I have achieved enlightenment twice and lost it both times.
That’s not the sort of thing I bring up in casual conversation, not because people will think I’m weird– that boat sailed long ago– but because it makes people uncomfortable. That’s why so many conversations end up being about The Local Sports Team and Isn’t It Hot In Summer and Who Here Hates Reality Television Raise Your Hand.
Anyway, when I found it, it wasn’t a moment of euphoria and ecstasy; it was more of a moment of peace and “Oh, so that’s how it is.” And I lost it the same way both times: by trying to craft it into a handy little analogy that I could memorize and share. Forcing it into human terms made it fade away.
The Hare Krishnas call that “blooping,” falling back into the material world after experiencing the spiritual realm. But it’s a tremendous comfort to me knowing that there is an answer, one I’m likely to stumble across again. It’s like the sun: even when I don’t see it, I never doubt that it’s out there. My perceptions don’t alter that reality at all.
The reason I’m thinking thoughts like that is because today is my birthday. That’s a natural time to reflect on what you’ve done and what you want to do.
“Bucket Lists” don’t really work for me. There isn’t a list of places I want to go and feats I want to accomplish. There never has been.
My role model as a child was Mr. Green Jeans, and I haven’t really changed a lot since then. Mr. Green Jeans was a quiet man who wore comfortable clothes and had a lot of friends, both human and animal. That’s really all I ever wanted.
I’m 54 today. I have four cats and a wife who loves me. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have care for me and let me care for them. Right here, right now, things are good.
There’s a few little things I’d like to change, but it’s mostly a matter of scale. I’d like to meet a few more people and make a little bit wider ripple in this world. I’d like to learn a few more chords on the ukulele and take up quilling. I’d also like to overthrow the corporate oligarchy and establish an agrarian-based Communist society founded on the principles of peace, love, and equality– but until a few more people get on board I’m content to leave that bus idling in the station.
Overall I have been very blessed, and am just happy to be here.