Today is April Fools Day, and it’s a good occasion for me to consider what a scheming trickster life can be. For instance, it pretends to be solid, like it’s filled with totally separate structures and shapes (called people, animals, things, etc.), when, in truth, it’s a formless, indivisible, ever-shifting blend of newly unfolding moments. Life also continually play-acts at being composed of the past, present, and future, when the truth is that only the endless, ever-shining present is truly real. And finally – perhaps the grandest of all tricks – life is always insisting that I am in charge of ‘my own life’, when, actually, there is only one life, of which I am a part, and this immeasurable, indivisible life knows precisely what to do to take care of itself. All I have to do is go with the amazing, moment-by-moment flow. If evil needs to be conquered, like it always does, life will show me how to assist in the takeover, and if peace is spreading, like it always is, life will lead me to its warmth and luster.
Hey, life! No tricks for me today! At age 80, I’m no fool, and I’m wise to your wiles!
The belief that has caused all of my so-called problems, over all these 80 years, is the idea that life is filled with boundaries.
For most of my life, I have believed that I, myself, am enclosed within tight boundary lines. There’s me, and then there are my outer, very solid edges, beyond which is the rest of the vast universe, composed of countless other separate, solid ‘objects’, all with their very distinct boundary lines. According to this outlook, there’s ‘the present’, but it’s enclosed within definite borders, outside of which is ‘the past’ and ‘the future’. There are qualities like love, gentleness, patience, etc., but they all are contained within outer margins. You can only love so much, and then you come to love’s periphery, beyond which it doesn’t – and cannot – exist.
This morning, I’m realizing, again, with a sigh of relief and gratefulness, that this belief is the exact opposite of the truth. The truth is, there are no boundaries anywhere – except those created by my thoughts. There is never a separate ‘me’ – and never has been. What seems to be my separate, solitary, very vulnerable self is merely a wispy, evanescent thought – a thought which, itself, has no boundaries, but exists within the limitless universe of ‘thinking’. Similarly, all the so-called ‘separate objects’ I seem to see – people, things, places, the past, present, and future – are creations of thought. Their boundaries are as illusory as my beliefs, as misleading as my night-time dreams, and can disappear as soon as I awake from their fantasies.
The simple and superb truth is that there is no separate and enclosed I or me, no present, past, and future, no now and then, no here and there. There is always and only Now – boundless, endless reality – and what sometimes seems to be ‘my separate self’ is simply an inseparable and limitless part of this vast and stunning certainty called The Universe, in which love and gentleness, and I and you and them, and here and there, and now and then, have no boundaries whatsoever.
All I can say is ‘Thanks, dear Universe!’
ONE DAY A MAN WOKE UP
a man woke up and wondered
why he was in such a large place.
He looked in all directions
and didn't see a boundary
or border line, just a land
that looked like it went on forever.
He was accustomed to living
with limits and dividing lines,
but this was something
different, a world where the only
borders would be brought about
by his own little beliefs.
He liked this borderless land,
so much so that his little self
soon disappeared into it,
and what was left
was this endless world,
sometimes called the universe,
and his limitless life
Here’s our lovely sunroom, with our small Christmas tree and Delycia’s beautiful amarylis flower …