Optimism and Zen

Since my last post, things have apparently gotten worse in some ways. Maxed out credit cards, unexpected bills. But as I said at the end of that one, things are still moving in the right direction. Things are still moving. Everything changes.

Now is all there really is. It is always now. Can you remember a time when it wasn’t?

But within Now, all forms–things, objects, events, thoughts–change. All forms are transient, impermanent. And past and future are just how we differentiate between configurations, arrangements, of form. “Now” is the window of consciousness those configurations of form pass through.

What does this have to do with optimism? Perhaps it has more to do with Zen, but this is why I feel peace in the midst of such apparent calamity.

  • Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.
    Eckhart Tolle
    A New Earth

Some people say that a happy ending is just a story that was cut short. But the same could be said of any ending, happy or otherwise. When is the right time to make a judgment? Not now; things are still changing. And Now is all there is.

So, sure, it would be possible to point to other current arrangements of form which would represent the “good” to counteract or outweigh the “bad,” and say that is a reason for optimism. But that would be an opinion, a judgment, and more to the point would still be basing my identity–optimistic, pessimistic, happy, sad, whatever–on external factors, transient forms. What happens when those things inevitably change?

So that is not the source of my peace, nor is it the foundation of my identity. I am.

“Huh? You are what?”

I don’t know, and don’t need to know.

  • I usually congratulate people when they tell me, "I don't know who I am anymore."
    Eckhart Tolle
    A New Earth
  • When you let go of the thought that you should or need to know who you are, what happens to confusion? Suddenly it is gone. When you fully accept that you don't know, you actually enter a state of peace and clarity that is closer to who you truly are than thought could ever be. Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself.
    Eckhart Tolle
    A New Earth

Really, words are forms, and not the same forms as the ones they name. There are few words for that which is formless, and when using them it must be realized that as forms, they fail to describe and define what cannot be defined: the very absence of definition itself. As a hole is defined by the material which surrounds it, words can be forms which attempt to define the formless, but will always fall short. So, with that knowledge, what words could be used to help point towards the understanding I am intending to convey? What am I?

Consciousness. Formless. Undefined. Unknown. Everything. Nothing. Peace. Love. Life. Stillness. Potential. Now.

I am.

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