Control is an illusion; presence is real
We, as human beings, tend to live in an eternal quest for control. Whether it is control over our finances, our kids or the path of our lives in general, we are constantly chasing the illusion that we are in total control of what’s coming up next.
People have always sought to master their own fates, but the notion that we can ever be in total control has grown exponentially with our advances in technology.
Sure, we hear about things happening to other people in other places, but we are almost always protected by the comforting distance and isolation of television or radio coverage, and remain confident that such things would not happen to us.
We seem to view ourselves as living under a protective bubble, constructed by our technology, our culture and what we often see as our superior and irreplaceable place in the grand scheme of things.
Our bubble is very comforting, providing the illusion of protection from all of the unforeseen and unspeakable disasters that we see going on “outside” and happening to those who don’t reside with us in our imaginary sphere of security.
The notion that we are in control of our surroundings, our futures and our fates is a comforting delusion, but a delusion just the same.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s very important to work to control the portions of our lives over which we may actually have control, to put in the effort needed to drive our futures in the direction of our choosing.
The problem, of course, is that there’s always an element of our lives over which we will have no control, that we won’t see coming and that we couldn’t do anything about even if we did. There’s always the potential for our bubble to be burst.
We live our daily lives in sight of horrid and unspeakable acts that we believe would never befall us. We comfort ourselves by believing “that would never happen to me,” or “they would never do that to me,” or perhaps “that only happens to those other people, over there.”
Fact is, as I have come to realize, “it” can happen, and when “it” comes “it” may be well beyond our control, despite our best efforts and most sincere intentions. Try as we might, there will always be forces out there, or perhaps people, who are capable of destroying the very framework of our perceived future.
The great consolation here is that we, as people of free will, have the power to overcome whatever force has wrought unspeakable destruction on our expected future. We have the power to defy the unexpected — what our ego will tell us is the horrible present — by maintaining our spiritual peace, our consciousness, in the present. In that present peace we have the immutable power to frame a new future.
By refusing to crumble amidst the ruins of a past life, amidst the ashes of past goals and expectations, we have the power to face an uncertain future with certain resolve.