I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go back to about fifth or sixth grade, with all the knowledge of how the world works I’ve obtained currently. Would I follow the same path that created what I’m very happy with now? Would I keep the good and just improve on the difficult times in my past? I still have no answer but with current times being what there are, it can sometimes feel very good not to be as aware. Funny for a Buddhist to speak against awareness but for some reason I’m contemplating how vital and healthy full awareness is to a person.
When we were children we didn’t have a care in the world aside from not upsetting the parental units, being fast enough to outrun the neighborhood dog, and maybe when the ice cream trunk would finally come by the house. Things were simply and most were just happy to see friends and family, create a ruckus, and just be. As adults, I find many craving a simpler time. Many wouldn’t mind just waiting around for the ice cream trunk ( probably wishing it was a frozen margarita or daiquiri trunk). Many would love to just be, turning off CNN for Cartoon Network or Soap Net just to forget our world is hurting all the time. This isn’t news but as I become more aware of the human condition, the Universal energy, and Buddhism in general, I find myself hating that I still crave ignorance sometimes.
To me ignorance isn’t being stupid or as negative as some might think. Ignorance just is the absence of full knowledge. Many have a few bits and pieces but never the full story. Often times what is known didn’t come from self study or research, but from others that did the leg work, leaving the ignorant one to rattle off talking points they don’t full comprehend (Fox News anyone?). I have always been against being unarmed mentally. I enjoy having fun facts in my head. Sometimes it’s fun to throw them in at parties, other times I just like having an “ah ha” moment. But lately at the end of these parties and moments, I’m left wondering what was the point? Why not be the observer in the room, or the clown at the party just being?
Have you ever walked by someone who had a mental disability and thought, ‘how sweet they are”? I smile only because they seem so just happy to be. Things are new and ideas of sarcasm, war, and just silly judging don’t apply to them. Not having been in their heads, I’m sure it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, but I hope it is, and while I don’t care to have a disability, the joy on their face when maybe for a moment they don’t see that side of themselves is still a pleasing moment to me. I wonder if I can really decide to turn off my curious mind. I wonder if being more childlike is even possible at this stage in the game. And I wonder if I would enjoy it.
Craving creates suffering and here I am craving something other than what I currently am. I’m someone who thinks all the time. I never really have a problem with my thoughts until I do. I would love to be able to control them better, and thankfully there are ways to do just that. I reply on my Buddhist practices to illuminate when my mind takes me away from my true self. I fully believe all the pain and angst we feel starts and ends with the mind and perceptions. While I have this knowledge, the practical application has been difficult to obtain. I get better each moment of each day that I stay mindful, but when I actually escape reality, become childlike and in whatever scene I’m in, coming back to self and well life hurts. I’m back aware of my spiritual path. I’m back aware of my career and those needs. I’m back aware of the government, death, and deception. I can’t help wondering if mindfulness and awareness are worse than craving.
That was a pretty deep ending sentence and truth be told I have no answer at all for you or myself. I do plan to hold on to that question for a while, and hopefully I will be able to give you some kind of answer in a future post. I can say I don’t see the answer agreeing with mindfulness and awareness being THAT bad. In truth, craving is the enemy. I’m currently craving an answer. I’m still craving mindfulness and awareness, so I can say craving is the enemy of peace and joy. I wouldn’t be a happy person without some level of mindfulness in my life. As much as I can become distressed, I like thinking, I like the mind, and I wouldn’t want to be ignorant. But the balance is what’s escaping me and that is where my expedition begins.
So what do you think? To be a child or not a child again? Share your thoughts in the comment section on mindfulness and awareness versus ignorance. Let’s help each other as spiritual people should do.