When I found out I have a rather high risk of developing cancer, it was the first time I genuinely felt the need to stop. Stop running from things. Stop running towards things. And just be. I never came to your classes for the gym, I relate to everything that you’re saying. But I do so even more these days. I am an atheist and have no intention of being a hypocrite now and turning to God, if any; nor do I have any urge in this respect. But I do feel the need for some sort of order and meaning and most of all for the right mindset to go through this.
Last week I went to the seaside for two days because the sight of the sea really calms me and makes all thoughts go away. On my way there, on the highway, I stopped because a flock of birds caught my eye; they were flying in a rather confined area, in what appeared to be some kind of a ritual; and their movement seemed chaotic and at the same time full of purpose, but above all full of grace. So I said to myself that I am going to go through this with grace and a smile on my face. Yet, I am still afraid at times.
Any thoughts or recommendations?
When people tell me that they don’t believe in God, if they are open enough, I ask them: in which God you don’t believe? And the interesting thing is that I also don’t believe in that God, an all powerful being, far away and separated from ourselves that is checking to see if we are good boys or girls in order to take us either to heaven or to hell.
No, I don’t believe in that God either!
But that there is an intelligence, an order, an amazingly beautiful expression in all that is, I have no doubt about. We don’t need to call it God, but we can call it the Universe, the Whole, Life. That inner sense (that I know you have) that those birds, and you and me, and the planet and the whole cosmos is connected in infinite ways… that connection, that intelligence, that excellence is God.
Sickness is an expression of that perfection. Yes of course, as the ‘little people’ we think we are, afraid of this huge universe, sickness is a problem, something to be afraid of, and rightly so. But sickness is not different than an earthquake. As ‘little people’ we definitely don’t like earthquakes, but if I we grow that vision, if we can look beyond the ‘little scared person’ and put on the glasses of the ‘cosmic person’, an earthquake is nothing but a beautiful expression of the planet trying to heal itself.
I am both, I am the ‘little person’ trying to survive, but I am also the ‘cosmic person’. Both of them have their place and their role.
The ‘little person’ may believe in a higher being we call God hoping that it will protect him/her or may completely reject such an idea and believe that there is nothing higher than itself.
But the ‘cosmic person’ does not need to believe; it sees God everywhere. For the ‘cosmic person’ there is no God, but everything IS God: a beautiful expression of a cosmic order, from an electron, to a person, to a galaxy.
The ‘little person’ needs to ask the ‘cosmic person’: what should I do? And the ‘cosmic person’ will answer: DON’T WORRY. Do everything you need to do and can do in order to take care of yourself, but after you have done all you can, DO NOT WORRY. If then you found out that there is still something else you could do, then go and do it. But when it is done, DO NOT WORRY. And on, and on, and on.
Do what needs to be done, open your eyes to that cosmic order, and trust.
Everything that you see, touch, feel… and even the touching, the seeing and the feeling itself ARE an expression of that order, of that intelligence. We cannot really understand that order (religion and science are two ways people try to figure out the order, but we will never really be able to understand it because we ourselves are a consequence of it) but we can feel it, be filled with wander, and embrace it.
Don’t remain only as the ‘little scared person’. Let that person do what it needs to do, but keep returning to the ‘cosmic person’. That ‘cosmic person’ is a truer and more real version of what you and me and we all really are.
‘We must accept our reality as vastly as we possibly can; everything, even the unprecedented, must be possible within it. This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us.’