I was having a conversation with a friend recently about “setting intentions.” I revealed that I have been increasingly losing faith in the belief that there is any free-will and choice. I tried to explain that, even logically, it’s impossible to locate a source of free-will and choice. At what point are there two versions of what is happening, one of which can be chosen? Life is actually not like standing with one foot on the shore and one foot on a boat. All of us are always and constantly on a boat, going nowhere.
So this discussion also revealed that I’m increasingly losing faith in the idea of there being any meaning and purpose or that what seems to be happening is understandable or even knowable. So my friend asked me “What makes you get up the morning?”
This is a great question. This is the archetypal question that gets asked when it’s pointed out that there is actually no real meaning or purpose to anything. The answer to the question is that nothing makes me get up in the morning. There is no me. Getting up sometimes happens. This is actually how life always is. Stuff happens. There is nobody controlling it. Even though it might seem like there is control, knowing, understanding, choice, meaning and purpose, all of these concepts have no basis in reality.
Then the question is how do you survive in this? The answer is that you don’t survive. There is no you to survive, and there never was. There is only what seems to be happening. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there is a habitual grasping for a story to make sense of what is happening. That grasping is the very thing that leads to what is happening being missed. Far from being overly-conceptual, what I’m talking about is non-conceptual.
What is actually happening is amazing. It appears as this bright, moving, boundless aliveness, which is effortlessly morphing from one form to another. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s a miracle. And there is no one in it. There never has been. Sometimes there’s a story that there is a being inside the body looking out through the eyes at all these dead things, but that’s not actually how it is.
What’s actually happening is that everything is alive and everything is being itself fully. Everything is part of one seamless whole that is appearing in completeness through, and as, all the sense channels.
The idea that there is something separate that can “set an intention” for some particular appearance of this seems ludicrous. There’s absolutely no control of this unconditioned appearance. There is just this absolute immersion in, and as, what is happening. This is how it always is and always has been. It’s just that sometimes there is an illusion of separation and a story about someone and their life and how they have to protect something and control something, but it’s completely illusory.
All that the illusion of separation achieves is to feed feelings of fear into the mind, which it can then use to weave even more stories around, to strengthen the root story of separation, to create even more fear and need to control.
Life is absolutely amazing, and it always has been. There doesn’t need to be a reason to get up in the morning, or to write articles, or to work and earn money, or to cuddle with my wife, because there is no one doing it, and there never was. It’s a life being lived, not just through, and as, this body, but as everything that seems to be happening.