The opportunity of collapse

March 8, 2009

 I have responded to a comment on my “bankruptcy” story few days ago. Here is what I said: “Thank you, I believe however that my friend can see another way of creating her life, one that is not encompassed by the usual “home and a job” model. There might be a whole new way of being, available now, since the old way is crumbling.” As I thought about my response it struck me as nice, gentle, pretty vague and incredibly unhelpful. I’ve been thinking to myself for the past few days: “if you have to talk you might as well say something useful, you might just say what you mean!” Here is what I mean by “more than one way of being”: our reality, human reality, at this time, is organized pretty much only and completely from mind’s point of view. We have societies, rules, structures, that are designed to keep us safe, to help us survive.  Mind is a separation, it is a defensive orientation to reality. Mind splits the world into “me” and “not me”, and everything that is not me is potentially threatening and dangerous. I have to defend myself. I have to defend myself from life, I have to survive my life.  In my experience the need to survive is what society is created in response to. Society gives tools, guidelines and rules which, when obeyed, will keep one safe and protected. It tells us what to get and how: education, job, salary, house. It promises that if we follow the rules of the system the system will take care of us. The system is crashing now, it is not taking care of anybody anymore, it doesn’t offer safety and protection. It is a very painful and very scary experience and yet there is a great opening here, there is an opportunity for a realization that, even though the system collapses, we are still here.  My friend has lost her house – and she’s still here. She filed bankruptcy – and she’s still here. She is still alive, she is still being in the world, she is still doing what she wants to do in life. Without the structures that were supposed to keep her safe she is still here, doing well, being herself. She is who she is, even without the house. She is who she is without the credit. She didn’t collapse, die, disappear. I believe that the economy’s collapse, however terribly painful and scary, opens a space for something new to arise. It opens a space for the realization that the system might not have been needed in the first place, that there might be nothing to be afraid of, that life is not a scary, terrible thing that only an open credit can protect us from.  Because there is no credit now and yet we are still here. When I look beyond mind, beyond the split and separation, beyond the fear, life appears to be a wonderful adventure. It is not a chance for me to keep safe and survive, it is a chance to experience. To experience myself, to experience the world as myself, to experience others as myself.  Only when I collapse and forget who I am, only when I start believing that I am my mind, only when I start believing my fears, do I need protection, systems, structures. When I am who I am, as who I am, there is nothing that’s needed. There is no fear, there is no danger. When there is no danger there is no need for a system designed to defend. When there is no danger there is  space for experience and expression. When there is no need to strive for protection there is a space to be and enjoy. When there are no rules for how to live life, there is an ultimate freedom to be oneself in whatever shape or form we choose.

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