Embracing the Design of Life
"Wakefulness, happiness -- call it what you wish -- is the state of non delusion, where you see things not as you are but as they are, insofar as that is possible for a human being. To drop illusions, to see things, to see reality. Every time you are unhappy, you have added something to reality." Anthony de Mello - Awareness
There is so much power in the perspective from De Mello. First, it proposes that the sweet spot for each of us is in seeing the truth of things. Then, it points out the beautiful value of unhappiness, which is an indicator that we are not seeing the truth of things.
Think about this for a moment.
Life is dynamic. The only constant is change. Amid this constantly moving reality, a diagnostic system has been established within us. If we are experiencing relative harmony, we are likely to be seeing things as they are and flowing with them. On the other hand, if we experience unhappiness, discontent, frustration or pain, we have not seen reality clearly enough to alter our course or way of being. So at any moment in time we are receiving perfect feedback on our fit with reality.
By any standard, that is a beautiful design.
Of course, there is a challenge for us. Most of the time we try to change reality rather than adapting ourselves to it. That is simply a failure to understand the way of things.
Regardless, if we do not alter our course or our way of being, the nature of the design will be to increase our discomfort because we are still at odds with reality. That gives even more incentive to find a way to match the circumstances that surround us.
What about delusion and denial?
The truth is that these are perfect psychic strategies to allow us to cope, though ultimately they prove to be ineffective as solutions. They allow us to avoid reality for a time, but inevitably they will result in greater dissonance.
Someone once asked me if the ultimate outcome would not sometimes be death. In other words, they wondered if an inability to see reality might not be fatal, and therefore a bad result.
From a macro perspective, this is how the human species survives. Those who cannot see reality do not thrive, and in some cases do not survive. Life and death become the teaching mechanisms through which people and communities learn how to navigate reality. Indeed, the evolution of our genetic programming is a reflection of what has been successful for the species.
The way of seeing described above allows us to alter what we value. When we understand and embrace the design of life and living, we have a greater opportunity to thrive.
In the end, we see that life is designed to support that thriving.
We are designed by life for life. It could not be a more perfect design to support growth and development.
Seeing True™ in Action
Let’s try a written experiment.
Looking back over your life, write down the learning and benefits that were produced by the occurrence of pain, frustration, discontent or unhappiness.
Does this change your perspective on the value of those experiences we would otherwise label negative?
Does this make you more likely to embrace life’s design for feedback?
If not, what could you to do to convince yourself?