Life is so odd. But since you're here: part one
From: KE, a little North and sometimes South
Dear friend and subscriber,
Have you ever noticed that some people are tall and some are short? Some are happy, and some are mad? Some get cancer and live, and some get cancer and die?
Some have lots of hair, and some have none? Some drive VW buses and some drive Mercedes? Some eat cows, and some eat horses?
Some believe in God, and some believe in the devil? Some worship trees and some chop them down. Some take a vacation every year and some work 24/7/365? Some are wealthy, and some are very poor.
Some live to be 100, and some die before birth? Some people win the lottery some do not? Some live in calm areas, and some die from tsunamis? Some are athletes, and some have paraplegia?
Some are black, some are white, some are brown, some are grey? Some are futuristic and some live in the past? Some travel the world, and some cannot leave their homes? Some become doctors, and some become heroin addicts, and some become both! Some rob banks and some become philanthropists?
Some are bullies, and some are leaders? Some are calm, and some are always in motion? Some shoot children and some teach and nurture children? Some are optimistic, and some only find problems?
Some are thin, and some are fat? Some have high voices, and some have low? Some go to college, and some go to jail? Some get wrinkly and shriveled, and some stay youthful? Some fit in, and some do not?
Yes. People come in all varieties, which is super interesting and kind of odd. About the only thing we all have in common are birth, death and I guess taxes. Though some pay taxes and some do not. But all are born, and all will die. We don’t bring anything with us when we are born, and we don’t take anything with us when we die. At least physically.
All of life is pretty odd if you think about it. The whole creation of a human by two other humans is pretty odd. How a person shows up out of the soup is really very odd. There are some who say the odds of actually being born are about 1 in 10 2,685,000 — which is pretty much zero.
The Buddha was also onto this rarity — from the story in the Pali Canon,
The Buddha was speaking to a group of monks. He said, “Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole into the water. A wind from the West would push it East; a wind from the East would push it West; a wind from the North would push it South; a wind from the South would push it North. And suppose a blind sea turtle were there. It would come to the surface only once every 100 years. Now, what do you suppose the chances would be that a blind turtle, coming once to the surface every 100 years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?”
And the monks answered, “It would be very unusual, Sir, that a blind turtle coming to the surface once every hundred years would stick his neck into the yoke.”
And the Buddha replied, “And just so, it is very, very rare that one attains the human state.”
What’s even odder about your actual existence is that 90 percent of all “creatures” that have ever existed, died childless. But not your ancestors. Nope. Not a one of them died childless. Isn’t that odd?
Why we die is kind of odd too. I mean think about it. We all do what we do. We get up each day, and we do our thing, most of us probably go to work, make money, come home, do our home thing, go to sleep and continue this routine more or less for a lot of years. Then, we die. And, since we’re alive until we die, we all have some challenge (or lots of challenges) that we go through along with some super fun times.
The yin and yang of it all.
The way I figure it, all of life is really just about living it; the experience of being alive. I like to think that life is eternal and each of us is eternal. So we come, we experience, we leave, we come and experience again and again. We choose the experiences (maybe, and quite often, not consciously) but they are our choices. Nothing going wrong or even right. It's just about the experience and our way of thinking about those experiences. The experience just is, but how we think about that experience is where our choices come into play. If we think it's good, then we are happy. If we think it's bad, then we are sad or mad or angry or...
Again, so very odd that we have this power. Admiditly, I don't use it as often as I should, but it's fascinating to me to know that it's there and available to me at all times.
All so odd and all so fascinating.
So I think we should all go out and create experiences we think are fun and cool and exciting and happy and interesting and meaningful to us. Or, see if we can believe in these terms about all the experiences we're creating. Humm.
I'm always rooting for you!