Chapter 1: Ready, Set—COURAGE!
Pretend that today is the first day of the rest of your life. Pretend that everything you ever thought true, isn’t, and that for the sake of experimentation only, you’re willing to try something new in your life. Why? Well, the payoff I’m promising is stupendous. You’ve heard of peace of mind. You’ve even met people who seem content with whatever life has brought them. You suspect some people, even if you haven’t met them, are not destroyed with bouts of seething anger or crippling anxiety every time things don’t go their way. You actually believe that some fortunate people in our stressful world get by without taking drugs, either prescribed or recreational. But … up till now … you haven’t been one of these types of people.
To you, life seems fraught with perils, dangers, exploitative people, oppressive governments, and toxic situations. You may feel powerless a great deal of the time. For these reasons you may have the tendency to drink, smoke, eat, shop, exercise, work, create drama, or some other unhealthy action in excess. But you don’t believe you have a problem. You just think “This is the way life is.”
You’re probably the type of person who believe that true happiness is rare, and probably just a fairytale. Or for airy-fairy types. Maybe you’re a hardcore realist and don’t believe in God. The first type of person usually doesn’t give the possibility of cosmic consciousness a nod of the head, and the later just hopes they’ll not mess up and get thrown in eternal damnation. Either type, neither one lives in a state of openness and is ruled by fears, whether disguised by intellectualism, philosophy, or religiosity.
Well, I can tell you right now that just by being interested in the subject of this book, “Maya’s Book of Change,” that you’re intrigued with the possibility of being transformed. Change is change. You wouldn’t want to stay the way you are if you’re reading about change. You may not believe change is intrinsically possible, but you’re willing to try that thought on for size and thus, you’re here, with me, reading these words.
Maya is my very sick, terminally ill friend whom I’ve dedicated this book to. Ahhh, but maya is also a Sanskrit word that means, loosely: The illusion this world is, this reality in which we live, the one that is only a play of consciousness, and not what we truly are.
And I’ll tell you right here what we really are.
All beings, living or dead, animate or inanimate, mineral, plant, vegetable, each and every thing in existence: we are all tiny cells within the fabric, the body of a much larger, almost incomprehensible matrix called the Universe. Whether you like it or not, my favorite analogy of what we truly are is … don’t laugh!… like microscopic flea-like critters that live upon a dog. The dog being the Universe in this ridiculous scheme, and the fleas are … well, you get the picture. It’s a stretch, but this is my experience and I’m trying to express something totally ineffable using lame words. Sorry.
Stick around and I’ll share best I can how I came to have this perspective, that is, by the way, not unique. The Oneness, or unity consciousness I speak of, is a very ancient approach to life, one that is recorded in much more esoteric and poetic (but almost incomprehensible) language in the yogic scriptures called the Vedas.
Don’t get me wrong! It’s not a smelly, low-existence being a flea-speck on a dog’s back. No, no no. Being a mere cell in the vastness of the One-that-Is, is what I lovingly, respectfully call being aware of The Big It. On the contrary, it’s quite a relief to know we’re all so connected, so familiar with everything in existence that we—whether “we” is another human or another life form, a plant, an animal, or another spinning gaseous galaxy lights years away—we are all connected. We are All One.
I have proof of this. And you will arrive at the same conclusion too if you stick with this inner journey I’m leading you on.
I know Oneness to be absolutely true, and all other beliefs are … just that. Other people’s beliefs. They just don’t hold up for many of us. Oneness is before religion was invented by man. Oneness will remain if and when humanity destroys itself, either over religious differences or crass indifference to our fragile ecosystem.
By the end of this book you will experience Oneness for yourself. I promise that if you follow all my suggestions and be willing to try, that your life will evolve into one with the daily experience of Oneness that is beyond your wildest expectations of what fulfillment can mean. Better than the most far-out aphrodisiac or euphoric formula for happiness, this Oneness stuff. Guaranteed you’ll throw away your anti-depressants, those anti-anxiety pills, bottles of booze, pizza and doughnuts, and relieving smokes. All your fears and hurdles that keep you from being the most significant person you can, in this lifetime you’ve been blessed with, will melt away when you start experiencing Oneness as your true reality.
The goal of this book is, nothing more and nothing less than to share with you the secret of life, and why life itself is such a gift, and how we can best use our time here, whatever length it might be we are granted to be alive.
One thing we can start by agreeing on:
Life is a gift.
Let’s not waste it.
(This is the 4th installment of “Maya’s Book of Change”)