“What is this life all about? Is it simply a dream…effervescent…translucent…rich in fonder and bliss. Is it A nightmare…a strange hangover…a beginning, a middle, an end. A vague wondering through a riddle…a playground…a demanding program. A blissful sweetness of nectar.”
Ponderings upon the song “Carry on my Wayward Son” By The Band Kansas
What strikes me so intimately about the song itself is the phrase “Once I rose above the noise and confusion, just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion” In these times of confusion, of sometimes what seems to be utter chaos, is the stripped down essence of what reality is…an illusion. It’s the illusion of not seeing the truth, of playing the day to day dramas out like they were of upmost importance, yet when we lay back down to dream at night, don’t we rise beyond the noise and confusion? As we visit a place beyond our reality, which is in fact a sort of dream anyway?
If we control our destiny and are gatekeepers of our thoughts, then it brings me to the question of “Are we the definitive creation of our own illusion”? What can we create from an illusionist standpoint that would be positive and uplifting, helpful to ourselves and others? If this so called “illusion” is our intention in the making, our actions in the process of becoming, then in fact we co create all that we experience. What a thought right? Perhaps at the core of our own personal illusion is the creation of what we need to grow, to change, to become more of what we are. Maybe it is the illusion itself, which keeps us bogged down and unhappy. From that idea comes forth the notion to perhaps change our perceptions, thereby changing our illusion.
When we create an life we want from a joyful standpoint, then we need not feel the need to escape it, fill the void with something that will bring us temporary fulfillment. When we seek that which makes us joyful and that which we want in our lives, then a lot of the noise and confusion subsides and we live in harmony with ourselves first and then with others. I think I want my illusion to be peaceful, loving and joyful, where everyday is a new adventure. Many of the things we experience have growth lessons at their core, seeking to teach us balance and more about ourselves.When we find these lessons ,we grow and become more then what we originally thought we were. We become more understanding, more giving, more loving, more in tune, and more whole. This brings happiness and love around us, the very things we seek to make us fulfilled, without the “noise” and “confusion”. I think that’s an illusion I can and want to live with.
Hummanites College course Question and Answer:
In light of their understanding the Five Skandhas, who is the individual from Chodron’s Tibetan Buddhist perspective?
The five Skandhas are form, perception, sensibility, will, consciousness. The individual from Chodrons perspective is one whom is pushing toward achieving wholeness and unity with the self and the world around them. The ideas she presents are ones of egolesness and groundlessness. In effect she is saying that as a individual we should look at our ego and our fears and face them, rather then running from them and covering them up. How we choose to use our mindfulness is how we co create our world and spans our reaction to situations that appear in our lives. Chodron is saying that underneath all the “noise” there is peace and love to be found and enjoyed. The ideas that control our lives stem from the distractions, the manipulations, fears, anger, aggression and detachment from our true self.
When we look at ourselves gently and with courage ( pg. 32) then we discover our own individuality and the link to all of life around us. Through mediation Chodron says we can experience the true self and leave the anxiety of uncertainty behind (pg. 54), this action seeks to eliminate the struggle within ourselves and our life. The individual’s true self, the one that lives under all the armor and outward effect is pure, loving and peaceful. By breathing, we let the armor go and can find relief and open our whole being to the individual, that lies inside and not what the surface features tell us we are ( pg.89). The person whom seeks enlightenment and truth, finds themselves in a different reality, according to the book because they transcend to find wholeness within. The idea of basic goodness and wholeness is our birthright and something everyone should be in the process of trying to achieve (pg.120).
To me I see the individual as spark of love, peace and light that has a connection to all other human beings and the world itself. I agree with Chrodron that by going inward, we transform outward, and to me that is what we should all be trying to do each day. Living in the moment and experiencing life for the wonder it is, rather then fearing and focusing on the problems that bring us down. This idea of the individual using their consciousness to transform, their will to create and their perception to help themselves and the world, ultimately would bring us closer to a time of peace and utopia on earth.
(Answered from the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron)