Friday, October 20, 2006

Fri. Oct 20: Oh, Shit: I'm Alive

Back in the old days, good old days, bad old days, days of my life, I lived in Berkeley and fine and amazing city it ‘twas, in and of itself. And I was in a group then, a group of recovering overly “good” meditators who had been rescued by a couple of bad boy Gurdjieff teachers. One, David, had been the teacher of the other, Henry, and that’s a long story, especially when they got into a little guru war, but that isn’t my story here today.

That’s a long story, and this is short.

It’s about some ideas I got from David along the way, who had his flaws and had his charms, and definitely had his insights.

He would talk of the decisive clarity that came into his life when, as a young man, he spent a number of years working in a Jewish old folks home. Not only was it amazing to him, being Jewish, to see how much of his character had come from this culture, but even more amazing was to watch person after person coming to the end of their lives.

And one by one, maybe in the last day, or last couple of breaths, or last week, or last month, they would wake up to their situation and realize: OH, SHIT. I’M ALIVE.”

And from that second until their last breath their life would be supercharged with a gratefulness for living and a lust for living that totally transformed their existence.

David, of course, wondered: what if people realized this now, instead of waiting until the end.

A good question indeed, don’t you think?

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