EVERYTHING (even nothing) MATTERS
Back in 1993 I had the unsettling experience of waking up suddenly—literally—to the realization that nothing matters. Obviously there was more to it than that—of course at least some things matter, one of which is that the experience itself mattered to the extent that it changed my life in a big way.
An alternate translation—it doesn’t matter—helped to clear up the mystery. Lots of things that we don’t even consider matter a lot, things that are there whether or not we are. We simply ignore them because there’s nothing we can do about (or without) them anyway.
The point of all this is that by digging a little deeper into life, we can get more out of it. It’s amazing what can be done with even a little bit of extra thought.
While I might not be able to convey exactly my meaning of nothing matters (or it doesn’t matter), I can try. Here’s what I learned:
What is, is; what was or will be doesn’t matter, or at least matters less. Things and situations come and go, and they leave traces as they pass through the now. What matters is always here: the now. We’re born complete—it’s up to us to realize and accept it. Our self does not depend on things or the past; rather, it is always in the present. Acknowledging the present is what matters—it’s complete unto itself and indestructible.
We live in a reality that we experience but do not–can’t–understand rationally. We know enough to fool ourselves into thinking we can know it all, which keeps us from discovering what’s right in front of us. For instance—givens. Things like gravity, time, and like that. We accept some givens, yet we deny others (because it doesn’t matter whether or not we do accept them—they’re there anyway). We think that we can work it all out logically. But the fact is that we can’t because it is, in fact, irrational. We can only begin to understand what’s beyond our knowledge when we accept the fact that we don’t already know it.
When it comes to the ultimate purpose of the universe and mankind, it doesn’t matter what I, or you, or anyone thinks. We are inescapably on a path to the future, the length and direction of which we have no clue. Mankind will survive and move into the future in spite of any of us. The big picture is what it is, no matter our own individual piece of it.
This doesn’t mean that we, individually, don’t affect its direction or pace. What we do individually in fact has universal effect, even if it doesn’t affect substantially our immediate surroundings. But, at least in this context…
What matters is not so much what we do as that we are, NOW.
Mankind will reach its potential in spite of any one of us or any group that we may form. This takes off a lot of pressure. We can experiment to our hearts’ content, even foul up our own lives and those of others, and it will still progress and still reach its goal.
But while it takes some of the pressure off each one of us, it doesn’t remove our personal responsibilities. I am convinced that these responsibilities are best served by living the truth. Truth is the ethical norm–the way it really is and the way it’s supposed to be. Any doubts regarding what is right are resolved by reverting to truth. Life itself is a truth–it’s humanity’s default mode. We can always return to an even keel by returning to truth. Truth is universal, a given. We don’t define it; it simply is there for the appreciation of it. Not accepting it is our loss.
Vital relationships have their basis in truth and are best handled by honesty. Living involves making choices; the best choice will be founded in reality and, reality being truth, any choice founded in truth can be trusted.
And it doesn’t matter what anyone or any situation does to us; we are not victim of anything or anyone. What happens, happens; it’s our reaction to what happens that determines its effect on us. Each of us is responsible for his life. Each one of us is capable of accepting or rejecting what happens with regard to its effect on us. Even if someone does something directly to any one of us, we have no choice in the matter and therefore can’t affect its being done. We can only deal with what we do with it. This means that we retain ultimate control. We are truly autonomous, in complete control of how we handle our lives.
In order to live right, you need only be right. Life goes on, time passes, and things move ahead. You can even stop thinking. But you cannot stop knowing. And once you know that you don’t know, you will begin to know more and more. Let it come to you–you don’t have to chase after it.
Think about it. Even when unconscious, your body continues to operate efficiently. Life goes on, you get older, and if you are at all aware, you get smarter.
If you are aware, you will learn things that even the highest level of science can’t teach you. This wisdom is within the reach of each and every one of us, no group required. You can be in the world but not of it, all the while in complete control of your life, directing it wherever you choose. The trick is to believe what you already know, and only what you already know.
That you are is a gift. All you have to do is know yourself and become who you are. That’s all you can be, the most you can ever do. But at the same time you are bound to allow others to be who they are, not what you would have them be. Give them the same respect that you expect from them. Be aware. Look in the spaces, not just at what clutters them.
Wisdom is a gift, there for the taking if you will only accept it. All you have to do is to know yourself completely. The rest of it, all the rest of it, doesn’t matter.
Acknowledge, accept, appreciate and affirm yourself and others, and allow them the same courtesy. You will find truth and peace and the good life. Know yourself and be complete, and you will have all the answers. In other words:
Believe What You Already Know and Become Who You Really Are
That’s what I’ve learned. I offer it for what it’s worth to you…
Questions? Comments? Concerns?