Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Waves and the Ocean

The Waves are all the activities of life from the tiniest passing thought to catastrophic events. The shit that happens
The Ocean is the Big Picture, what we see in part, in glimpses, or not at all - can't be described, can't be taught. What we don't yet understand. 

There is the ocean. And there are waves on the ocean. If you see only the waves they are as we usually see the events of life. There is randomness and coincidence and an apparent capriciousness in how things happen. We may think about it and take it personally. There are times and places, some to be sought out and some avoided. We dodge and weave to avoid impact and seek out sheltered places. And possibly end up blaming some higher authority for an all-too-human carelessness and capricious nature.

But if you also include the ocean where the waves play on the surface, the waves themselves would look exactly the same but their impact and influence would be perceived differently. The waves do have their significance, but they are limited in perception to place and time. They come, they happen, they go. Storms and calm are a part of the weather cycle to be dealt with, or not; accepted, or not. 

Riding the waves

There is a certain inevitability; an acceptance of experience to be had. Not being influenced beyond a certain point by the randomness of the waves and seeking out the inscrutability of the ocean is the learning, and there the wisdom is found. 

Wisdom is not in the actual riding of the waves, no matter how magnificently we do it; but it is in riding the waves a certain way so that we begin to see better the waves as part of the ocean. Riding the waves is incidental to the knowledge of the ocean on which the waves take place.

We experience the waves, liking and disliking as they come and go, but there is also some deeper understanding, which goes beyond endurance and desire, to wisdom acquired through ongoing wave-like experience. In this sense waves are not accidental. 

The breath of air far away may have caused the storm; our place too, apparently coincidental, in the thick of it. In the vast completeness of the ocean these are not accidental, no matter how the waves themselves might shape up. Instead of accidents of nature and timing they are part of the uniqueness of the ocean, just as our experience in the same scheme of things is too. 

Discovering purpose in randomness

We may accept this, in part, when we read about it, consider it philosophically and think about it. But when the waves are bigger, wilder, more unpredictable than ever before we have been able to deal with, then we lose our balance and get tossed and thrown. And our philosophical viewpoint is also tossed and thrown out. But the actual experience of riding the waves can eventually bring us the real knowledge. It depends on the point of view.

Every wave is an opportunity to discover more the oneness of wave and ocean, through mastering the art of riding the waves. The inevitability of waves is not random fate, even if it may seem so. But more even than just dealing with things we don’t understand, there is a purpose outlined in this existence for every participant in creation. To realise that purpose and put it into conscious practice is the goal of life. That’s what we’re here for. 

Thoughts, hopes and actions of the individual will not suddenly change - even good people make bad choices - but the end purpose of living will be found if the waves of individual nature are accepted and understood in relation to the ocean of consciousness. To reject it out of hand - usually as a result of the strength of the storm - is actually to lose sight of the purpose. 

Waves without an ocean?

And that What-about-life question is also one of the waves; one that tries to define the ocean itself. It is one of the most important questions, and it is usually overlooked until that particular wave comes along. Even when ocean, consciousness or god are rejected or neglected, the question about the vacuum that exists when you note that there is nothing of permanence is the point of departure on the road of discovery: That waves arise out of the ocean and return to the ocean; that waves of every type and description are a part of the ocean and do not exist separately from the ocean; and that no matter how we arrange ourselves to accommodate it nothing changes the truth of that.

Once the goal, one’s personal aim in life, is known then the real work begins. Waves will never stop. But if the measure and the movement is in keeping with the personal aim, the waves of the world and the waves of the mind will be understood and dealt with differently than before. There will be knowledge of when to advance, when to retreat; when to speak out and when to be silent; when to move and when to be still. 

We make mistakes, many mistakes, continually. We hear our own advice and don't heed it; we take wrong turnings and go off track - sometimes even as we’re doing it we know it. That’s part of the deal. But we walk on. Forgive yourself; forgive others. We have seen the chart. We have a compass. There is something to trust somewhere, a star to steer by. But most of all, in going forward where we are sure we must go - dealing with the random and surprising events of life as they turn up - the awareness of the all-embracing nature of the ocean is surely, gradually going to become clearer.

Life is a meditation - meditation is life

This too is the only real purpose of meditation. We may have the breathing as a support or anchor; we may have powerful practices that awaken the energy, put wind in our sails; we may have the magic of mantra to dispel the darkness; we may have faith in external symbols, people or forces; all of which strengthen our practice. But make no mistake about it, however we go about it, meditation will in due course eventually bring us to see and confront all the waves of the mind. But undeceived by thought. So that instead of waves causing attention to be wholly distracted by the ever-changing storm and calm, we may instead catch a glimpse, a glimmer of the vastness of the ocean. 

If that happens, you’ll know it was worth it to pursue it, what you had to do for it. So there's a choice: to do it that way, or have life come and get you for the same purpose? Well, it does anyway, but that’s another matter.

For a short story on the same theme, if you haven’t already, go to 'Life's Purpose'

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