Continual, Unstoppable Growth

Oh, dear soul , you want so much to do good. To matter. To contribute. To make a difference. To live fully, joyously.

What is holding you back? What is the obstacle between you and that joy?

“If only things were different, then I would be so filled with joy, so open to radiance all around me. If only I had such and such more. If only he did that less. If only they were kinder. Then… oh then…how I would soar through life with nothing to hold me back. So much would then be possible. If only…”

Yes, you see the obstacle as outside yourself, and so draw the boundary between yourself and the world. The boundary feels like a protection, buffering you from blame, pointing to the root cause out there, away from you. Protecting your inner sanctity, your joy.

The same boundary shuts you in, disconnects you from the world. From the joy of being fully in the world, carefree, roaming as you please. The buffer you hold onto to protect yourself from the indignities of the world is also the buffer that draws a circle between you and others and constrains your natural unbounded nature.

The root obstacle to joy is not out there in the world. It is the perception that the root cause is out there in the world.

“Isn’t this mystical mumbo jumbo? If I give up the buffer how can know I have made progress and that goodness has been achieved? Without a buffer all is meaningless, all is levelled, nothing is better than anything else, nothing worth striving for. Joy requires identity, which requires a boundary between myself and the world. Without a boundary, there is only chaos.”

Is the possibility that you might not get what you think you want, what you think you need choas? Yes, it sure feels that way. Yes, it does.

A child growing into puberty, afraid of the new bodily sensations, new urges, new desires experiences it initally as chaos. As a breakdown of the old identity, yet without clarity of the new identity. A transition phase of growth. It is not an issue of whether to undergo the change or not, whether to will it or not. It – the growth – happens. That is all. The child doesn’t have to make any decisions, or exert any special will. Just seeing it as growth opens him to the world.

A human, even after reaching physical maturity, continues to grow mentally in the same way. It is not a matter of what the adult should decide to do, or will. Nor a matter of how to keep the feeling of choas at bay with the right choices and actions. The only thing one can do is see the sense of choas and pain as part of the growth.

But growth into what? Into a mode of awareness that can only develop through accepting the growth fully, without holding back or hedging one’s bets.

No matter what happens – no matter what this person does, or what that person fails to do, or how the world seems to turn away from you  – your growth is guaranteed. It is happening now. It will continue to happen. It will never stop happening. Just be aware of the growth, of the rupture of the boundaries you are holding onto between yourself and others. And unbinden, and without effort, the joy will flow through you.

2 thoughts on “Continual, Unstoppable Growth

  1. Megan

    I felt a strong resonation with this post. I am 23-years (in age) and have only recently discovered your blogs/writings. Within the past 3 years I have really felt the expansion of this boundary you describe. Without growth I am disoriented and scattered. Thank you for articulating this.

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  2. robertmwallace2

    Plato in the Symposium has this notion of “birth in beauty” (tokos en to kalo) which seems to be aimed at what you’re describing: the effortless unfolding of oneself from within. He describes how an example of “beauty” in another person can help to inspire and guide this process. I certainly experience it that way.

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