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Life - Ed's journal
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience."
- Frank Herbert, Dune.

The problem with life in general, is that nothing is ever complete until it is over. I find myself wondering from time to time, who I am. What does it _mean_ to be me? But I think the problem is that it's hard to get away from the sense of completion. So it's always doomed to failure.
So seeking the milestones in life, and seeing ... well, age thresholds set these things in context - I find myself asking 'what did I mean to have done before I was 30'. But there's the problem - We spend our lives trying to 'finish' things, to reach milestones, and then somehow end up disappointed when we never do.
But that's not really the right way to look at it, is it? Life itself is not about the destination - the destination is always, and inevitably death.
The way we get there though... that's what we can choose. Not so much what we experience - you can't really control the world around you - but how. How we take those experiences, and what meaning we draw. How we let the things we do, and the people we meet, change who we are. The change is inevitable - I'm not the man today that I was yesterday - but the nature of that change is something we can influence.

That's really what life is all about - it's a process, not a problem. So are people - you can't 'solve' someone, you can merely experience their process of living. If you're lucky, that'll serve you both well, and you'll both draw more from that than you would otherwise.

Sometimes I find myself worried by the concept - I like to have a routine, the concept of being in a state of continual flux is hard to grasp, and so I find myself anchoring in 'comfortable routines', because that gives the illusion of stability and security. Even with friends to an extent - in comfortable cameraderie, we preserve the notion of friendship, but without necessarily bringing forth the turmoil and confusion that is living.

It can be hard to let go of that. That low level 'comfortable' that somehow preserves a shell to keep the howling gale away. And in holding on to that 'comfortable', we risk stagnation. Of resisting all the things that might change us, for better or for worse.

It's hard to know what's more disturbing a notion - that we might be condemned to remain who we are today, or that we might lose all control and be swept away by the current of life.
4 comments or Leave a comment
elrohana From: elrohana Date: March 17th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it s any help, I found getting older has stopped me worrying about 'what if's...' and 'things I wish I had done'.....I tend to live for the moment far more now, whilst still trying to leave my small corner of the planet a better place than it was when I arrived. It works for me. I think atheists generally find this harder than religious types do
mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: March 18th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
It may help to think of this as a cruise.

You know where you're going to end up but the journey may involve many fun stops and activities along the way.

See you at the Captain's table for dinner?

jorune From: jorune Date: March 18th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Change has to be part of one's existence. This is reflected in a Koan.

Where are you going?
I go where it is changeless.
How can you go where it is changeless?
My going is no change.

Getting the balance right in one's head, seeking serenity, is a noble task. It is an universal path but each must walk it alone, you can have guides if ask for them.

I would imagine one of your opportunities for change is buying a house. Prices are falling, mortgage rates are at all time lows. Keep saving those pennies.
erjholton From: erjholton Date: March 18th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Personally, I like to embrace the changes and events in my life without being defined by them. At any given moment, I am me, even if I am not quite the same me as I was an hour, month, year, decade ago.
4 comments or Leave a comment