Socrates, on trial for heresy for encouraging his students to think for themselves and to question established beliefs, said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Paying close attention to my life, my experiences, my habits, my thoughts and my feelings is an invaluable practice. It is how I’ve made meaningful, deeply personal discoveries about myself and where I stand in relation to the world. This is also how I’ve come to recognize the absurdity of this world and how it imposes itself on the natural order of things, superimposing upon the Earth’s wild and beautiful face a mask of pretentious civility and a darker technological heart.
But to abandon hope and my sense of responsibility to the domesticated Human race, of which I stand a son, in the face of normalized lunacy is not an option worth considering. I build spiritual muscle and fortitude by remaining engaged while cultivating a soul and depth of soul in the auditorium of solitude. The absence of the world’s noise and confusion reveals a silence worthy of my keenest contemplation and highest estimation.
The substance of my life is found in and founded upon this silence, this solitude. It is my communion with myself that resurrects the Christ, the Buddha, and that extends before me, in vision, the ascending ladder of transcendent hallelujahs and praise of living. In this way, Creator and Creation, if I may, are honored and properly exalted, if this is even necessary.
Whether hanging out on the aimlessly populated streets of the South Bronx; or riding the NYC subway through the tunnels of collective despair so often symptomatic of city-living; or meditating on a beach in Maui as wind-blown sands sting my face like angry gnats; or engaged in passionately uninhibited lovemaking; everything in which I am engaged both speaks and hears, sees and is seen.
Wisdom’s lessons and Spirit’s revelations lie at the heart of every moment, every encounter, inviting me, beseeching me, to look closer, and still closer, even without clearly defined objects or objectives. Time, consideration, and the echoes of insight reveal these. Each moment, singularly special and resonant, gives birth to itself in an eternal stream of unfolding. And all the while I choose to see or not see, to hear or not hear, to understand or dismiss.
The phone is ringing, it’s your life on the line – are you going to answer???