Birth and rebirth
What would I have to do to become a Rastafari? An interviewer asked Bob Marley. First, Marley answered, you’d have to be born again. You’d have to be reborn.
Somehow I don’t think that 60 Minutes interviewer ever got to be reborn, but Marley’s answer was interesting and spot-on accurate. Any significant achievement, requires change. And change is a kind of rebirth. Usually painful.
Even when change is for the better it is more often than not difficult and painful. Doing something, or being, a certain way, then deciding to ditch that for another way, requires transformation. Transformations by their very nature are not too dissimilar to turning something inside out. That even sounds painful.
It’s not that the new way of doing or being is necessarily difficult. Let’s for example use something everyday and simple like weight loss. Losing weight as a physical process is the simplest thing in the world. Consume only enough healthy food and drink the body needs to function well and voilà! Weight falls off, as they say.
It’s so true. If only it were so simple though, right? Far be it from mind to let things be simple and painless. Before you know it you’re going through food withdrawal; mind decides to make the whole exercise a hunger strike drama bigger than Ben-Hur. All of a sudden there you are doing mortal combat with hunger pangs the size of African elephants and more ferocious than stalking lions driven mad by pre-combat starvation.
Suddenly all your good intentions and resolutions have hightailed it for cover and there you are, facing the biggest, juiciest, most delicious looking burger like ever, all alone and drooling! Oh dear.
But you summon all your strength. You got this. You hang though. Damn you hamburger, no way no how. You wipe the drool off your chin and soldier on. Yeah! I got this covered.
Mind acts defeated. Okay, it says. You got me. And you do a mental victory lap. Whose the tough person. I’m a tough person. You’re high-fiving yourself and everything.
Before you know it though, mind presents you with something else. Oh no. Not the cake! Anything but the cake. And the mind croons, C’mon now. Just a taste. What harm’s a little taste ganna do? What? You going to die from a mouthful of creamy, sweet, moist, cake? You only live once, right? And what’s dying a few days earlier going to do? Like you’re gonna know any different. You only live once. You serious? Eat the cake. Don’t go offending Nanna, after all she’s done it for you. All the trouble she’s gone through to bake this cake just for you. Eat the cake ingrate.
We’re using weight loss as an example, however the same principal applies to just about anything. It’s like mind has no shame. It will, and does, use anything that will expose your weakness and get you to give in.
Here’s an interesting question though. Why would your mind, use every trick and fear in its playbook to snooker you? Is that not, just about the most obscene thing you can think of? Doing negative, painful and deeply harmful and hurtful things to YOURSELF?
And then you shake your head in disbelief and incredulity when someone you know, or hear about, self-harms? Why would you be surprised and or shocked when you’re doing the exactly same thing to yourself. Perhaps not on the same scale and degree but none the less it is you doing it all to yourself.
The answer is as simple as it can be: Because we don’t stop and think about it that’s why.
Everyone at some time or other hears, and even mouths, something along the lines of— Oh we bring everything upon ourselves. A more discernable and obvious fact has never been uttered. And yet. And yet we do not truly take it in hand. It’s like everything is happening to someone else. Like it’s all outside of ourselves. Like we’re watching a TV show.
And therein is the entire nature of ego. Ego survives, purely and solely, by the virtue of the fact that you choose not to look.
Ego is but an obscene suicide trip, created and maintained by the one upon whom it is extracting the vengeance. You!
Ego cannot allow for change. Any change, unless it speeds up your demise, is fought against to the very end.
But you know what? It’s all a silly game. None of it real. None of it of any consequence. A game played only in one corner of the mind. A dark secluded corner, where the light of love has momentarily been obstructed.
It’s all good though, Love is all around. Forever and always.