|Life... it made sense at the time|
classes taijiquan self defence qigong tai chi for health about us reviews a-z
We are told that life must have meaning and purpose, but who says so?
And why do you choose to believe them?
Are they saying what you want to hear?
Is that it?
Maybe we do not have a purpose. Maybe our actions are largely meaningless.
Do you know for sure?
We are told that we need to make a contribution. To be useful, to be a tool. Why is this?
Has humanity become happier by acting like a tool?
Do people feel worthwhile and needed because they have a role to fill?
As an adult we are asked to define our contribution, to be something useful.
This may sound positive but how many people are doing things they do not want to do?
How many people are fulfilled?
Often the pursuit of one action has an unforeseen side effect. Unforeseen consequences.
Pollution. Toxic waste. Garbage. Stress. Injury. Physical strain. Psychological problems.
The Industrial Revolution reduced the human being to a cog in the machine.
Is this all we are? Really?
Does everything need to have a function?
Humanity is obsessed with being productive.
We fill our living spaces with junk, and then work harder and harder to acquire more and more.
But why? What is it all in aid of? Do we need all this stuff? Why are we doing this?
A functional life may sound fulfilling and useful, but it also sounds mechanical.
Where is the fun, the pleasure, the creative spirit?
Do you explore who you are? Or what you want from life?
TV, food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, caffeine - these do not free you. They are addictive and harmful.
They are distractions. They dull our minds and use up our time.
Instead of living, we waste our lives 'killing time'.
Observing rather than living
People attend football matches and jeer as people race up and down the field.
Others are glued to reality TV shows.
Distractions come in all forms.
Those who lack wisdom are convinced that they are truly awake;
they think they understand what is happening;
they think that the king is really the king,
and the servants are really servants.
Some distractions can seem to be more academic or even spiritual:
Reading 'intelligent' magazines or newspapers
The news/current events
New Age interests: crystals, auras, chanting...
Travelling the world
These may be further illusions,
more convincing deceptions...
Is this just self-gratification?
Who can say?
A deliberate life
Not many people actually think to live a deliberate life.
They just do what their friends do, or their family, or the people on TV, in the newspapers, in the magazines.
Instead of waking up and noticing the cage of convention that surrounds us all, most people just carry on sleeping.
Waking up is not easy.
It may even prove to be disheartening and lonely.
You will be one voice in a tornado of noise, one person swimming against the current.
No one around you will notice, care about what you are doing, or offer you support.
People may even try and persuade you to stop.
They may invite you to set-aside your quest and re-join the ranks of the sleeping majority.
You cannot step twice into the same river...
This is a one-way trip.
As soon as you notice an alternative way to live, you have changed. There is no turning back.
Even if you think to stop, the seeds of your transformation have already been planted, and will continue to grow.
Living a deliberate life is an opportunity for self-fulfilment, a chance to be you, to do what you want to do.
It is a chance to transcend pettiness and ego, to be free of your conditioning.
To die contented and happy.
18 March 1997
Last updated 19 November 2018