We are told, from the youngest age, that to be something, to make something of ourselves is the greatest accomplishment we can hope for in this life. Whatever it may be, whatever in the world we put our minds to, we can have, we can become, we can do. It’s a love story — us and the future, us and possibility, us and the amazing adult we will one day become. It’s wonderful. What else would we tell the young? A better world is possible, and its passage comes through the experience of each life lived to its grandest potential, in the fulfilling of each of our greatest personal joys, and the light that would naturally radiate from such a flowering.
It is a good story. A simple one. And it’s understandable, arising from the circumstances we find ourselves in, from our inherent experience of time here on this planet; it is based, somehow, on an intrinsic knowledge of our deep divinity — on the understanding of ourselves as creatures with unlimited potential. Yet, as every grown child knows, we have not been honest about it. There is another side to the story, and it lives in the long shadow of that saintly version of ourselves, cast back across the chasm of time as it is.
While the images we project are surely different in childhood, growing and changing nearly as rapidly as we are, the dream does not cease once we reach adulthood. Nor should it. The existence of the ‘something’ we are all striving to become is, in many ways, the whole point. Creating mind-made casts through which we mould ourselves into yet higher states of being is the underlying alchemy of life itself, something each of us are performing here in every moment, whether we are conscious of it or not. Yet there is an assumption made by many of us that these selves are somehow more important than the ones we are now. As a result, most of us spend our lives residing in the darkness of these superior selves — selves that are spectres, really, that live only in the mind. In this way it is similar to the strange worship of celebrity that we suffer from. These future versions of ourselves possess what we believe we don’t, and, while they need not, serve often as a dismissal of what we currently are, underscoring our lives with a great sense of lack.
Deeper than this lies the painfully ironic truth that the majority of their make-up consists of cultural illusion. They are fallacies we have all bought into, born of the strange, unconscious projections of the population as a whole. The selves we strive for are shaped, for the most part, from outside of ourselves. This is why we are so often disappointed in our pursuit of happiness. We have gotten the whole thing backwards. The point was for us to decide what we wanted to become, not have our decisions instead whispered into our sleeping minds, leaving us with the delusion that they are in fact our own. But this is indeed what is happening, leaving nearly all of us in a race to conform to a few cultural ideals so narrow in their description not even a fraction of us could hope to do so. Beyond this, those that do often come to find their attainment satisfying only on a superficial level, if at all. It does very little to satiate the enormous hunger that brought them there, because it fails to address the real cause of that hunger, which is something only the individual themselves can do.
In order for that hunger to be addressed — along with the underlying sense of lack that accompanies it — there must be an opposing force introduced. The reality we find ourselves in here is one undoubtedly built of duality. Proper flow requires proper balance. It is quite obvious that the human family is gravely out of balance at this time in history. A large part of this imbalance is the story of ‘something’ as it has thus far been dreamt. Our future selves have become hindrances to their own attainment. Although entirely unreal, they have become so dense in their construct that they constrict the very flow of our forward motion. They are indeed quite ‘something’.
The answer to this is obvious. We must invite nothing in. We must do the opposite of all we’ve learned, all that’s been inculcated in us from the time of the cradle. What does this mean? Get okay with not being ok. Let yourself be. Notice how often you are in struggle, notice the reasons for that struggle — the future state, the thing to be attained, the resolution that you seek — and notice the effect it has on you, notice what it does to your state of mind, the emotions it brings up, the bodily reactions. Do nothing about it. When you catch yourself daydreaming about the future, and how you’ll be happy then, notice it. Do nothing. Take the time, every once in a while, to imagine being nothing more than you are right now. Let go of your ideas about yourself — they are nothing more than that: ideas. Shed the future completely, notice how it makes you feel.
What happens when you start to do this, when you invite this space in, is a slow dismantling of illusion in favour of reality. By inviting the energy of ‘nothing’ in to observe the story of ‘something’ the fallacies we have all built up around us begin to be revealed. Everything unveils itself as projection, as a construct of the mind, either from yourself or another. Once you start to see this, you realize how steeped we are in our story, how deeply entranced we all are in a cultural myth that is lulling us into the grave, and how truly unimportant the story of that myth actually is. What this is is insight — a look at true reality. What it does, over time, is disempower the path we’ve thus far been on, by revealing its dysfunction to us, while simultaneously beginning to unveil the true ‘something’ that is unique to each one of us, and exposing the path that will lead us there. Recurring insights will put it together. They will also, in the process, lead to faith. And once you have faith, you can step forward onto the path. From there, wisdom is not far off, for what else is wisdom if not faith applied?
All of us were meant to be something. What we mustn’t forget however, is that it takes nothing for something to exist in the first place.