A scratchbook for my thoughts on the meandering paths of life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I've talked so much about changing in my life. For those who struggle with their internal world, talking about change is an addictive fantasy. It's a lullaby we sing to ourselves to help us sleep through this world. Talking about change is the opposite of change. Change is man's ultimate effort. Change never "happens", not unless you are one of those who have already done all the work in a previous life, but that is another topic altogether. To normal people, change does not "happen", and there is absolutely no sense waiting for it. Waiting for change is like waiting for yourself to arrive at your destination while standing in place.

But changing is not like walking to your destination. Change is when your destination cannot be walked to, climbed to, swam to, or flown to. If you still find the way to come nearer to it, then you are on that path called change. All of which is to say that change is not easy. Most people never change. They "grow", yes. They mature, they gain insight, they take responsibility. That, too, is change. And that, too, is not easy. I respect all those who succeed in embarking on this process. This process of letting childish things shrink in importance, of finding joy and pleasure in the fruits of work and responsibility.

I am one of those standing on the shore of childish things, looking at the ferry to responsibility, with a ticket in my hand, but unable to embark. Every step I take in this journey seems to yield more difficulty. Where is the joy in it?

And yet that is exactly the ruse of talking about change. This so-called "journey" is no journey at all. It is not change. How do you step on the ferry and let the rope holding to the shore fall loose? There is no step you can take, no decision you can make, that takes you from the shore to the ferry. There is only the non-step, the non-decision that is the highest human power, yet the most subtle and difficult. You must let go. Because, as we all know, there is no journey, no shore, no ferry, and no change. You are already where you want to be, you just have to stop holding yourself back.

But letting go, how utterly not easy it is. How utterly against everything we believe and think. How convincing are the ever-moving patterns of our thoughts and feelings. We cannot ignore the feelings. The anxiety, the fear, the worry, the hurt. We cannot let go because letting go does not make them less. Actually, it seems to make them grow. When we let go they start seeping through the thinning walls of our defenses. The fear grows, the hurt is closer to the surface.

My experience of trying to let go is of an endless expanding and shrinking movement. You shrink until you realize you have lost touch with your world. Then you recall that the world is beautiful and you start to let go. The light begins to suffuse you, you expand. But the expansion brings new experiences, and the experiences slowly flood your soul. Until you lose touch with that expanding movement and begin to lose the sense of how you came to where you are and why. Or you do not even notice but the growing energy of the expansion subtly begins flowing into the old patterns. It is natural. It's natural to not change. It's the ubiquitous human weakness. It's not cynical.

The naturalness of not changing stands in conflict to the deep human drive to open, expand, grow. It is the same conflict that exists in science between entropy and evolution. On the one hand, science claims that, undisturbed, all things tend to gradually slip toward a grey uniformity. On the other hand it tells us that life evolved from a uniform uncomplex state, and continues to evolve in complete contradiction to the law of entropy. How can this be?

Life is the force that moves the underlying, uniform force towards complexity. Where life disappears, complexity returns to uniformity. The human body grows dynamically to adulthood. As life weakens, it slowly begins to whither. With death, it decays and returns to dust. This struggle exists in our soul as well. We must fight to grow. If we do not fight, we return to the uniform grayness of our souls.

Fighting in the soul, however, is nothing like we see on TV. "Fighting for peace" is a paradox. But truth in words can only be expressed in paradoxes.

And that's enough axioms for today. To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..