My favorite question, reprisedAT YEAR’S END, ANOTHER LOOKAT LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT CHOICE
As we find ourselves in the last month of the year, I notice myself wanting to place before the house a discussion I have had here before. Indeed, as recently as August 30. I’m going to dive into it again now because, for me, it’s a perfect way to bring this year’s experience to an end, and prepare myself to embark on the New Year with reenergized spiritual vigor.
The topic has to do with our individual sense of Who We Are in the overall scheme of things. I apologize to those of you who have seen this material before, but there is always a chance that someone new may have found their way here since last summer. And for the rest of us, I hope you are like me in never tiring of revisiting the core, or central, issues of life. And this certainly is one. It is, perhaps, THE core issue of our entire life.
The subject is: How do you see yourself, how you conceive of yourself, how you construct your idea of who you are. And to me is seems as if you, and all of us, have two choices regarding this. Maybe I’m oversimplifying this, but to me these choices look like this:
Choice #1: You could conceive of yourself as nothing more than a chemical creature, a “logical biological incident.” That is, the logical outcome of a biological process engaged in by two older biological processes called your mother and your father.
If you see yourself as a nothing more than a chemical creature, you would see yourself as having no more connection to the larger processes of life than any other chemical or biological life form.
Like all the others, you would be impacted by life, but could have very little impact on life. You certainly couldn’t create events, except in the most remote, indirect sense. You could create more life (all chemical creatures carry the biological capacity to recreate more of themselves), but you could not create what life does, or how it “shows up” in any given moment.
Further, as nothing more than a chemical creature you would see yourself as having very limited ability to create an intentioned response to the events and conditions of life. You would see yourself as a creature of habit and instinct, with only those resources that your biology offers you.
You would see yourself as having more resources than a turtle, because your biology has gifted you with more. You would see yourself as having more resources than a butterfly, because your biology has gifted you with more. Yet what your biology offers you is all you would see yourself as having in terms of resources.
You would see yourself as having to deal with life day-by-day pretty much as it comes, with perhaps a tiny bit of what seems like “control” based on advance planning, etc., but you would know that at any minute anything could go wrong— and often does.