Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Are you still waiting for the awesome part?

September started and kids are going back to school. Do you remember, you've been told since childhood that being a grown-up is awesome. And maybe now that you're an adult, you're still waiting for the awesome part.... Well, it won't come!

As a child you believed that when you grow up, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. And that is really true but somewhere in the process of education you were tamed to different kind of being.

Why did you go to school, why did you learn various subjects, why did you pass stressful examinations and compete with others for better grades? Is it merely in order to pass the exams and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare you while you are young to understand the life?

Having a job and earning livelihood is necessary - and that's all. You are being educated only to get better occupation. Life became merely a job, an occupation. Life, something extraordinarily profound, a great mystery became just a business. Your education merely prepared you to earn a livelihood so you miss the whole point of life.

You've earned your degree, you've a series of letters after your name. You've passed your exams, found a job, got married, had children, and then you became like a machine. You're fearful, anxious, frightened of life. You're tied to your job and to your responsibilities and this is a way in which you'll gradually wither away.

Take, for example, the whole thing about a career. Lots of you seem to be running around a successful career, you have caught the opportunity, became a boss, manager, senior analyst etc. but you're still waiting for that awesome part.

When I am surrounding with people, friends or acquaintances, all I see are busy, fatty, bold guys and old, chubby, tired women talking about meetings, houses, backyards, barbecues, kid's universities etc... I don't say this is good or bad, I just state the obvious.

All the people I know are grown ups - careers, kids, houses, debt. Most of them are self-medicating. Everyone's got their pills or booze or both, and then massive doses of caffeine during each day.

They're working from home, these days from eight until four, watching the clock, wishing the morning away so they could go to lunch, wishing the afternoon away so they could close the laptop.

Never happy, always busy and tired and preparing for the next thing. Weekends are actually worse because that's when everything that didn't get done during the week had to be done. Cleaning, shopping, kid's stuff.

Money, power, prestige, high heels, sure whatever defines you, however you describe yourselves, think of yourself, project yourself... every feature, every trait, characteristic, feeling, belief, opinion, all of it, your self-ness... is all worthless. Just a costume. The false self which does not exist.

Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity - but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our 'biography, - our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards... It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are? -Sogyal Rinpoche



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