An answer to an e-mail I got from a friend about freedom and liberation through tuning your body with the universe (I think)
I’m going to write you a different e-mail later or tomorrow, cause you asked for Hebrew and my laptop is showing some death signs so I’m trying to fix it now. But I did want to response to this thing so, while I can do that in English I will. I’m writing it to you, but since you send the first e-mail to a bunch of people, feel free to send it to them as well, maybe it will start an interesting debate.
I’ve read what you wrote a couple of times in the morning, and a couple of times in the evening, it got mixed up with a conversation I had with Ned, with the book I was listening to, with my computer being messed up, with a bit of luck I had yesterday and a bunch of other things, it’s quite possible, that if I got that e-mail tomorrow or last week, it would make me feel quite different, but I did get it today so I’ll try to write about it from how I see things now.
There is no road to liberation; there is no process in the path to enlightenment or freedom. In my experience, there is only the currant place where we are in life, a hundred million tiny choices we make everyday, and they are all my chances to be free and act according to my free will. Some situations allow me more freedom, some less, some choices will bare an ill effect on the future and so even though I feel like doing something I might avoid it (yes, I don’t really think my body would be too happy in the long run if I eat another piece of cake so though I really want one, I’ll have some coffee instead). Some of those choices I choose because it’s the right thing to do, some on impulse, some because I’m scared, or feel responsible, some because I forget to really ask myself what I want and just go with the flow.
I’m scared, and I know, everyone I know is also scared, our life is flooded with fear – the fear of rejection, of pain, or being hurt, of messing up and being yelled at, of being held responsible for our own actions, being thought of as a freak, not being loved, being lonely, being alone.
For me, the only way to achieve anything that I have achieved in the past few years of my life, may it be a husband I love, living without the burden of a 9-5 job, a good relationship with my sister, a no relationship with my mother, an art show and some fame (though so far no fortune) friends and so on – came from accepting fear as a part of my life, but, still making the effort to choose what I wanted regardless to the fear. I’m also painfully aware of all the things I haven’t achieved yet - a good relationship with my family, financial success, fame, an art show in NY, better relationship with friends, an ability to fix my computer on my own, a regular (or any type of) physical exercise routine, a mid for business and so on, are very much not yet within my grasp cause I’m too scared to go for it.
And you know what?! That’s also OK, I might get there eventually, I might not, I know I have my own unique personality with it’s strengths and weaknesses, and I’m doing a little better on some days, and on other days, I’m doing worse. I don’t think I need to be perfect, all I can do or be in me – and sometimes that the best thing in the world and some times it truly and utterly sucks. And I’m happy to be me, at least, most of the time.
There is no road to liberation and there is no path to follow, don’t attempt to liberate yourself, be free! Don’t attempt to “walk the path to enlightenment” just turn on the light! Your life is being lived one minute at a time, whatever you do in that time is up to you. This is not a school there are no lessons to be learned, your life is a work of art that you are creating, a book that you are writing, it can be as short or as long as you choose it to be, it can be a well constructed plot or a stream of consciousness novel. How know, it might be a poetry book, or short stories, or a case study, or a shopping list – it’s up to you to live it the way you see fit.
Observing yourself and your life is mostly just a way to defend yourself from fear, being cynical, most of the time, is also, just a way to defend yourself from fear. It’s OK to use those methods, we all need our armors, and it’s also nice to find situations or way to take it off once in a while.
As far as I can tell, there is no god, there is no heaven and hell or reward or punishment, we create our own rewards and our own punishments. There are no distractions, there’s just life and what we choose to focus on, some times finishing studying for an exam is more important then going out drinking, sometimes a Metalica concert is more important then attending a funeral, sometimes, staying up till sunrise laughing in bed is more important then going well at an important meeting the next day, sometimes, the hardest thing in the world is picking up the phone, and the easiest is making 20 paintings in one night.
Staying focus on a target is just one way to perceive life.
Having a graceful sense of timing, a harmony with the world, though a profound experience, is just one way to interact with the world around us.
Being happy or content is just one emotion we can experience, it is not a goal, it is just that in this state we avoid fear, and the horrible feeling of not being good enough and emptiness, which are all, after all, also, just one more emotion on a large scale of what makes us human, and of what make us the individuals that we are.
Life is a constant struggle, because it changes around us, and we change in it, and I don’t think there’s some place or state of mind to aspire to. I know I hope to struggle and interact and be baffled and angry and sad and happy and silly and content and hungry and thirsty and in need of a stiff drink or a cup of coffee till I die. I don’t want to be enlightened; I just want to be me.