20 Apr 7. Don’t bother about Becoming (Enlightenment).
This is number 7 of my 10 commandments, to view the full list click here.
Becoming is driven by desire. Osho have said you cannot stop desire, that will create another desire. You can only understand it. And then it drops by itself.
This is a big one. It is so big that I don’t think I yet know how big it is. But the main question now is: How much of my time am I thinking, daydreaming or projecting about something in the future? I am not talking about rational planning like determining what time to pick up the kids at school. Those things should only take minutes. No I am talking about this living for the next moment, instead of being here now. Becoming instead of being:
- Wanting to already have brushed my teeth so I can go to bed
- Wishing the grocery was already shopped and in the car
- Dreaming about warm summer days in the winter, wanting to jump there now
- Thinking about having another job, being better looking, being smarter, having a bigger house, having more money so I don’t have to work, etc, etc.
Since I started to observe my mind some years ago I have realized that most of my life I have been living in a made up future. My body is here and perhaps even talking to you, but most of my attention is in an imaginary world where you and I are having sex (if you are a hot girl). Or maybe I was thinking about something else, what exercise to do in the gym this afternoon. Something stupid like that, instead of being totally here with you. And then when I am in the gym I’ll be thinking about what to cook for dinner. And then when eating maybe I am watching TV so I don’t have to think for a while, I let the TV think for me. Because otherwise I would probably waste the tasty food by worrying about a meeting tomorrow…
This may sound like a madman, but a big part of my life has looked like this and I believe most of you recognize the pattern from your own lives? Of course it is not always this bad, but it seems like we are hardly ever totally present. Present in our bodies without any thought about past, future or what we want to get out of whatever we are doing. What we don’t see is that this attitude of becoming is a pattern that governs our lives.
The couple, mainly the bride I guess, is planning her wedding for months – it is almost like she is living in that wedding day and night for months. Which means she is living in her head, instead of in the reality around her. All of a sudden the wedding is happening and now three months of planning the future, three months of living as becoming, is supposed to disappear so she can enjoy fully in the present moment. Is the stress going to vanish that easy? And then Poff! (Don’t know if that is the correct sound but anyhow…) It is all over. Now she will have to go back to her head again, either remembering the wedding or start to planing and hoping for the next thing. Maybe kids or something else.
Think about it, how much time aren’t we spending wanting what we are doing to be finished? Finished so we can start doing the next thing, or finished so we can relax. What is the proportion of becoming compared to the time we are actually enjoying what we are doing right now (and what we are doing right now is the only thing we will ever do). I think many people would come to perhaps 90% vs 10%, 90% of the time they are wanting whatever they are doing to be finished so they can start doing what they “really want”. This is often a subtle and unconscious desire, a sort of small resistance to what is happening at this moment. But as you may have figured out it means a person like this is actually wasting 90% of his / her life waiting for life to happen in the future. Some people start waking up when they get old, realizing there is not much future left to become in. Hopefully they start being more, but many instead start sentimentally remembering the past. Which is kind of the same thing as thinking about the future, projecting images and thinking about stories that are not here and now.
This is the person we know as our self, ask yourself who you would be without a past or future. Really sit down and be with that for a moment. No history, not even a name, and no future. Some would feel lost and worried by this, but it could also be the greatest relief and celebration. Nothing of importance is lost and everything in front of you right now is won, which is all the reality there is.
I have been struggling a lot with letting go of this constant focus on what and how to become. How can I jump from there into a relaxed, content and joyful character who is just being in the now? As you may have noticed the question is a trap, once again I want to become something I am not. The medicine, because medicine is what we need, seems to be to understand what is taking me away from what is. Instead of wanting to be with the now, I am gradually learning about this mechanism of becoming. The more I see it, the less grip it has over me. The result is that I will be less and less in my mind, less projecting about some future that certainly will be different than my plan. And where will I find myself instead? I will find myself waking up in the now, the only place I ever was and ever can be…
For me this is an ongoing process, but I have at least come as far so I have started laughing at myself when I catch myself daydreaming about some future girl, more money or the big one – enlightenment. Ever since I started to read about it five years ago it has been some kind of goal in my mind. Even though every Master has said it cannot be a goal, it cannot be made into a desire. It is not about becoming in the future my Guru says, it is about constantly evolving with the present moment – because the present moment is always new and demands something new to be awakened and living in you to meet that reality. How could there be time to daydream about myself in the future?