Do you, dear reader, recall your last “ah-ha” moment? Not the moment you remembered where you left your car keys. Rather, that elusive moment when you realized something that fundamentally changed your worldview and redirected your life forever, that transformed and transported you.
Having some difficulty recalling one of those moments? Why is that? Shouldn’t the miracle of existence provide one of those moments at every turn? Perhaps it does. Then what, one might ask, could be the contributing factors that could have caused such moments to be so, apparently, elusive?
Here we are again at that most interesting time of the year when, for a few magical days, a significant portion of the world’s population blissfully ignores the injustices, the pain, the wanton destruction surrounding them and retreats into warm cocoons of tradition. Tradition is like a drug that deludes us into believing that there is security in what we know and in repeating experiences that trigger emotion for emotion’s sake — over and over and…
The thing is, while tradition’s specific instances feel warm and wonderful, they also have other spin-offs. Tradition is static; it is the opposite of transformation or resurrection. When one retreats into its embrace, the imperative to grow dissolves and with it the purpose of looking, followed quickly by the act of seeking and any possibility of finding. The very purpose of our existence is traded for static security.
The question then arises, how could one expect and experience the transforming joy of discovery in an “ah-ha” moment if one has bartered away the inherent capacity to look and to search, to risk becoming different, of evolving?
The single most interesting feature of this disownment of life’s purpose is that seeking refuge in tradition usually comes with the expectation for others to come into the fold of one’s own particular tradition rather than always remaining open to new ways of seeing and celebrating diversity of thought.
The first prerequisite of truth is being detached from all that is in heaven and all that is on earth. Imagine only one colour of light. That would mean that there could be no possibility of pure colourless light because pure light can only be achieved with the combination of all colours. But there are many traditions, all with the same expectation that others should conform to theirs. Hence, the condition of the world as we see it now, languishing on its bed of heedlessness, unwilling to embrace change, at war with others’ traditions.
One might well wonder how we found ourselves at this impasse. What example did we follow that expected us to conform to static understandings of life and faith? Did we follow truth? Did we seek or did we blindly follow? If we sought, did we seek truth or did we seek confirmation of understandings handed down from generation upon generation of misunderstanding? How many “ah-ha” moments have we missed and not even know that we had missed them?
Just something to meditate on over these few magical days.