Awakening–More Likely From Darkness

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So I am walking along and I’m in a one of the most gorgeous neighborhoods in the world and that’s the beauty of being in the present moment.  Things quite often show up gorgeous to you.  Or said another way, when you are present to things without the filter of your mind, you can actually be entirely with the beauty.  

And so it occurred to me, how could this be such a beautiful neighborhood?  How could it so clearly seem more beautiful than any other neighborhood. And and that made me think maybe it’s not, maybe I’m just in this in this neighborhood, I’m really a positive person, or I’m in the present moment and seeing all this vivid context of color and contrast and light and just the inventive nature of these homeowners evoking the artistic nuances of a person walking by.

And then I thought wait a second why is it that.

Why is it that … people often are awakened in the darkest conditions or moments in their life?

And yet once you’re awake. It’s clear to you that those dark conditions in contrast to the most beautiful, are still difficult or dark in relation to the most beautiful?

Victor Frankl wrote “Man’s search for meaning.” in his book he seemed awake, though he never said so. He talks about man’s search for meaning from his perspective of being in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

A very inspirational book. I recommend it to you.

He is living a high quality of life as a jew in a Nazi camp, higher than a lot of the most successful people in the world, because his attitude is amazing given his circumstances.

So how is it that people are awakened under the most dire consequences and yet, it is still clear that when you’re looking at one of the great classics of art such as works of Da Vinci or Michelangelo, the quality of their work is just so clear compared to others?

Or here, a beautiful home, well landscaped, a beautiful novel, well written.  Why is the quality so apparent compared to lower quality surroundings, and yet it’s the lower quality conditions, for many, that evokes enlightenment?

And so, for a minute that perplexed me, I thought it might be a paradox, but upon reflection, I don’t think so.

Many people who are enlightened, it comes out of a moment, or a time in their life, where life was creating a lot of mind noise, consternation, upset.  Not everyone enlightened falls into this path, but I certainly did. It was a difficult time in my life when I found the present moment.  

I didn’t first experience the present moment in the heights of visiting the Louvre in Paris.  And so that makes sense, right?  I mean when your mind is occupied with the grandeur of the ages, and it’s not grappling with problems such as when the mortgage is going to be paid or health problems or pending death, enlightenment might be less likely?  

It makes sense that in those moments you’re less likely to find a shift because your mind is joyfully busy?

It is not quite as painful in the Louvre as it might be on a random Tuesday afternoon at three o’clock.  

So it makes sense that pain might help create enlightenment as an alternative to what is.  

But once you’re in the present moment or you have it available to you whenever you want, and you’re looking upon a rose in the nearby park or a beautiful written novel or movie, or the work of one of the classics, of course the level of detail and observations is going to be higher, in the present moment, and so it will be an extreme enjoyment. Because you are being with that work of art.

Not that you won’t enjoy it extremely if you are not in the present moment but it’s just a different experiential concept, and so, it makes sense that when things are bad you are more likely to awaken, or when things are good, you may be less likely to become aware.

But once you’re in a good spot, whether it’s enlightenment, or your life is just humming along nicely because your mind is not screaming so loud, then you’re still going to like Michelangelo more than my art.

OK, so thanks so much for listening.  Dan of Vagabond Buddha.  

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