Leaving All Behind

We choose to assume that what we do and are is centrally important. All our thoughts, actions and endeavors arise with ourselves in mind. Even helping others could be seen as a self serving act. Perhaps it is reasonable to state that helping others is being less self-centered. However, how much do we help? Is even healing really helping? When we further the notion of independent, inherent existence, we perpetuate the cause of ceaseless distress. Some offer the premise that we are interdependent. Is that really so? The notion of interdependence arises with ourselves in mind. In all likelihood it is more useful to say that each one of us is alone. In that manner, we are forced to face the fact that what we do, we do for ourselves because, essentially, there is no other option.

When we accept the fact that we are alone, we can come to grips with the truth that we will also cease to exist alone. The beginning and the termination of our life is bereft of any interbeing. At conception, our being arises unheralded and at death, it ceases uncelebrated. There is nothing attractive, let alone desirable about our lives. All we do from beginning to end is serve ourselves, pander to our whims, tantrums and fancies, never even stopping to consider that there might be lasting happiness in sacrificing this baseline selfness. The events in our lives could be seen as reminders that we ought to relinquish rather than accumulate, that the absence of uncertainty isn’t the goal. Birth and death are unknown, unembellished and raw and in the interim we try and mask this inherent vulnerability with thought and act, companionship and delusion.

At death, we leave everything behind. It isn’t too much of a stretch of imagination to view even birth as a leaving behind. A forsaking of union with absence or non-being. Leaving behind all that we prize in the midst of life and death is perhaps preparation for a fate such as this. During our lives, we go from one state of being to another, acquiring and collecting. What we ought to be doing is relinquishing and ceasing. In not clinging to what we supposedly have, we clearly see that nothing is worth clinging to and that all we can really do is leave even what is most dear behind. Because in every moment, that is actually what we are faced with, the passage of whatever we gather or become. This passing is our existence and not the becoming we assume it is.

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