I have been reading about detachment in Buddhist thinking; not being attached to specific outcomes. I am trying to understand how fates can be predicted. Perhaps by pure need for authorship I reject any proposition that my life is already written. Creation is a beautiful thing, I want to keep creating. In the past 3 weeks Amir and I have had a number of conversations about this. He mentioned that we can to some extent predict a possible chain of events. He recalled an instant when he knew in a matter of seconds Portia was going to hit the cup, and it was going to break. That was a short chain of event he could predict. He asked me a few weeks ago ‘What if people can see the longer chain of events?’ So I said ‘Fortune tellers.’
When we think of Earth’s age, when we think of an evolutionary period- and then measure it to our lifetime meaning each individual life, – then we see how insignificant our individual history is. Its significance is only due to its presence in the collective ‘histories’ as nations, tribes, societies, regions. Scientists can predict climate change, predict paths to earth’s destruction, predict the endangerment and extinction of whole species. Why am I shocked a fortune teller can tell me my mother is ill, I travel alot, do worldly work and will be married by 25 years? Just a trivia – the palm reader told me I would meet him March/April this year so you can see why I am very careful with the men I meet now haha ;)
Seeing the world through the eyes of eternity
That conversation sprung up, Amir was having a slight difficulty and then one conversation looking at the world for an eternal perspective just pigeon-holed everything unimportant. Suddenly life became easier. When I mean seeing the world through the eyes of eternity what I mean is really just visualizing how insignificant each detail is in comparative to everything. Raz my true friend said he pictured himself in space looking down at the planet and realising how ‘he’ did not matter. After expressing my feeling of being a sense of failure, Kate told me ‘Natasha if you took a picture of your life, that ‘failure’ becomes completely irrelevant.’
Amir and I had a long conversation about Time. About controlling time. I part-experimented with what I learnt from him. I took down man’s measure of time. So long as I had control over speed and distance, time I could control. My age did not become an issue; my maturity and ability to deal with this world became a matter of experience, willingness and courage and not a matter of age. I am a woman who thinks 24 hours is not enough for every thing – but this is a problem of my lack of confidence to complete things for fear of failure or imperfection. My lover told me this only recently before I knew it myself. At least in the past few days, time did not matter so long as I was moving (speed). Even travelling to and from Sengkang (which is really a…) became a shorter experience. I did not think ‘1 hour till I get there.’ I did not think ‘Oh another 40miles’. By placing a number on the experience, I was fixing it at 40 miles or 1 hour – so long as one factor is controlled, you’ll end up having less variation in the result. I wanted the variation to suit me. Of course I had a broad understanding of man’s time in my ‘time-less experiment’. There are deadlines, there are meeting appointments….but in between these deadlines and appointments time is of little relevance. Actually take this next phrase with deeper understanding ‘Times moves so fast when you’re having fun, and so slow when you’re not.’ It’s really not about time. It’s about the ‘being’ or what’s ‘being done’.
[Efficiency you can train as you can with multi-tasking. Just do it. Or go to the supermarket with a list of things to buy and think of it as an amazing race. My 62 yr old Uncle is so alert and so efficient that he is faster at me in getting things done. And I am not even that slow]
Eradicate your fixed identities
Another thing Amir and I developed in our conversations was we are never one thing. I used to tell myself ‘I can never read a book on a moving vehicle’ Now the train-time is all I use for reading. Talking to Fitz the other day he told me ‘Natasha, I don’t know what you are.’ to which I replied ‘I’m not’. We are creating ourselves at each moment. I am as I am in this second, and in the next few seconds I am not. In fact in Buddhist thought, a saying goes ‘There are only thoughts and no thinker’. Amir and I talked about this partially in the context of relationships. I was telling him ‘Oh I am not that kind of person’ or ‘Oh I don’t like this about..’ and he said ‘Nat…It’s always different.’ This is true. I saw myself changing naturally. Everything you ‘are’ is in relation to what is around you. The ‘what is’ changes so you change. All that I am now is what I am creating in relation to my environment and the people around me. You see we live pro-socially. With love, what you are, what he/she is is what the two of you create; and if put with another person there is only re-creation. In fact it is the re-creating that is quite an insightful process. If the both of you are self-reflected enough you will understand yourself and the reasons for your being and doing much more. There is a book I would recommend you about the spiritual path to love. It is titled ‘If Buddha Dated..’ Read it with a lover or not.
You are never ONE person. If you find yourself attaching to certain identities, just change the language of that expression. I used to think I was a coward and in fact I am still attached to this thinking that I still think I am. So whilst on the plane climbing up to 12, 000 ft during my sky dive I said to myself ‘I am so scared. I don’t like heights…’ I looked at all the faces around me and can quite guarantee they were thinking the same. I hated that fear. I didn’t like feeling terrified. So I said to myself first unconvincingly but repetition always works with a human ‘I am so excited to do this jump. If I had it my way I would do it now. I can’t wait to just jump.’ And I started smiling and making funny faces at the camera. Of course as we were about to jump out, my fear took over me. Then at the edge, I turned to the camera and smiled – my state changed immediately.
There are certain things you tell yourself you are which can limit your experience in this world. ‘I am afraid of heights’, ‘I don’t have time to travel’, ‘I don’t give good impressions’, ‘Women don’t like me’…Amir is one person who had a major turnaround from an anti-social to an over-social. You tell yourself this because it gives you a sense of identity ‘I am a writer’, ‘I just don’t eat Chinese food’, ‘I just cannot type with an Ipod Touch’, ‘I will never enjoy intellectual property law’. Single identities or the collective of it helps us to put us in place in society. Helps us make decisions as well. ‘I can never wake up on time’ helps you make a decision that you will not wake up on time. As human beings, we tend to always categorise, divide and subdivide further to make sense of things. I don’t think its wrong. I think its just important to be aware when those divisions starts to limit experience or make you attach to specific outcomes.
I apologise for absence. The past weeks I was so busy hosting someone. The next 3 weeks I am going to just indulge in the Afghan Family Law and in other FI work. I think I will be in Singapore for the next month and might postpone my trip to Afghanistan for lack of finance. I will attach more pictures and stories soon