Being and Becoming

What exactly is a person? We live, but what does it mean to actually live? Who are we? Where are we going? What exactly are we doing? Must we do anything? Must we go anywhere? It is innate in us to search out for meaning, wherever it may lie.

Life is our creation. We create it by our choices. In this ability to have choose, this is where we are gifted with freedom. But this freedom can be liberating or it can bring us to hell. Life is like a play or performance. At times, people's frame freezes and they become trapped in that singular moment. All that they define about life, about who they are returns to that singular point. We imprison ourselves by our thoughts, by our own choice.

Life does throw us challenges at many turns, but it is our choice to either become entrapped and fall into despair, or to seek for our liberation. It is our choice how we wish to perceive events and circumstances. We can take charge and create our existence or we can allow life to control us. Human beings have the capability of being resilient. We have the ability to create, to create our own destiny. Eplicletus had stated that men are not disturbed by events but rather their perceptions of them.

Challenges and mistakes can be moments of discovery, if we will allow them to be.
Hindus often use the greeting, "Namaste". This statement implies that I honor the self within you. We are all inter-connected, each of us plays a role in this play of life, we are all part of the human condition. Within each of us is the innate ability to remain inter-connected and the nature of what is benevolent. It is as if we each are a mirror reflecting beauty, yet when this mirror becomes covered with dirt, it no longer reflects this image of beauty. The image becomes contorted, even ugly. In Buddhist thought, there are three poisons that lead to the downfall of a person- greed, hatred, and delusion. Greed implies the desire to possess at the expense of another. Hatred is the resentments we hold to, the thought of harming another, and delusion implies that we are unaware or our thinking is clouded. It is these poisons that are a 'collective sin'. We infect ourselves and our infected by others, and it is for this reason why individuals are born into various degrees of suffering.

Therefore, we must realize that our self is inter-connected with the self of others. We are all journeying the same path. It is not a race or a competition, but rather a simple journey. We can not complete it alone.

What is success? We may find many, many answers. It is often our view of what success is that shapes our vision, our goals, and ultimately who we are and will become. Our views of success should be tempered with the reality of our mortality. Whatever our view is of that which occurs at death, we can all ask the question if our life was fulfilled. What have we created? What do we leave once we have passed on?

What exactly does it mean to love? Often love comes with strings attached or is a means by which to control another. The definition of love as put forward by Saint Paul is of great value- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.