I sat down with Vicky last night. As my co-pilot on this lifetime excursion, I figured she should have a say in things, too.
I said, “I could write a book that would sell or I could write this other thing.”
And then, I told her what the “other thing” was, and we talked it over quite a bit. Then, I took a notepad and a vodka and soda out on the patio and started taking notes…
How can you find inner peace, thinking you’re a failure?
Your life belongs to you – the outcome is your fault. (Basic existentialism)
Why do we fail to recognize our accomplishments when they happen?
It’s not about how the world sees you, or the expectations the world has placed upon you. It’s about how you see yourself and expectations you have placed upon yourself.
Something ineffable defines success. What is it?
Defining ourselves by our place in the world is inherently dissatisfying. (Thus the failure of materialism.)
We have a point inside of us that defines success. It is inside. It is not a part of the world.
What did the Buddha say about enlightenment? Once you’re enlightened, you realize that time is meaningless and that you’ve always been, albeit unknowingly, enlightened, striving towards enlightenment. If this is true, isn’t success a similar state? Have I always been successful but not seen it? Is that “too easy” an answer?
Those who do not live an authentic life cannot see this.
If every rock will one day be a person, and every tree – if enlightenment is sacred and the movement towards enlightenment is sacred, then every life is sacred. Every potentiality is sacred. Isn’t this angst, this drive, this striving for success also sacred?
Angst is sacred. Acceptance and peace are sacred. If a=c and b=c, then a=b… They are the same.
Actually, I wrote a whole lot more than this. This is just a summary. But I began to see that I was on to something much bigger than I had imagined, some amalgamation of existential and Buddhist thinking. But to claim that satisfaction and dissatisfaction were equal (i.e. 1 = -1) was obviously veering off the path somewhat.
That said, I think it’s safe to say I have my next book.
Which is good.
Because Vicky thinks I should write it, too.