Finding our place in the universe, in nature, helps us to feel the transitory nature of all things. We get so concerned with the societal and cultural elements in our lives that it’s difficult to remember that for most of us, whatever we did here will make little or no difference in a hundred years.
It can really be liberating to get to a place, literally sometimes, where we can feel how tiny and alone we are in the universe.
Day-to-day we must go to work, wash our clothes, feed our families. We become entrenched in the stage play that is our modern world, and that often makes us think in small ways. Today, tomorrow, the next ten minutes,dealing with this pain or paying that bill are real stressors in our lives, and it takes considerable amounts of concentration to get these things into perspective.
When I lose sight of the path, the long road, the universe as it existed before I lived and will exist long after I’m gone, my thoughts and emotions become short-sighted, immediate.
It’s only when I think of the long road that I can reign in this accursed brain. That I can stop to think that there are others worse off, with greater stresses, immediate dangers, fear, hunger, pain. Being five minutes late for work, being broke until payday, having a headache— when I let these things occupy my mind’s space like shiny trinkets I can’t take my eyes from, life suddenly becomes shorter, more complicated, sometimes downright annoying.
When I stop to truly see, I realize that these passing moments will be meaningless before I know it. What is more meaningful?
Being kind to my wife, children, co-workers, not allowing these transient annoyances to make me short-tempered or intolerant of them, to remember that these are among the greatest beauties in my life.
Seeking the solemnity and beauty of natural places, the walk after work or even envisioneering, where I visualize these inspiring places and moments. These places help me to see that the world, the universe, is entirely unaffected by the things in my tiny life, and I am indeed a part of this universe. If I was spit out of the universe right now, it would carry on without missing a beat.
Remembering that I live on a rock that is hurtling through space at a rate of 130 miles a second. Every moment is good fortune.
Remembering to be the me I imagine myself to be. One that is kind, compassionate, serving and sympathetic, because I feel in my heart that these are the highest callings for the use of this brain and this time on the planet.
We face these choices every moment of every day. To be agitated or accepting. To be judgemental or forgiving. To be a taker or a giver. In a way, the path is a selfish one, in that I seek understanding and enlightenment so that I may be at peace.
In another way, by example or action, it is a selfless path, as I seek my own peace by wishing peace for others, by sharing the bottomless well of love.
Be at peace.