Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's a New Year, 2015 to Be Exact

2015 has arrived and as is usual for this time of year, I have a cob stuck in my butt because of something that was said to me.  Last year I wrote about the same kind of incident, and you can read about it here.  

Why this time of year?  Well, maybe it has to do with some unfathomable, unexplored, or undiscovered, physiological flaw in my genome. I was born on the fifth of January and it always seems, at least to me, I get overly sensitive each year around this time.  Perhaps I arrived in this world kicking and screaming to such a degree that I have to deal with the remnants, or fallout from the trauma on an annual cycle, like a form of annual déjà vu. (think Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day) But now it gets translated by my psyche into introspection, rather than physical discomfort.   Whatever the case may be for my rumination; my thoughts cogitate until I find a suitable release. Lucky for me I get to regurgitate my feelings by heaving up my thoughts in text, and you, unfortunate reader, must suffer through, or move on to the next blog.

So what has caused me to bury my conscious mind in thought?  It's not all that heavy; I was simply asked if I had made any "new year's resolutions".  I know right?  That should not translate into a stumbling block of sorts, and it wasn't at the time.  I answered the simple question with a straight forward response and said I was going to drink less, or eat less red meat, or give up some other pleasure that isn't good for me.  (When I told Janet Lee about this incident she called my resolutions dim-witted because: "A.) you can only give up pleasurable vices at Lent, and B.) you don't even follow iconic western religious doctrine because your not Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, or evangelical".  (She has such a great way with words.)  That should have been the end of the whole shebang, but because it is still January, and not Easter, I am sitting at my desk trying to get my thoughts transcribed before I find myself perpetually stuck in the labyrinth. 

I am not a Buddhist but I find the Buddhist concept of viewing reality as it is, and not as it appears to be, very alluring.  In other words being truly present in life.   To do so one must give up all notions of the past and future.  The past is irrelevant, except as a source of experience, and the future has yet to unfold. Frankly it will never unfold because it is always yet to occur.  The future is for all practical purposes make believe, or as a friend of mine would argue, useful fiction.  The only usefulness of the future (and the past for that matter) comes when we start to measure time.   The very second future becomes reality; it no longer exists, because it can't exist in any other form (other than the future).  Preparation for the future by western standards however, is not necessarily a bad thing as long as one doesn't use the future to escape the present.  The goal is to stay focused on the present.  Here is an example.  

It is winter in Texas.    Although not as cold as some parts of the country, winter still means colder temperatures.    Being focused on the present, in this case, means recognizing the environmental change and living with the change. Wearing clothes suitable for colder temperatures and not pretending we can still wear clothes we wore at other times of the year.  Focus on the present and understand what the present represents.

So what does this prologue have to do with New Years Resolutions?  Simply this: A resolution made at New Years, or for New Years, no longer exists.  It symbolizes an escape from the present because to change that which we wish to change requires future action, and that can't happen.   It's a prescription for disaster unless you do it now.  Right now, this very second now. Now, now, now.  You get the idea.  So dear reader, time to show up and be present, stay in the present, because that is all there is.

Thanks for listening.  Peace out.