What's happening is happening. What's not happening isn't happening.
Life is what's happening, not what isn't happening. That,
seems so obvious that it's disconcerting. But it only seems obvious
(and therefore disconcerting) because we take that distinction entirely
for granted. We hardly (if ever) examine it
"Indeed" (we ask) "is there anything we can gain by
distinguishing life as what's happening rather than as what isn't
happening? Because if not, why bother with it?".
To be clear and quite specific, life (and our lives) is more than
merely what's happening. Life is what's
always happening. And furthermore, life is what's always
other conversations elsewhere in this
internet series of essays,
power in differentiating
as distinct from "out there". And as for
(I say, pointing at my head) as where we say life is also happening,
I'll ante with the provocative and admittedly controversial "Life does
an assertion which will invariably evoke the outraged plethora of
"Yeah, but ...", "What if ...?", "How 'bout ...?"
confronts and challenges - such as "How 'bout thoughts, Laurence? How
'bout feelings? Aren't they life? Aren't
they happening? Aren't they
OK, let's tackle this now.
Look: sooner or later (and let it be more sooner than later) the power
and leverage which goeswith (as
may have said) distinguishing life as what's happening (rather than
as what isn't happening)
or "out there") becomes unavoidably apparent. For now, let's start with
the greatest misconception regarding what we routinely, blindly
designate (without any
the corollary of which is another great misconception regarding the
dominion we think we have (yet really don't have at all) over what's
(if you doubt it, try: stop thinking permanently;
Life is what's happening ...
- not what isn't happening, neither what's happening
nor what's happening "out there". We cherish the misconception that
there's a place (if you will) that we characterize as
I assert that what we characterize as
is in reality also
How so Laurence? Like so: consider that there's an authentic,
place to come from, a profound perspective,
on which to stand from which to see it's allout-here:
life, thoughts, feelings, what's happening, even
"I / me",
all of it. It's allout-here.
It's all a
in the space of who we really are.
and "out there" are myths, figments of our imagination, mere capricious
and precious trip-switches ensuring our
survive by holding on to / not
our misconceived notions of the way it is.
It requires a certain willingness, a brashness, a certain verve to
shift that thrown perspective, a process which is often as
uncomfortable as it's unfamiliar. It's a matter of shifting our
perspective on who we really are (ie to what we're
responsible for being in the matter) which gives a new,
idea: life is what's happening (not what isn't happening) and it's
and it's allout-here
(all of it). And furthermore, "out there" is as much of a
precious misconception as
is. Really! Only a capricious, precious
would conceive of a capricious, precious "out there", when in fact it's
When I discovered / entertained these ideas of
for the first time, I noticed how spring-loaded I was to turn them into
another belief system.
And 'Out There'!" the headlines would blare. Be careful.
Don't do that. Don't turn them into another belief system. That will
surely do them irreparable harm. Rather, try them on for size as your
natural, empirically verifiable
(the odds are slim-to-none that you'll ever grasp them by cogitation
and intellectual analysis). If you discover there's new power and
leverage in them for you, take them:
And if not, discard them and