities and cultures in the world. Its findings had many things to say about the human condition, but the most important thing it had to say for me – and one which the sages of all times and places have said for centuries, and which you also intuitively “know” – is that all mankind has one basic and common characteristic: “goodness.” (I use the term “goodness” in quotes, because there were other words in other languages that, according to the study authors, came closer to describing this common human factor, but the term “goodness” was felt to be the best word to express this quality in English.)
“Of course!” I sighed to myself in recognition. Intuitively, we all know our own, and therefore, “others,” innate goodness. We know that is our nature; we – all people, everywhere, at all times – operate from their inbred sense of goodness. (By one calculation, over 105 billion people have come and gone on this planet – that’s a lot of goodness breeding goodness, albeit painfully!) Call it whatever you like, in whatever language you like, all this goodness is real and happening, here, now and always. It’s essentially who we are and what this is – love.
Natural Well-Being is Love
So we don’t need to look far and wide for this love, this goodness; we are it. It’s our nature, and when we recognize and honor this “goodness” in our self, we immediately apprehend it in another. We see into the core of our being, our “existence” and know not only our human dimension in time and space, but also our divine dimension as timeless and infinite. Our residing here is easy, natural and normal; and this being in love is realized and celebrated in simple, everyday aware living!
Living here is our nature.