I feel like many of us are sleepwalking our way through life.
We move through our existence in a kind of daze, an existential stupor—that is until that thing comes around forcing us to wake up.
Who knows what that thing might be? It could be anything, any kind of experience that pulls the rug from under us and makes us realize how unconscious we’ve been for most of our lives.
Perhaps it will be another person, someone who shows us what is possible, someone who reminds us of our true nature, someone who makes us remember the innocent and wondrous child that lives within the fabric of our own psyche.
We wandered through the still woods on a late summer’s day, birds echoing in the backdrop, the whispering of trees sounding gently in our ears—vibrations of a natural kind. The sun shone vibrantly through the branches, warming our faces as we slowly sauntered along the dirt path.
She spoke with a delicate, yet assertive tone, calm and powerful, each word an expression of the grace that rested inside of her. There was a kind of ancient wisdom about her, something mystical, a kind of mysterious ephemerality as though she was creating each moment as it went along and the forest seemed to only further illuminate this quality.
“He only ever saw me as an object, some kind of ideal.” She said, tenderly, as we made our way across a small stream.
“We tend to do that, project our deepest desires onto the other, regardless of whether or not they are like that. It’s like chasing a unicorn.” I carefully replied, trying not to bring back any bad memories of hers.
We spoke of past love. Beauty. Anguish. Sex. Matters of the mind and the heart.
Of course, we can’t solely rely on someone else to wake us up, but sometimes a relationship with another can give us the incentive to get our sh*t together, to get ourselves in order, and tap into the more fundamental aspects of who we are.
Love wakes us up—not necessarily just the love of a person, but perhaps that of an activity, a philosophy, a career, or just a general zest for life. Love is the catalyst, that which makes the pursuit of higher living worth the trouble. It gives us a reason to look at ourselves, to really inquire into our nature so we might improve ourselves as human beings.
We can’t wake up, deepen, and broaden our own perception unless we have first come to recognize the truth of our own state of being unless we have already come to realize how batsh*t crazy we really are. When something or someone comes along that makes us want to peer into the abyss of our own mind—look into the deepest and darkest depths of our own soul, then that’s quite a beautiful thing.
We came upon a hammock just outside of the grove, along the corner of a wide open field which exemplified the simple glory of spaciousness—expressing a gratitude for the vast expanses of the here and now. We laid upon it, the sun smiling in the background, and at that moment the connection between us became crystallized, palpable. It was the most real, this sense of togetherness, and a kind of holy intimacy began to pervade our conversation.
She sprawled her legs across my waist as we sat perpendicular to each other. Her legs were soft, sensual, and seemed to go on forever. “I have never seen such beautiful legs,” I remember thinking, and each little movement they made was angelic, nymph-like, a stark affirmation of the beauty of nature. We stared up at the glowing leaves above, as the sunlight shot through the patterns of green like a dart and reflected in all directions.
“You are not an ideal to me!” I exclaimed, as I lifted my head and turned over to her.
She gazed at me momentarily, and then laid her head back again.
“You don’t have to believe me,” I said.
“I know,” she gently replied.
We continued reminiscing for a while, who knows how long, but the moment eventually ended and we retreated back to our own solitude. However, that brief flash of time awoke something that had previously laid dormant within me—a burning desire to unwaveringly feel the freedom and rapture I tasted when I was with her.
Whether she remained in my life or not was secondary to the immediate experience that we shared that day, the sense of togetherness that we abided in, the fusion that was felt between “self” and “other.” Surely this is the very essence of a deeply joyous and peaceful existence.
Once we’ve found that thing that wakes us up from our metaphysical slumber, we then begin the work of pursuing a lasting experience of that feeling, and this feeling can only be rightly sought through self-reflection, inquiry, and an honest investigation into our own nature.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Star Flames/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell