The One Thing: The power of the eternal Now

Making love. Driving. Heated arguments, rollercoasters and reading all require some semblance of Being-ness, or living in the Now. I just found a quote by Paulo Coelho, taken from his seminal text, The Alchemist. It reads as follows:

Don’t forget that everything you deal with is only one thing and nothing else.

The first thing I thought of when reading this quote, was the belief by many that our emotional states only differ in context, not in actual, physical and emotional quality. That the only physiological difference between hate and love is the social and cultural context; that the body’s response, the feeling itself, was the same. There’s a thin line, they say, between love and hate.

Also, the thought arises that, underlying all of our myriad problems, outcomes and thought processes as individuals, is one core issue. Following this thread of thought can lead to some uncomfortable ground. Have you thought about it? Tried to trace the core issue of your lifetime? Determine what it is that you seek, or what it is that you are running away from? Are they the same thing? Do you seek that which you flee? That which you have been fleeing, your entire life? Or, since whatever it was, first occurred?

A couple of prototypical examples are as follows: a woman who seeks out batterers or emotional abusers because she was battered or emotionally abused as a child; a man who seeks out dominant women because his mother dominated him as a child. These are mere surface examples that may obscure the deeper reality. At those more subterranean levels of consciousness, what are the issues at hand?

Pain and pleasure. Hate and love. Betrayal and yearning. Desire and aversion.

These are the archetypal emotional and psychological complexes that restlessly slumber beneath conscious thought until awakened by events that shift our consciousnesses from waking thought to subconscious resonation. Beyond the conscious level of choice, lies the realm of the subconscious imperatives that often run our lives without our knowledge, and yet, which fuel the fundamental construction of our egos, providing them with solid foundations upon which to build the illusory dreamscapes that we call our lives.

We are driven, often past the point of sanity or rational thought, by desires that we barely recognize the origins of.

The desire to seek out pleasure, even knowing that pain will result. The yearning for a love that lies out of reach, that belongs to someone else, that you know will destroy the life you’ve built, has its origin somewhere deep in your consciousness, and that may lie in an event that occurred during this lifetime or a past one, the importance of which, to your spiritual evolution, cannot be overstated.

Self-immolation, hatred, also harbors shards of unconscious imperative that prick at the soul, teasing in bloody pinpoint stabs that rankle your ego, causing it to rush into choices haphazardly, seeking relief from subconscious, oceanic trends, yet empowered by the seeming lack of power displayed by the omniscient observer, which lies even beyond the ego’s petty machinations, dispassionately aware of cause and effect unto the origin of All That Is, Was and Ever Shall Be.

This one thing awakens you in the morning like a muted clarion call, and lulls you to sleep at night with a soothing song of silence. It forecasts the outcome of relationships, the success or failure of career choices, the happiness or sadness we experience during the course of our daily lives, the degree to which we decide to seek knowledge, rather than rest comfortably in our ignorance.

Being-ness reveals the one thing to us. 
Coming out of the Now, it seems an alien intrusion upon a purity of thought and purpose that harkens back to earliest childhood, and an almost-forgotten innocence that we all continually yearn for, consciously and unconsciously.

In battling against the one thing, the moment is our purest weapon. In the midst of our relatively unconscious lives, the onset of the Now often occurs automatically. We do not recognize the shift since the state of living in the Now is inimical to cultivating memory, or engaging in reminiscence.

A further iteration of the examples included earlier in this write might find you becoming so in tune with a book that you no longer see the words, only images, ideas; or, driving down the street at rates of speed that require your utmost attention and concentration. Arguing with a loved one in such a way that all else vanishes from existence, including the kids, the parents, the shocked and embarrassed friends. The exhilaration provided by the stomach-turning terror experienced at theme parks that makes all of your troubles go away, that makes the entire world outside of that instant go away, just for that moment.

The sheer joy that arrives with Being-ness is epiphanic in nature, leaving us exhilarated, elated, and yet slightly sad to return to the mundanity of normal, everyday consciousness, where everything we had let go in those moments rushes back in to overwhelm us, returning us to that state of doom and gloom that often defines much of our awakened state of thought and being. Living consciously means cultivating the Now, making it your lived state of Being, rather than something that comes and goes without rhyme or reason. Difficult to do? Certainly. Impossible to accomplish? Not at all. The most successful people in the world cultivate the Now to their advantage. All of the self-help gurus and transcendental new age proponents shout out praises to living in the Now, offering their services and advice to tell you what you already know, have already lived, over and over again.

The one thing is a distraction. A distraction that we often allow to take over our lives. That we allow to remain unconscious, never questioned, causing us to make choices in service to its own resolution. The mistake we make is to underestimate the power of the ego and its formations. That is its power. Its ubiquitousness, its seeming pervasiveness and all-encompassing presence. The one thing is the ego’s primary tool it its own self-preservation, or that which allows it to fool us into quiescence, into continuing to follow the patterns and pratfalls of our lives to our eventual ruin; because ruin is inevitable, when we entrust our lives to our limited intellects and emotional complexes. It is only when we seek those deeper waters of spiritual and archetypal awareness, that we tap into that G-d-powered super-reality that awakens our ability to take note of and follow the path of synchronicitous occurrences that blast us unerringly into another consciousness-level altogether.

Everything we deal with is one thing and nothing else. We have to determine what our one thing is, first of all. And then we have to work to lessen its strength, its impact upon our decision-making processes. Which means, that we have to attack the ego.  Thrust with deadly sword-strokes, directly into the heart of it, effectively killing it and reducing it to a state of subservience, which was and is its primary purpose in the first place. To serve the G-d in us. To act as intermediary between us and the world, as a platform for interaction and material continuity. To take direction from the omniscient observer and translate it into action, in the material world. Kill yourself. Kill your ego, rather. Let the Self arise, unburdened by the onerous depradations of a selfish, self-serving personality construct interested only in its own aggrandizement.

Take the one thing away from the ego. 
Work to make decisions based upon your most deeply-held beliefs and understandings, bypassing the quick, emotional and intellectual responses that arise in answer to your fundamental questions. Seek truth deeper than you’re used to, and you’ll find the way through the morass, and back, into the light of conscious living, awakening to the power of the eternal Now.


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