Tuesday, September 30, 2014

To travel in stillness

I consider that life rich which is not lazy, but which is also not bound by the logistics of life.  Which has some wealth but also leisure, and space, and silence within.  Which has a ticking watch on its wrist but is also aware of the stillness of time, of the changing colors of the sky, of others' voices.  Which can commune with nature.

By that measure, a sleepless diplomat in Brussels, a caffeinated day trader on Wall Street, and an impoverished laborer in Dubai are equally poor.  They are all trapped by the need to sustain themselves.

That man is to be admired who, while lacking in means, ventures into the subtler dimensions of life.  That man is to be pitied who, while rich, doesn't.

When a man realizes he is wasting his years in the mere pursuit of means, the solution is not to suddenly start reading travel guides.  The remedy is not to start consuming experiences.  The cure is not to substitute one kind of noise for the other... but to be silent.  In that silence, when the destination is in the here and now, there can be simultaneously full awareness and a total contentment.

There is, in life, both the joy of achievement, and the peace of contentment.  Neither is the full expression of living.  A life lived bound by ceaseless achievement is as unbalanced as a life bound by endless complacence.

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