Science and religion have tried for a long time to define where life begins and where it ends. Speaking in absolutes, there is no beginning and no end — life just is, and we live as expressions of it.
Still, if you close off your mind, you might as well be dead.
Not only in the sense that you can no longer open yourself to new ideas or perspectives; too much analysis and dissection can be just as harmful. When you have a preprogrammed response to every situation, you’ve closed off your mind to seeing anything at all. You’ve shut the door on the universe’s potential to blow you away.
In quantum physics, this is called “collapsing the wave function.” The theory is that by continually observing it one way and only one way, you can actually restrict all other infinite, fantastical potentials from coming into being.
In other words, you’ll never see the magic because you don’t allow for it to exist.
To be truly alive means to experience each moment with new eyes, to refuse to get trapped in a daze of familiar labels, habitual thought patterns, and mindless actions.
It means to see the world as if you were a child experiencing each event, each noise, each sight, as if it were brand new every moment — even when it’s a daily routine.
It means letting go of seeing people as we want to see them and opening to who they are and can be. The way they shift and blossom may surprise you.
In fact, you have to let go of trying to force anything to be other than what it is, and instead allow it to be beautiful in that moment as it is.
The sage Anthony “Mooji” Moo-young said:
“Only that which is effortless can be called natural. What you love is effortless.”
And being in a state of innocent wonderment, you can fall in love with anything.
No more should and shouldn’t and right and wrong.
No more categorization and labeling of things before you allow yourself to experience them.
A rose by any other name would indeed smell as sweet. Still, I’d suggest you dispense with the naming and labels altogether and just let the fragrance consume you.
Life begins when you open yourself to it and let yourself be vulnerable to wonderment. That’s the space of miracles.
Now go break some of your own rules. I’m breaking one of my own by ending the column like this.
Matthew Stensland-Bos explores consciousness, love, wellness, and healing in Know This Love, a weekly SFBay opinion column, as well as on his blog, Conscious and Nutritious.