The idea that we’re each a drop of water in the ocean can be compelling in some ways. The typical perspective offered in Buddhism postulates that we are drops of water, individualized but for a moment from the greater sea that is the total of all-that-is. I get the idea of immersion, being one with the One. I don’t, however, see that as requiring the surrender of my self, and isn’t a healthy ego necessary for my identification? I’ve said before that an ego out of control fits the 12-step-program interpretation of the word: Edging God Out. But a healthy ego is who we are.
I know myself in many ways, chiefly as an experience, as I’ve already discussed. In that sense, I expect that the word ego doesn’t really apply in its traditional form. For as a verb instead of a noun, I am my experiences—always in motion, dynamic as opposed to static, changing as opposed to immutable, expanding as opposed to contracting, and forever young in every instance as opposed to aging. Still, even in this view, I have a self-concept, and from this spring my lessons, alternatives, choices, likes, and dislikes. This is identity, and it’s absolutely attached to the experience, even if part of that is letting go in order to proceed in a new and different way in some other dimension of existence.
I’m totally unaware of any near-death experiences (NDE) in which the survivor tells of being immersed and losing all sense of identification. It’s possible, however, to lose our sense of being, to become so involved in the moment that we lose ourselves. That may be what immersion really is. Getting lost in the experience, whether on this plane or another, is experience at its highest.
For me, the analogy of a drop of water in the ocean is fitting when I think of losing myself in the moment. To do that, I must truly choose to engage in everything life brings to me, and that can’t be done while unattached. I become the experience by being fully aware of what’s happening in each moment. In doing so I can let go of my expectations, for as long as I hold them, I can’t be fully present.
Words can be tricky, and ideas can become puzzles, whereas definitions can and do delimit our understanding of all that we care enough to think about. When many of these concepts are distilled, there remain a few constants. One of them is simply this: immersing ourselves in the experience of life gives rise to understanding that we could otherwise never grasp. The little miracles are not only noticed but fully integrated into our journey. The sadness that comes along is recognized for what it is, but this doesn’t rob us of hope, for we’re not hanging onto some expectation in the moment. Setting about each day with the idea that it’s a miracle—that every moment is a wondrous opportunity to glimpse yet another spectacular exchange in the nature of life, a grand time for fully immersing ourselves in the experience—approaches heaven on earth here and now.
I believe that every breath is a gift, and what you do with that is the only way you can pay tribute to the Giver. I believe that you were meant to have faith in yourself and that you deserve to know an unlimited cornucopia of abundance in all the good things this life has to offer. When you trust in yourself, you turn the key in the lock that opens the door to manifesting your true potential. You aren’t going to take anything with you out of here except your experiences. And notice that it’s you I believe in—and that calls for the distinctly unique individual that you are—not some generalization. Perhaps I’m attached to an idea of being unattached, at least to an outcome, yet as with everyone else, I’m also committed to being uniquely me. In the end, if I weren’t invested in anything, including my experience and ideas, then who would I be?
In the words of novelist Virginia Woolf, “[It] is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible”4 (emphasis added).
So what is it that you believe? Do you think that the goal of a spiritual life is to overcome the illusion of separateness, to lose your sense of identity and so to return to the oneness? Or do you believe that this life and your individuality are amazing gifts that should be treasured and experienced to the fullest? Should you be attached to outcomes, or should you focus on doing your best and then detaching? Which beliefs would serve you best?
Eldon Taylor has spent over 25 years researching the power of the mind and developing scientifically proven methods to use this power to enhance the quality of your life. I Believe is a book that will not only inspire you, but will highlight the kinds of beliefs you hold that may be causing you to fail. In the process, it will provide you with the opportunity to choose, once again, the beliefs that drive your life.
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