Sunday, May 07, 2006

Architects of Our Own Existence

People of the Highlands often have the gift of foresight. Whether they like it or not, they see what is. Maybe one in a hundred will say what they see, and maybe one in a thousand will write what they see.

As a young child I had decided I would create a home for myself in the Highlands, and live like the eagles - out of reach. Nature was my teacher and I would study life at the feet of the masters in the North West Highlands, and as far away from "man" as possible. However, I foresaw that I would travel far from my home, and enter the world of man, a world that is so sick and so far away from who we really are.

The mountains talked with me and as far as they were concerned there was no discussion, no question and no sane alternative. As a young student, I did not see it that way. I thought I could argue some kind of a deal, or use my intelligence to navigate another way into my life. I paid a very high price to become one with the skill you now see me using. I lost the one thing I loved in this world, more than my own life... I knew I had to leave the mountains.

Only when you lose everything and truly have nothing can you begin to live according to your own pure design. Each person is the architect of their own existence, whether they want to face it or not. It is a powerful reality in Native cultures that once we lose everything (death), only then do we really find out who we are. Attachment and dependance are illusions that cloud the vision of our own existence. We will not give up those attachments so easily, and so death comes (in many forms) to help us out.

Once it has transformed you, this death will never leave you. In fact it protects you throughout your entire life. Then comes a day when you realise that you are the mountain and that there really is no other existence.

The difficulty is how you do get others to REALISE this?

Because, if people do not understand the truth of their own existence, our lives will continue down this road of self-destruction. Well, if you look around you the first thing you see is that people really do not want to give things up. They have what they have, and they don't want to lose it.

If I had not suffered the greatest loss, I would not have learned to be able to sit here and write the way I do. But at the end of the day you are simply looking into a mirror - all of life is relationship.

This means if you go into the great forests and you meet an enlightened tree, you do not live the rest of your life under that tree. Because if you are not one with the existence of that tree, living under it wont change much in your life. So, we receive a precious gift and in return we have to give something up. But really in the end, if we are honest all we have to give up is our attachment - ultimately the attachment to ourselves.

Death is interacting with us in its many forms, getting us to give up attachment, the inner workings of it. The eagles gave us the greatest gift any being can bestow on another: Freedom.

In the end it was not the mountains I had to give up, it was the attachment I had formed. The love then forms to embody the true nature of the relationship we have to life. We cannot gather it from others, we can only gather it from within ourselves.

Be True To Yourself

There was once a man living in a large house overlooking the Mediterranian sea, and this man had everything... but at the same time he was deeply unhappy. He consulted all the great experts of the world and no one could figure out why he was so unhappy. In fact as each day went by this man, who was surrounded by beauty, became more and more depressed until the condition became chronic.

A concerned friend, who knew something about Eastern philosophy, asked a great sage from the highest mountains in the world to come and see this man. Unexpectedly the enlightened sage agreed, and he travelled across the world to see what the problem was.

The man who had everything also agreed to this last ditch attempt to save his worsening condition. The sage arrived, and the man proudly showed him all the wonders he had gathered throughout his life. Van Goghs, Picassos, drawings and paintings from Leonardo Da Vinci adorned the adobe like walls, framed only by the giant windows and the blue sunlight of the Mediterranian sea.

The man's house was filled with ancient Greek sculptures, Egyptian artifacts, Chinese manuscripts, Anasazi pottery, and countless fragments of lost civilisations. He took the enlightened sage from one room to the next and told him about each aquisition, its origin and its history. The enlightened sage was very polite, he did not speak, he observed and quietly listened.

Once the man had stopped speaking a heaviness descended, the atmosphere became tense and brooding and his laughter and joy at describing all the wonderful things faded in the gloom of his silence. The enlightened sage nodded his head in understanding and smiled. The man who had everything waited for the sage to speak.

"Yes, I understand." said the sage. "How can you be happy when your home is so bleak, and desolate. Your house is full and rich from other peoples wealth, but I see nothing in your home that is from you."