Existence Itself

We all have problems, difficulties, situations that need resolution…large or small, more or less important, but everybody has things that need to be done.

However, none of those problems, none of those difficulties should occupy every moment of our day. Let’s say we have 10 different issues that need our time (some people may have 5, some people may have 500). We need to give some of our time and energy to think about each of those situations and try to resolve them. But this should be very clear: now I am going to think about this particular problem, now I am going to do something about this particular situation. (Sometimes, out of the blue, we may get an insight about how to deal with a particular situation, and so we bring attention to that insight as soon as our possibilities allow us; in this case, the sooner the better.)

But this is all. This is how much time and energy each of our problems should receive. 
But for most people most of the time, problems occupy the majority of our time in our head, continuously, continuously, continuously, one after another, fighting for their space in our head, and we spend the whole day dealing with these problems in our mind. And this is not only not useful, but it is also painful. It is hurting our body, our mind, our life, our relationships, our happiness. 


Instead of being completely lost in our everyday problems, we can learn to pay attention to the experience of being, the experience of existing or, in more philosophical terms, the experience of existence itself

This existence itself is what needs to become the main object of our attention, what needs to occupy most (if not all) of our time.*

Now, to speak about this existence itself is not easy at all, as it is not something that exists, like everything else exists (a car exists, a person exists, a planet exists, an atom exists), but it is the ‘space’ in which all existing things appear, from a solar system to a leave of grass, from a hope to a thought, from a beautiful spring day to a demanding crisis. Everything exists in this ‘space’ of existence. 
(Please notice that I wrote space in brackets because this ‘space of existence’ is not a physical space, but a ‘space’ of being, a ‘space’ of now.)

In this context, now is synonymous to existence; we can think of ‘existing things’ appearing other than now – in the past (I had a car) or in the future (I will have a car) – but even these are nothing but thoughts appearing in the ‘space of existence’ now. Try, in your experience, to separate existence (not ‘existing things’, but the ‘space of existence itself’) from the ‘space of now’. They cannot be separated for the simple reason that they are two words referring to exactly the same thing; Existence, Now, Being, Presence are all words that refer to the same ‘space’. 

We can discover and then learn to fix our attention in that infinite existence, now.*

Then, from this ‘space of existence’, we realize that even the demands of everyday life are within that infinite space.

I understand this is not easy to grasp; and this is not easy for the simple reason that we can only think, and grasp, things that appear in that ‘space of existence’ – the ‘existing things’ – but the ‘space’ itself eludes us

But everything, absolutely everything, appears and disappears in that ‘space’. It is like the container, like the source of the whole universe.
When we look out (or feel or sense or think or hear or touch) we are only aware of physical matter, of the physicality of things, but we miss the invisible reality (invisible to the senses) that shines in all and everything as the ‘space of existence’ – allowing, giving birth, containing and letting die -, the whole of life. 

The world is shining, everywhere, everything, all the time, but we are blind to that light. 
What we clearly see is the light of joy and beauty and pleasure and success and prosperity and comfort and enjoyment, until that light is darkened by sadness, suffering, adversity, sorrow, tediousness and/or pain. But both joy and pain, sadness and delight, beauty and ugliness are illuminated by the light of existence, by the light of Being. 

We keep looking for our happiness in the light that comes from the beautiful and positive things that life can offer; but the problem with this is that life is a duality, and every light contains in itself its own darkness. That is why we cannot find lasting happiness in things. Every thing is a duality, it contains both – light and darkness, beauty and pain, joy and suffering. 

But all these pairs appear in the one, indivisible light of Presence, of Being, of existence itself

It is not easy, but we can discover that light, and live in that light. It is the light that for millennia some unique individuals have been calling the spiritual light, the awakened light, the Tao, Brahman, God. 

But this light is not up in the sky, something reachable only after death, or in a faraway place called Heaven. It is right here and now, it is only right here and now! But it has to be discovered, it has to be realized. And the main and fundamental requisite for it is our desire, our intense, consistent desire for it.

If all our attention, our energy, our love is directed towards the physical aspect of existence, towards the ‘existing things’, then we will experience the inevitable consequences of that search: the ups and downs of life, the good and the bad, the happiness and the suffering that belong to this dualistic physical realm…sometimes more up, often more down, but never staying either up nor down, but always fluctuating, always changing, always coming and going, always giving and always taking away. 
But if we want to find the peace that passeth all understanding**, the peace beyond the opposites of life, we can learn to discover existence itself, that infinite ‘space’ that is always here, always now, that gives reality to all existing things (material things like cars, trees and planets and immaterial things like thoughts and feelings and hopes and desires), that gives birth, allows and buries this moment right now. 

When this discovery becomes a reality for us, we fix our vision* on that infinite reality, and even when the demands of everyday life require our attention, as I was saying in the beginning of this note, we do what needs to be done with all the love, concentration and dedication we can bring, and then when that particular demand slows down, we remain in that infinite reality. In the ‘place’ where the peace, fulfillment and meaning we all want can only be found… right here, right now, in existence itself

* ‘Becoming the object of our attention’, ‘fixing our attention’, ‘fixing our vision’ are only a beginning step, a way to speak about something that in reality cannot be talked about because, as our understanding develops, we realize that we are not separated from that existence, that we are that existence itself. Which means that in reality, we cannot pay attention to it, but we can only BE it. But as we start to understand these ideas, it is ok to speak in terms of ‘paying attention to…’.

** Philippians 4:6

Categories: Uncategorized

Post Your Thoughts