You live. You exist.
In these very moments, you are immediately living some of your life.
As you live in these moments, and in any moments, so it will always have been.
Whatever else your life is, it is your opportunity to directly explore what you may of existence.
If you do not realize this—if your considerations and activities are all based on established viewpoints, on established ways of life—how much may you miss?
Consider society and culture in their present states.
Do society and culture, in the forms they presently happen to take, sometimes prevent an individual from experiencing the full value of life?
Will you allow this to happen to you?
What if your life is a short glimpse of existence?
Are you conscious that you may now have a brief chance to understand what you can of all times, places, and possibilities?
And to experience what you can of the greatest of these possibilities?
Regard life as closely as you can.
See if you are able to understand situations differently through directing your attention in one way or another.
When in this or that place, notice more and more of its details; become more and more aware of its many layers of happening.
Try to discover the limitations of your habitual points of view.
How much is going on right now?
What happenings, small and large, nearby and far away,
brief and prolonged, are taking place?
What is something really?
What is its full nature?
Is it merely that which you have come to think it is?
Again, your life is your opportunity to directly explore what you may of existence.
It is not merely your time to conform, or react, to what others are doing.
It is your chance to understand what you can of reality, of everything, while you are able to understand anything at all.
A chance you simply would not have were you to never exist.
A chance you will no longer have if you cease to exist.
To never exist—do you understand what this would mean?
What if your life were to simply not take place?
You would not be alive now.
You would not have been alive previously.
Nor would you ever live.
It is easy to completely overlook this consideration.
It is possible to take your being alive for granted, as though being alive is merely the backdrop to your various activities.
It is possible, when considering your not being alive, to think only about death. As part of this, you might ask whether one can “cheat death.”
And so it is possible to live without sensing something of incredible importance:
That simply by being alive at all, simply by existing right now, you cheat nonexistence.
You live, you exist, as opposed to your never existing.
Yet what if you cease to exist?
What if, in a time to come, your life ends forever?
You would be completely excluded from any further happenings, any further experiences, without exception.
There would no longer be a you.
And so it is possible to sense:
Right now, rather than never existing,
Rather than having already ceased to exist,
I might never have existed.
I may cease to exist.
Try to understand what has been said not only in relation to yourself, but others as well.
You, and others, cheat nonexistence.
You, and others, may cease to exist.
You, and others, are.
We all share existence together—our moments, our lives, passing side by side.
We are brothers and sisters, we are kinsmen, of life.
This relation exists between everyone. It is a common ground connecting all individuals.
Sensing this relation, the importance of the well-being of others—near and far, known and unknown—is understood.
Rather than taking something to be ordinary, it is possible to have a deep sense of its being an aspect of existence.
How mysterious, how fascinating, it can be to sense that something exists.
That there is such a thing.
Consider, for example, that which is called a “tree.”
How revealing it can be to sense that you are amidst existence;
That existence is this specific way, or that specific way;
That it has this or that specific quality.
In having such senses, you may understand many things differently.
It is possible to have senses of this kind in relation to innumerable things and happenings, including
practices of society
relationships between entities
You, after all, are part of existence—that which is, and that which will have been—in your every thought, your every feeling, your every perception, your every action.
As you live your life, having your firsthand experience, try to be more aware of what others really are.
These others are living their lives, are having their firsthand experiences—yet it is possible to forget this, and merely regard them as figures in your experience.
Do you vividly realize that, in someone else’s experience, you are someone else?
Do you vividly realize that your actions toward another are, from that individual’s point of view, the actions of another toward me?
It is easy to mainly react to an individual’s outward appearance, material possessions, social status, and similar things. But what is that individual really?
What thoughts, feelings, and perceptions predominate another’s awareness?
What does another’s experience truly, essentially consist of in different moments?
Likewise, it is easy to primarily focus on your outward appearance, material possessions, social status, and similar things. But what are you really?
What thoughts, feelings, and perceptions predominate your awareness?
What does your experience truly, essentially consist of in different moments?
Too, what different experiences has another individual had?
For example, what hardship has another gone through?
What experiences may another individual still have?
For example, what hardship may another still go through?
What of the possibility that another may soon cease to exist?
Or do you take it for granted that someone is?
Do you weigh any of these considerations when interacting with someone?
