Living Life When Your Thoughts Don't Matter (from my new book The Way of Liberation)


We are like a person treading water in a dangerous sea – always scrambling for a lifesaver to drift our way. Whether it be anxiety or depression (the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis of the human psychology), we become firmly attached to the belief is in an external condition that will, temporarily, free of us of our distress. Anytime this belief is prominent, and let’s be honest with ourselves – it is true for most of us, we will live our lives in fear and anxiety. When we live our life this way we will never have the opportunity to express our authentic self. This is the life of the invalidation triad. We are puppets of a heartless, all-powerful world. All the power resides outside of us and we are helpless.
It is to this very desperate, deeply conflict person that religion and patriotism extend their very “helpful” hands. In our moments of deepest vulnerability, they inform us that they will answer our questions, they will become our partners in this ever-threatening world. Thus we learn to take sides in this life. It’s either for us or against us. It’s survival of the fittest. To the most powerful go the riches and all the rest. Here is one of the sources of deep violence, hatred, and division. This is the answer for so many millions of us.

Contrast this relationship with that of the hunter/gatherer. Unlike those who are identified with fear and hopelessness, he is made alive by and through life. He is one with life, flowing with its infinite changes. He is life.

His trust relationship with this world is never severed. The power of life is shared with all, from the tiniest insects to the towering redwoods. He lives in the vast web of connection, as life. The apparent separation of all of life and his body is merely an artifact of sight. They are truly one and the same. The beating of his heart is the beating of life itself. He has no interest in life ‘working out for him’. The external elements of life do matter for him, because he is this very life in this moment.
What would it be like to live a life where, literally, nothing mattered? What would it be like to live life as life? What would your life be like if you saw the whole energy sucking hope that life give you a “break” ended right now?

End that person now and see what happens.

Try it out and see for yourself. Let’s say that I’m walking down a street and see someone grabs another person’s purse. What happens then? If it is at all reasonable, I would intervene and try to help!
You then ask, “well, if nothing mattered, why do anything?” That certainly sounds like a reasonable question, but is it true? When I say live your life as if nothing matters, what that means is that we stop believing the many voices in our mind that tell us what matters, those thoughts that generate and sustain the toxic fear that governs our everyday existence. Instead, when nothing matters, we live in the immediacy of the present moment. Thus, when I see the woman’s purse taken away from her, I intervene, if it is, at all, possible and try to help. If nothing else, I offer my assistance after the crime has taken place.

When we live life as if nothing matters, we are true to our own self and not to the mass of fear-based thoughts the circulate in our consciousness. We are, finally, true to ourselves.
We find the strength and loving power that lives in the core of our authentic being.

This is Liberation.

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  1. #1 by Bob on December 2, 2010 - 3:08 pm

    Would this in a sense be living life without any attachment to outcome?
    No investment in any action, except to paticipate when you felt the need to, however
    no residue left over from the ego. Such as I could.ve, should’ve, etc.
    As soon as the action or thought passes you remain in the unaffected awareness.

    • #2 by Eric on December 3, 2010 - 11:42 am

      Just stop with the first two sentences of your note. Don’t worry about “no residue” or “remain unaffected”. They are just more judgments. The mind will do what it does, just like the weather does what it does. Just relax into the full spaciousness of alive alertness, which comes before thought.

  2. #3 by Eric on December 2, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Actions will have effects in the mind – but there is no reason to add yet a third layer to the experience. They are, just as everything else. It’s all the same root substance happening within “you”.

  3. #4 by Bob on December 2, 2010 - 4:57 pm

    Do you mean by “within you’, all there is? And it’s just my perspective?
    And it’s happening but not happening? It’s just what I’m putting my attention on?

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