WHAT TO BE THAT IS THE QUESTIONBy
Last night I went into a deep pondering state, the soft twilight glow just before wakefulness slowly slips into deep sleep.
I was in a state of flow, my mind wandering aimlessly about like a neighborhood cat that wanders the neighborhood sniffing this and that until something particular in the environment, like the sight of a lizard perfectly still on the garden wall, will arrest the cats awareness and dramatically transfix the cat so that all else except the lizard recedes into a gray fog.
While my mind was still wandering aimlessly, for no particular reason I thought about the times that I jogged or ran over the years and concern would arise over whether I could make it to the finish line.
But as I approach the ultimate finish line there is no doubt that I will cross the bright finish line that is fast approaching. My bag of bones will surely get there, but what then?
But before the beguiling question, “What then?” (What happens after death?) could be answered the question “what now?” arose bright as the sun and transfixed my mind so that all else except the question “what now” receded into the cloudy background.
My mind perceived that in every age and almost in every culture sages observed that as long as we breathe we must avoid making a contribution to the chaos extant in the universe. Put another way, a more positive way, we should continually strive to contribute to the wellbeing of the universe.
While still in a state of flow and with the question “what now?” bright as the sun before me, and all else having receded into the shadowy background, my mind began to reflect on how I would choose to spend my scant remaining days on our planet. The question “What now? What now?” repeated itself over and over again like a sword smith’s hammer striking the steel blade into submission. What conclusions could I reasonably reach?
When the fires of passion have been tamped down and our tank is empty and we are running on fumes it’s relatively easy to avoid contributing to the chaos of the universe. We simply have no energy left to keep stirring the pot.
“What now?” as I fast approach the finish line clarifies into the positive question, “What must I do to discharge my duty to contribute to the wellbeing of the universe?
Certainly nothing as trivial as scoring on a huge investment, or ferretting out the latest cuisine to satisfy my fading palate, or travel to exotic places. What now then?
To me the inescapable conclusion is that I simply must be. Be authentic, be loving, be aware of others and be compassionate towards them.
To the extent we just “be, we contribute to the wellbeing of the universe. “Being,” requires no great expense of energy, we can “be” while running on fumes.
Some will argue that greed is the driving force of the universe and one must do all that can be done to accumulate wealth and power. They argue that it’s the law of the universe as demonstrated by black holes gobbling up neighboring stars.
While this argument has solid acceptance with the extremely wealthy intent on accumulating more wealth even at the cost of surrendering their humanity to the forces of greed and corruption this argument did not appeal to my mind.
While my mind was in its state of flow it became clear to me that the better argument is that it’s better to be like the golden sun then a black hole.
The golden sun, merely by being, warms our bodies and brings us pleasure and happiness and helps trees grow on the mountain’s bosom. Being like the golden sun contributes to the wellbeing of the universe and has the added benefit of bringing us joy as well.