Thoughts about ‘ 礼品之路’ or ‘The Way of the Gift’ have been & are brewing in my being, as we (my family & I) settle, for a while unknown, into life in Jiamusi, in the North of China.The move.
The new environment. The experience. And perhaps my reading as I study ‘happiness’, all contribute to these thoughts.
They are incomplete.
They will be for a while. I share them nevertheless.
Perhaps, as I write, the thoughts take shape & slowly become comprehensible.
The 1st post was simply titled: 礼品之路
The second post was titled: 礼品之路 – The Gift of Enough
The third post elaborated on ‘enough’, simply saying: 礼品之路 – More about ‘the Gift of Enough’
Now, we take a step backwards, to consider ‘being & becoming’, for ‘a way’ is never a destination or an achievement.
It is a journey.
Less concerned about arriving, than about being on the way.
Because we are human, living as mortals, prisoners of time, its passing & the perishing which always accompany it, we struggle to see beyond what is visible.
And we seek explanations.
Packaged in our limited vocabulary.
Perhaps we’re not created to be mortal?
Perhaps, looking for wisdom, we would benefit from turning our attention to the eternal, rather than being obsessed with the temporal?
For ‘the Way of the Gift’ is so much more than the gift of a superficial moment of relief from a mundane or intolerable existence.
The Way of the Gift is the Gift of life itself.
Beyond our reach, yet bestowed.
With no price on it.
No expectation of any ‘return’.
No ‘terms & conditions’.
In any way.
Under any circumstances.
It is a gift robbed of limit.
To an uncertain hope of a life, after this one.
Or an incomplete ‘answer’ about an untenable existence.
In my previous post I briefly touched on the idea that: ‘the first bit of ‘enlightenment’ to hope for, as we find our way to the harbour of happiness, is the realization that our ‘being’, our existence, is not an accident, or the result of meaningless forces fortuitously conspiring to let some basic life form evovle and evolve, over millenia, into beings who can feel & think & hope.’
I suggested that: ‘we have an Origin, who did not forsake our existence.’
That our Origin did not ‘bring us into being, so that we may be tools, conveniently stored in a cosmic toolbox, to be retrieved, at our Origin’s convenience, for some transcendental DIY-project of which we are oblivious, only to be discarded once we’ve served our usefulness.’
My assumption is that we have an Origin.
That we were brought into ‘being’, by a Being beyond our comprehension.
Embracing this idea is not something of which I can convince you.
It is not something of which anyone can convince.
I can only encourage you to open your heart.
To consider it.
And perhaps, as you consider the possibility, the enlightenment might be given.
I know our low view of ourselves & our conviction that we, as well as this earth, is temporal, hamper us in our ability to embrace an idea of this kind.
It is not a new hindrance.
One presented by modernism or post-modernism.
Perhaps it’s just reinforced by the belief that only that which can be observed and measured, categorized, is real and of relevance.
Perhaps in that sense, what followed historical enlightenment, was no enlightenment at all?
However it may be, it is my hope that you may receive the gift of being able to see beyond what can be observed.
That you may see, with a new clarity, that you are more.
More than an incidental cosmic accident.
That you do not come from a one celled amoebae.
That your being originates from an Origin.
This is the ‘first gift’, for lack of better words, of 礼品之路 or ‘the Way of the Gift’.
It speaks of where we come from.
It speaks of our worth.
Regardless of whether we are rich or poor.
Educated or illiterate.
Black or white.
Western or Asian.
Male or female.
Gay or straight.
Married or single.
Regardless of how we’ve lived or what we’ve done.
Regardless of if our lives have brought destruction or bestowed construction.
It speaks of our immeasurable value.
If you are, if you breathe, if you wake up in the morning, opening your eyes to a new morning – you have received ‘the gift of being’.
From our Origin.
Whether you are able or disabled.
If you are alive, you are.
As our Origin is.
When asked, by a friend, ‘who should I say you are?’, our Origin responds simply with two words, seemingly adequate: ‘I am’.
And from this ‘I am’ we receive the gift of ‘being’.
As (s)He cries out, in time, time-and-again, it is enough.
Not for a fleeting moment.
To return to dust.
An inconsequential existence terminated.
As we are.
Everything we were created to be.
For me, along this way, there is immense happiness.
Discovering again-and-again, every time with deeper enlightenment, that I am cherished, as I am unable to cherish.
Regardless of what I may have done or believed.
Regardless of what name I give to whoever.
Regardless of what acts I might have perpetrated in the hope of filling the emptiness.
The consuming emptiness which afflicts us all.
Which another post.
For another day, in which we could share ideas about becoming.
Someone said: I think therefore I am.
Perhaps (s)He thinks, our Origin, and therfore we are.
In this my happiness is rooted.