Do you realize that, in whatever way you act toward another, it is part of the whole process of that individual’s life?
It is possible to have many different thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, in a given situation, you may realize: These thoughts and feelings do not reflect my true understanding of this situation.
Be cautious when having such thoughts and feelings. Do not let them cause you to act foolishly.
Refocus your attention on your true understanding.
What you do is what you will have done;
How you are is how you will have been.
One is in a given place.
Then—one has left that place.
One is with another.
Then—one is no longer with them. They are gone.
One is having an experience and senses that it is going on
Then—the experience has ended. Its time has passed.
Such transitions can be striking. Becoming more and more aware of them can help one savor experience.
When near a number of persons, or other entities (such as birds passing in flight), try to be more aware of the different entities’ firsthand perspectives.
Try to be aware of their multiple perspectives’ existing simultaneously.
The full reality of a given happening includes all of the experiencing involved in it—as is actually had, firsthand, by the different entities involved.
How often do you overlook this?
Consider the world:
What many thoughts, feelings, perceptions—what many experiences—are presently taking place?
Indeed, how much happens in the course of a minute, or even a second, taking into consideration every entity’s experiencing that occurs during its passage?
Too, what many experiences have previously taken place?
Try to think of the many entities that have existed, including those passed over by history.
Try to grasp their experiences as they were actually had, firsthand.
To seriously reflect in this way can greatly alter one’s understanding of the past.
Also, consider the different happenings and cycles that have occurred, or are still occurring, in a given place—though they may presently be imperceptible.
Try to imagine:
Seeing something from many sides, many angles, at once;
Swaying with a tree’s—or more than one tree’s—different branches at the same time;
Falling from the sky with multiple raindrops simultaneously;
Floating and shifting with numerous clouds during the same moment.
Many things can be similarly contemplated.
What do you depend on right now?
Perhaps that you can continue to breathe—that your ability to breathe does not suddenly, unexpectedly fail.
Similarly, that you can still move, see, hear, touch, or speak. Or that you remain able to think, including that you can consider the meaning of these very words.
What have you depended on previously?
That it was ever possible for you to breathe, move, see, hear, touch, speak, or think, among other things.
Indeed, consider the ability to exercise any real control over oneself in the course of life. (For example, to legitimately decide whether one will carry out a specific action.) It is impossible to cause oneself to have this ability, initially. One either has it, or not.
Whatever successes you experience in life, understanding something of the extent of your dependence reveals the wisdom of humility.
What if there were no awareness, no experiencing, whatsoever?
Not anything would be seen or heard; no sensations of any kinds would be had by anyone.
There would be no thoughts or feelings; no perceptions of any sorts would exist.
No event, no quality, no state of being—no anything—could be experienced, or in any way “registered.”
Everything would be totally oblivious, dead, to everything.
If this were the case, could existence be of innate value? Could anything’s existence, in and of itself, be better than the absence thereof?
No. Again, everything would be totally oblivious, dead, to everything—without exception. Any “innate value” that one might imagine existing under such conditions is illusory.
One might disagree with this, thinking that various things could still have qualities that are of innate value. (A beautiful object, one might say, would still have the same proportions.) Yet these qualities, inasmuch as everything—including “themselves”—would be totally oblivious, dead, to them, could (for as long as there were no awareness) entail no innate value.
Only through awareness, then, can existence be of innate value. If there were to never be any awareness, there may as well never be anything.
Whereas, if even one individual has experience that is innately of value, it is different; some innate value exists. Perhaps, in this way, every individual can partake in existence’s being better than it otherwise would.
To focus only on particular things and happenings that you encounter is one possibility.
To also be aware of the very fact that you exist, right now, is another possibility.
And to be aware that you exist in a radically profound way is still another possibility.
To sense that you are with unprecedented clarity, to perceive the very fact of being with astonishingly deep feeling, is to understand the utter significance of existing.
Some go about their activities, and react to things and happenings, without any meaningful awareness that they are.
They never marvel at the very fact of being alive, now.
They are never filled with awe by the sense, I am.
Yet sensing the profoundness of existing fundamentally alters one’s perspective.
As part of this, it transforms one’s understanding of countless things and happenings one encounters in life.
You might never have existed.
You may cease to exist.