Email to Richard:
"The meaning that I give to my life is that of "growth", of "spiritual growth". It had been my personal secret philosophy, and I found it spelled out more recently in Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies. More precisely, I don’t see myself as separate from others but as being part of them. For me, "we are all one", there is only one thing, not separate individuals, and I’m a part of that thing, like a finger in a hand, and that finger has talents, that I ought to discover, cultivate and offer for the well-being of the hand, i.e. to the service of OTHERS – otherwise I would be nothing at all. This is what life is for me, this is what I inspire towards, this is the engine of my existence.
A few sample consequences of that "philosophy": I do some exercise because to respect my body is to respect the whole, because to give myself energy is to give energy to the whole, because to be strong is to be strong for the whole; I see all my successes as successes of the whole, I don’t appropriate my (mini-)successes, for example I know that my example (when I am joyful, or when I exercise) has inspired people around me, so I thrive to be a good example; I am looking for a job where I’d be happy and give more, because I want to give much more – hence this time off now. I seek where the world’s greatest pain and my greatest talents intersect – this is where I want to be. I SEEK, yes.
Maybe this quest will bring me back full circle where I started ;-), what a joke, this is what Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and other stories, are telling… But then I will be happier, and this is what the story tells... The journey is leading me towards a state where I am more relaxed, where I let life come to me, where I let go, where I surrender to life, where I stop being forceful, where I take the path of least resistance, etc. I feel it. You knew me "contorted", "tortured" almost. It is less and less the case, I can see that, as soon as you surrender to it, life brings you everything you need (for the very reason that we are one). It is like making love, it works when you are relaxed. I am learning to be relaxed. Yes, I was neurotic. But I am committed to change. I know that it is possible to change, I know that, the same way I have gotten rid of my fears I can get rid of the other monsters that burden me. I realize that change is actually pretty fast, suffices to turn 2-3 screws IN ONE’S HEAD.
Another example to show you what my philosophy of life is like. The other day, I was at a party, pretty high (on meditation!), and I had dressed rather sexy for a laugh (mini-skirt, funny hat), and it provoked rather extreme reactions. A number of people, I was told, said really bad things about me, because they judged me based on the way I dressed, or looked, wondering "who is this whore, what is she doing here" – while others came to me to tell me how they found me beautiful, radiant, etc (which makes me laugh also by the way – a number of times in my life have people gone out of their way to let me know how ugly they thought I was!), and a bunch of other things. People were confiding in me, it was rather intense – as I tell you I was quite high. Someone told me "you’re a woman women love to hate" (how awful!), someone else "you're so lucky to have such a beautiful body!", etc. And what I was thinking, from my "spiritual viewpoint" (but it is politically incorrect to say, so of course I didn’t say it), is: "YOU're so lucky to have such a beautiful body!" like, "YOU're so lucky to be able to enjoy seeing my body tonight, I dressed it all sexy and brought it in just for YOU to enjoy (vs. keeping it in my PJs in my bed like I normally do), because my body is for you to enjoy, my body is as much yours as it is mine, you are me and I am you, we are all one – CAN'T YOU SEE THAT WE ARE ALL ONE, THAT THERE IS NO SEPARATION?"
This is the bottom of my foundations, Richard. That we are all one, that there is no separation. This is what I found recently spelled out in Buddhism. This episode made me think of Burning Man, actually, because I was in a way bringing to that party the spirit of Burning Man – remember, everyone is a show for the others, otherwise there is no show, there is no party, there is no Burning Man, there is nothing but the cold desert – it would occur to nobody, at Burning Man, to tell someone else that they are lucky to be pretty or to have a nice costume!... We very well know that we are all together making this world…
This is what I thought, this is what I think, this is what I feel. I was all shrivelled, and I feel I am unfurling, at last."