It has been said that if one could live the life of a dog, they would come to know a little of what it means to occupy heaven. Anyone familiar with the company of these fine animals understands the truth of that statement. Dogs are undoubtedly divine creatures.
Yet heaven is not exclusive to the canine crowd. All animals, I think, domestic and wild alike, know what it means to keep their own little corner of heaven. And — aside from the massive number that now exist within the industrial farming complex, and have instead come to know a very real and unique form of hell — they are thus privy to a different kind of knowledge, one that is continously informing them with a type of divine laziness, so unlike anything we know as humans. This is obvious, really — all one need do is observe them to see it. They are unabashedly themselves. Animals lounge, languish and play, all at their own leisure. They do what they want, when they want, just how they want to do it. They do not stress about those things they ‘should’ be doing, or haven’t accomplished, or failed in their attempt of; they are not plagued by self-doubt or haunted by unfulfilled ideals, or so discontent with this moment that they need to alter their consciousness in order to make it more interesting or tolerable. They are simply, and wonderfully, themselves.
If only we could follow their example. How we are existing now, as humans, should in no way be considered a proper form of living. While we surely wouldn’t have achieved all we have without the incessant, underlying anxiousness that got us here, it is a ridiculous notion to consider it a permanent state of existence, let alone a desirable one. That type of frenetic, unfocused energy is meant to be transcended, not sustained. It is only a beginning pulse on the evolutionary climb into greater states of stability and efficiency.
And what creates true efficiency? Where does honest stability come from? From a rested and relaxed mind, of course. True creative intelligence — and thus true solutions — can only emerge from this place of deep rest and reflection. Yet there is such a tendency in our society to not only justify, but glorify the endless state of busyness we are all constantly clamouring around in. Why? What for? Are we really in that big of a rush to reach our death? Or is it the thought of our death we are trying to avoid? Is the incessant and never-ending doing going to free us somehow, get us where we want to go? Where can we possibly get to? There’s nowhere to go. There never was. No matter where you go, there you are.
This is something our animals understand. They know how to simply “be” far better than any of us. They are inherently connected to a divine and graceful way of being that the rest of us spend our entire lives chasing. This is why our love for our pets runs so deep — they are an emotional bridge for us to the relaxed and wonderful state of nature itself, a reminder of where we came from and where we’re headed. The animals in our lives manage to embody, in every aspect, a spirit of such authentic alignment and candour that we ourselves often feel only truly at home when we are in their presence. It is easy to see how our ancestors found the worship of them so fitting.
Take a moment and imagine a scenario, if you will, in which the human race has taken the proper steps it needs to correctly order our reality. It’s not that daunting, really — a few simple yet fundamental things have taken place: there is enough for everyone to eat. There is clean water at the ready. The majority of services we need to provide us with the necessities of life have been largely automated for our convenience of use — something we currently possess the technological capacity to do — and our resources have come into full alignment with nature — we have a surplus of clean energy that is permanently flowing.
What then do we do with our time? What state would we find ourselves in? The regimentation of the current world would have no meaning for us anymore. We would be done, finally, chasing the spectre of survival, free now to languish and reflect. Certain responsibilities would still exist, of course — family, friends, education and non-solitary creative endeavours — but for the most part we would have nothing to do but surrender. As with our animals we would sleep when we wanted, arise when we felt like it, eat and play at our leisure and create out of no other desire than simply to do so. We would move as nature does. Each of us would have the time to contemplate the self, and the heavens — it would be impossible not to — and in so doing there would be a great, natural flowering of prosperity and abundance. As we relaxed deeply into our lives, so too would we relax more deeply into our selves — our inner worlds — and in so doing, move undoubtedly into a more meaningful relationship with our technology. Our interaction with it would then surely carry us off of this planet.
All of this, brought about through the laziness of the divine.
Yet is it possible to arrive at this place without there being such a change in the politics of our living? Without such a radical transformation to the physical environment we find ourselves living within? It is simple enough to imagine a scenario such as the one described above, and the many ways in which it would undoubtedly transform its members, but the actual mechanics of getting there, as they now exist, are terribly complicated. It would take a critical mass of people having surrendered to this state of being, this state of animal wisdom, in order to produce such a world. It is paradoxical — and yet — dare I say it? — possible. It is possible. Not only that, but it may already be underway. Look at the mindfulness movement now taking place in the first world. Where was this 20 years ago? 30? And, while it can be surely criticized — and is — for its lack of efficacy in many ways, it doesn’t matter. It’s happening. Even if only a small percentage of us truly get it, it will be enough. Ask any living Master. Research the lives of those now passed — the divine state of laziness is something each of them attained. It is a revolutionary form of relaxation — a restfulness and peace that speaks through its silence in a voice far louder than words could ever reach. And it is out of this place of calm action that change is truly effected - out of the deep body-knowledge that there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no need to be anyone other than the person that you’re being right now. The ‘doing’ that would then arise from that state would come to create the new world. There is no way it couldn’t. The truth of it would prostrate itself at your feet, roll in ecstasy at your arrival, reel in your recognition of its timeless wonder, finally, after all these years.
So relax into it. Let it come out. Be lazy. Do like your cat, your dog and your beloved pets. Don’t mind. Be. Dream of the new world. Contemplate the divine. Invent, paint, play, taste, love — all of it. Even in the midst of terrible busyness, see if you can bring the spirit of that deep animal wisdom to it. If you can, consistently enough, you may just come to find something interesting: whether or not the new world arrives from the outside is irrelevant, as its true home resides within. It remains an inalienable right of your existence, as long as you are alive. This is the truth of it. You only have one life. So stop searching for it, and it will surely come to heel at your side.