I hadn’t quite realized until very recently just how very damaging the human ego is.
I have been letting go of late, just allowing things to pass me by. Not ignoring them, nor people. Just not getting fussed about “stuff”. It seems to add a whole new layer of serenity to life.
Of course it may not last. I may get all busy again, and grumpy. But while you are able to let go, you notice with gentle amusement just how much others don’t. Let go, that is.
We had a vicar to stay the other night. One of our favorite guests and a man who has gained enormously over the years in wisdom. He was saying how fortunate I was to be able to let go and that given the choice, he would very much like to do the same. To retire, to go inwards, to preach occasionally in glorious chapels but not to have the daily struggle of a job.
It has always puzzled me, the financial side of life. How do you let go as a busy stockbroker, let alone as coal miner. Maybe the Dalai Lama can manage a busy life and retain inner peace but I don’t think I can.
And so you are left with slight discomfort, guilt almost.
I have always struggled with these beautiful words:
Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns.
It sounds so right, is so right and yet in the modern world seems so unachievable for “everyman”. For the “Man on the Clapham Ominbus”.
Well I have no answer to that, except to surmise some gifted souls are able to carry tranquility within wherever they go and whatever they do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind.
The fact of the matter is I am lucky hermit, with just enough to be able to close my door and my mind to much of the world. And I have only just realized that.
I was at a gathering the other day and was struck at its turbulence. Not House of Commons debate style but nonetheless surprisingly un-tranquil for what should have been an evening of serenity and peace.
And it seemed to be the ego which was at fault. There was no clear leader, or at least none the assembly was content to follow peacefully. The would be head was constantly challenged, her decisions questioned and debated. The majority stayed quiet (perhaps like me they were watching with wry humor) but one or two definitely knew better and were not afraid to say so.
Perhaps that is why I so often find myself alone and in silence. It suits me thus.
I do like people, I really do. But I find posturing so tiring these days. And so amusing in a fashion.
And so I shall continue to let the world pass me by. To resist getting drawn into debate or petty rivalry. To mind my own business and bury my head, if not in the sand, then at least somewhere very quiet and very private.
There is so much in the world which simply does not matter. And there are so few things that do.
I think deep down we all know what really matters; or would know if we were able to think about it. If we had the time and the inclination to develop a quiet awareness of what to keep and what to drop and then act on it, we might just find ourselves on the right side of the Wardrobe door.
In any event I will carry on trying.
Image by Olle August – Pixabay