April 20, 2009

Why would someone commit suicide? I read an article just now about suicides in India, in Aurstralia. Farmers are killing themselves because they’ve lost their crop due to water levels sinking, droughts, heat waves, killing themselves in a face of falling deeper and deeper into debt. Why? The article suggested that: “These stories are a reminder that our personal wellness is inextricably linked to global wellness.” What came to me as I read this sentence was that these stories are a reminder that who we are is not what we have. Who we are is not what we do. Who we are is not our financial situation. Who we are is not what we posses, who we are is not what we hold dear and what we love. The land we’ve been farming is not who we are. The companies we’ve created are not who we are. Our families, our countries, are not who we are. When global warming comes with severe droughts, heat waves and wildlife fires ravaging the country, when the water levels recede turning fields into deserts, we have a choice. We have a choice of how we relate, we have a choice of how we see ourselves, we have a choice of how we see our life. How we relate to it, how we define it. A farmer can not be a farmer without a farm to farm. God is God with or without a farm. God is God regardless of climate and water levels. God is God regardless of circumstances. God is limitless. As I read about, and listen to, people talking about what happens on the planet right now, listen to predictions of what might happen in the future, to stories of pain, fear and despair, I can not help but feel that the tremendous change that is happening right now is a great opportunity. I can not help but feel that it is a great opportunity for a man to lose everything he owns, everything he believes in, all his life’s work, all his possessions, all his money, all his friends, and realize that he is still here. Without everything that was his life, without everything that was his reality, everything that was his comfort, his safety, his protection, his support – he is still here. If he chooses to be. It reminds me of Jill Bolte Taylor, the woman who remained conscious through her stroke, and then the ten-years recovery process. I watched an interview with her recently, she talked about losing completely the sense of being herself as separate being, an individual, a persona, an ego, as a result of her stroke. She talked about being without language, without concepts, without definitions. Simply being, only experiencing the reality as a pure, endless nirvana. She was gone, the woman, the scientist, the professor, Jill Bolte Taylor, was gone. There was only the experience of bliss. As I thought about it later I wondered why don’t all stroke survivors report such blissful experiences? Why don’t all of them sit on a couch for years in perfect nirvana? Their brain is affected much as Jill’s was, she says that strokes generally happen in the same area, so why is their experience so different? Why is it so traumatic? Why is it a disaster? And it occurred to me that it wasn’t only shutting down the part of Jill’s brain that was responsible for her identity that resulted in this amazingly blissful experience. It was her choice to remain present, to remain conscious, to be there. To be bigger and greater than any structure, any circumstance, any situation she has created throughout her life, or was handed down by her family, her society, and called “I”. Bigger and greater than any rules, regulations, believes and systems she might have been taught or created herself and called “life”. Bigger and greater than life itself. Limitless. She chose to be.

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