Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It came out of nowhere! Finding the way home.

"O pleasures, salutations to you; you have indeed sustained me all these years and even made me forget the self. O sorrow, salutations to you; you spurred me on my quest for self-knowledge, and it is by your grace that I have attained this self-knowledge; hence you are indeed the bestower of delight."
"When obstinately clinging to a fancy and therefore abandoning a thorough enquiry into the nature of truth, one apprehends an object with that fancy - such apprehension is described as conditioning or limitation."
-Yoga Vasistha

"What is the most common thing people say after they've been hit? He came out of nowhere!"
-Bernard F. (Owner, Defensive Driving School, NYC)

Bernard's words bring pause. Does any situation really come out of nowhere? After all, isn't it easy to focus attention on what is enjoyable (passenger, radio, phone, daydream) or on what isn't (kids arguing, bills, work)? Distractions act as tunnel vision, easily creating fantasy worlds built on individual preferences.

Sometimes it's painful to see the truth. Maybe some of us resist accepting that other cars may not observe the rules of the road. But if we can't truthfully locate ourselves on the map of life, how can we safely steer our way home?

A crash with reality, whether physical or symbolic, creates space, an opening to see truthfully. The question is, are we there yet?