There’s a creature which dwells in us at this very moment, born of sheer invention. It serves to protect us from what we perceive as painful and of bitter stings. It is like a coated gel which forms between the jagged edges of experience and allows a special paint to dry which hides the true interior. For the man, made of soft flesh and warm fluid, is real enough and it, on the other hand, is of a barren nature, brought to bear for the sake of keeping a man in a place safe of all plight. It does its job well enough; always tiring away as it vigils day and night; and stands guard against the prospect of a man being pierced by reality.
Take for instance that fellow who let his guard down and allows a romance to bloom and flourish. His head filled with dreams of hope as his heart opened with full and unconditional bounty. On a sad occasion, it came to be that what he thought of her was wrong and yesterday’s joy became today’s misery. The creature was asleep all this time, having been told by his master to play blind and deaf on this occasion and allow his heart to be as it willed, without care for any chance of bitter sting. Yet the unfortunate became true and instead of suffering pain and discomfort by genuine and natural need, the creature devised thoughts and feelings which allowed the man to drink from a cup filled with sour and resentful nectar.
We are unaware of how our associative thoughts indulge in imagination and fantasy when the river of events goes off our anticipated course and pay no regard to the cost we believe to have endured. There are very high expectations that we carry with us from one moment to the next, convincing ourselves that we are due our lot and deserve the fruits. As a child, his heart was open. To be an adult, it seems in this day in age, is to incrementally close the heart according to what we perceive as poor and unfortunate experiences. The result is an ever retreating access to the full range of emotional experience which we are by default granted as our inborn talents.
The real adult and responsible human being lives his entire life with an untold condition that his heart be always open. To do so he must rest his laurels on the side of the street that he walks and forget all of the expectations he mistakenly holds to be veracious and true. We are owed nothing, and in fact owe everything. A man who realizes this and lives by that philosophy steps closer to a state of genuine humility. When he forgets this truth and believes he is owed treasures and has been promised by some preordained design a future bright of possibilities and potentials which his narrow imagination imposes on reality, then it is like a debtor asking the bank to pay him the amount he owes. It is a high absurdity and comical to no limit, I tell you.
Yes, and indeed, a man must dream for worthwhile aims and intend to do well in the world. Yet his nature must remain flexible and open to the fact that what he goes for may be denied. There is no legitimacy to blaming anyone or anything, or changing one’s warm and friendly disposition to one colder and increasingly guarded from some negatively imagined force of nature. No, a man must simply do as he does and remember all the while that to be alive, in and of itself, is the only grace to hold and cherish. Everything else is fair play; from high mountains to lower valleys. An authentic man knows he can expect nothing except the continued experience of his belly moving up and down from this breath to the next, and even that gift will one day cease to be.