In this life, things tend to come and go.
Money is won and lost to the tune of the frenetic marketplace. Fame and laud turn into villainization for nothing more than speaking an unfortunate phrase or making an inopportune decision. We live life on the edge, every day inches or seconds from death, loss, and poverty.
You’d do well to consider this precarious perspective every now and again.
Harrowing as it may be, it reminds us that fear is a part of our existence here.
This is a good thing to know.
Fact is, fear is probably our most useful tool. Most of the time it’s not love or hope or kindness that keeps the world going ‘round -- these are just things that help us get through the day a little more comfortably. But if you want to understand a truly compelling force, one which has driven us and every one of our ancestors going back past the monkeys and the dinosaurs, all the way back to the beginning of life to survive, to create, to destroy, and to live…
...have a look at this gift of fear.
It is a shame we hide under more appealing states of mind as warmth and benevolency, because we miss the man behind the curtain, and we do not understand the reality that has been given to us.
For worry not of misfortune, but understand its reality and you will gain control over it. Remember always that all the excitement of life comes right along with death’s knock at the door -- for life and death are merely two sides of the coin -- which is to say two perspectives -- of change (a perspective, of course, having its essence in the way something is merely viewed, but not in its objective reality).
Who benefits from the change is but a matter of perspective.
Just as I tell you to be aware of fear, so should you be aware that fear only comes from losing something you love. Therefore place your awareness on the whole coin, the whole change, and do not lose your mind to the bad nor the good.
Let meditation upon fragility give you the strength to accept its reality; let your lost sense of security and comfort bring you a fervor to go for life’s marrow, to “live deliberately” as Henry David Thoreau once wrote with such clarity and purpose.
In this meditation, I think you will begin a very important change, which begins as a discovery -- that your experience has a true center, something permanent and life-giving, and that center is you. Things -- objects -- come and go. Let things be things, and let them go along their way, and you will be one step closer to understanding the true nature of what you have left when all things are taken from you.
This is the key.
What is left (for what is left, is what is right).
When all the chips are down, when all the good times gone, the flowing wells dried up, the memory fading and success abating -- who is still there? Make peace with that man, and you will never want; shun him and you prepare yourself for terror.
You have objects of your attention, objects of your affection, objects of your interest… how much of your life have you wasted upon objects, chasing the rabbit’s tail? These are mere games you play, for anything you acquire which can be gained or lost at the drop of a hat surely is hardly even worth pursuing. Let those things come and go as they will, but find that when they all drop away, what is left is you.
You is where you must focus.
You is what you must study.
You is where you must place your love.
You is the most precious and eternal gift you have.
So then: who are you?
Let all these words I’ve said, like breadcrumbs, lead you to the treasure that lies at the end of this journey. There, all good things will come.