Does my resistance to what I experience wear me out?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez, Concepción, Chile.

One of the greatest difficulties that we face in life is our ignorance.  I am not talking of knowledge of philosophy, history, science, technology and other matters.

I am talking about ignorance about ourselves.  About life and everything that lives.

Why might it be a great problem not to know what we are?  Animals, insects and all the other life forms, that are more rudimentary than us, have no awareness of life and live their lives without fear, in a state of almost permanent tranquillity.  Why can we not manage to live like that?  We cannot.   There is more work to do on our minds.  Human beings and, to some extent some highly developed animals, have the ability to store up experiences, that they have gone through, together with the effects that the experiences had on their supplementary abilities to feel, think and do at the behest of the memories that they have accumulated.   In accessible language so that we understand the significance it has in our lives, each of us writes the story in our memories of what we experience or believe we experience.

We have created a non-existent “I” out of the memories we have experienced.  And it is not just about the colour of my eyes and other little details. 

No, there it lies and it is unknown to all of us who are largely unaware of it.

We call them knowledge, memories, thoughts, perceptions, sensations, emotions, impulses, habits, etc.  As we said, they are created and survive based on what we have experienced and become combined within our genetic make-up.  In short, we are an “internal medium” that REACTS by feeling, thinking and acting in line with the perceptions we have of everyone.  If a human being does not constantly pay attention to the development of this internal “medium” anything may emerge from it: anger, violence, egoism, panic, drug addiction, alcoholism, depravity, etc. etc. the result of the fact that the non-existent “I” resists the sensations and emotions that bring it unpleasant memories or fears.

Most of the energy our food provides is used up in maintaining this internal “medium” active.  This sapping of our energy does not just tire us, it also stresses us and makes us ill, especially when the taste of the medium is acidic, bitter or negative.  Learn to reduce this inner turmoil by paying attention to what you feel and let go of your resistance to what life brings.  If there is something that will lower the tension it is humour and its companion, smiles.  Savour life, like a good wine: bit by bit while feeling a “certain something.”  Constantly pay as much attention as is feasible to the present moment that you are experiencing.