I remember once reading a quote –
“All rocks are broken rocks.”
While perhaps not a complete geologic truth, this is very true for most of the rocks we encounter. They are broken portions of larger stones, and have been worn and weathered by untold years of adventures. This is what makes a rock a rock.
We don’t think of ourselves as rocks. Instead, we convince ourselves that we are only worthwhile if we engage in a constant struggle for improvement. We battle unhappiness and frustration because we are not what we want to be – we’re not healthy enough, or rich enough, or emotionally balanced enough. So we go searching for the guru, the book, or the path that will finally make us better.
What we fail to see is the nature of our desire. Though this nature has long been recognized, and though many teachers have repeatedly pointed it out to us over the centuries, we refuse to see it. The nature of our desire is thus – it is never fulfilled.
Perhaps Eddie Vedder said it best in his soundtrack for Into the Wild. In the song ‘Society’ he sings – ‘Until you have it all, you won’t be free’.
Blindly, most of us spend our entire lives in pursuit of this elusive ‘all’, missing the fact that if for a single moment we stopped the quest and saw what is right here, right now, we’d discover the freedom we’re seeking.
Our salvation doesn’t lie in transforming ourselves. The key is not to alter our relationship with our emotions, or to gain or change anything. The key is simply to see, right now, the true nature of our desires.
For we are like rocks, shaped and given reality and ‘self-hood’ by the very forces that we feel are eroding our lives. When we have emotions, or experience ill health, or feel our life isn’t ‘as it should be’, our calling isn’t to try to change. Change will seem effective, but then we will discover that the change has only brought us to a new place which is just as tainted by our desire for more.
The miracle occurs when we see our life as it is, right now. It’s not about learning to appreciate our faults – it’s just about seeing ourselves as we are, in the same way we pick up a rock and turn it over in our hands and notice the curves, the pits, the colors and cracks.
When we see our life with clarity and awareness, change will happen without the struggle we always felt in the past. Able to see our lives, we can appreciate every moment, whether we are laughing or crying.
The time to stop trying to make your life better is now. The time to discover your innate awareness is now. Take up a stone – any stone – and look at it. Are you ready to fault it, or is it just as it should be?
Why are you any different?