God's Gift: Life

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Our mind is free to do what it wants but our heart is a prisoner of our own inhibitions. For so long, it was like that. We have gone through a lot of lifeless days and cold nights. Those were the times of our life when our days seemed to be numbered. Its as if we will never glimpse at the rising sun in a beautiful morning again. Every time we open our eyes, it looks like we are at the edge of a cliff where from beneath, we can see people and things are just about the size of an ant. We know that we stayed there for so long time and sooner, if we will let this rotten heart rule, we will eventually fall.

All of life is experienced. Everything we ever learned throughout our existence has been one big experience, starting where our life began. At some point in time we came into being. We perceived things around us, but we were not aware of who we were or even that we existed. At birth, we entered a world of sights and sounds, and we interacted with them in the only way we knew how. We made no cognizant choices; We simply behaved as we would, regardless of how we “ought to.” We were simply us. It’s a wonder that we ever came to know ourself. We knew about the things around us before we knew of ourself, and even after we became self-conscious, we only knew of ourself in relation to those things. To this day, we only know ourself in relation to the things and actions and feelings that we experienced around us in our lifetime.

We cannot know ourself apart from our experiences. We need a reality outside of us with which to interact. We need a story in which to see ourself. We heard of a courtyard outside a Buddhist temple in which there were 15 large stones. The stones were placed in such a way that anywhere we might stand inside the courtyard, we can only see 14 of the stones. We cannot see the fifteenth stone. People say that the fifteenth stone is our self.

We cannot see ourself without a mirror. The things we experience are mirrors reflecting our image back to us. The way we reacted to things when we were young reflected back to us who we were. Some things we liked, and some we didn’t. Some made us feel warm and safe, and others made us afraid. As we became familiar with the way things function in this world, we learned how to use them, and sometimes they did what we expected, but other times they surprised us. Sometimes we surprised ourself.

It’s strange being a person. We can distinguish between us and reality so that we see a relationship between us and it, but at the same time we are a part of the reality that we perceive. On one hand we are part of it, and at the same time we are distinct from it. We can also distinguish between imagination and reality, but our imagination depends on our reality. We cannot think of something imaginary apart from the things that are real. Look at the greatest actors. See how they act as if they were really in a particular situation. It looks real, because it is real. They act according to a reality that they really experienced so that their acting is as real as anything else. They look back to actual situations they experienced and act accordingly.

Test this with our mind. Imagine something that our mind is not capable of imagining. That’s right. Think outside of that box. (The box in this case is your own mind). Imagine a world that is completely different than the world we live in. No, It means completely different. Come on now. Are there people in our imaginary world? Why should there be people? Why do we want them? Is it because we’ve been designed as a person and a person desires other persons? What about things? Are there things in our imaginary world? We know, things . . .

“It is to be on the side of life”(D. Miranda). The life we refer to is primarily human life....
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