I have a friend, whom I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve been thinking of him lately and about a curious incident that happened a few years back. He has this temperament about him, sort of whimsical, imaginative, more of a humorous disposition. Underlying all of this is the fact that nothing ever seems to bother him. Naturally good-natured, Dave could energize a room just by his presence. It adversity were to hit, he could be solemn, and respectful but in his deep-set eyes is a hint of humor. I’ve had people complain to me that it seems he’s making fun of them in times of distress. But it was his demeanor to always be upbeat and positive.
Now I was unaware of anyone who would directly wish him harm. But it was always hinted by some that he wouldn’t be so cheerful if disappointment were to fall his way. Well as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for, it may come true”; Dave was in a car accident, broke his neck and wore a halo for three months. Now if you’re not familiar with a ‘halo’, its basically a metal device similar to scaffolding around a building except it’s worn around your head. It keeps the head and neck from moving so the neck can heal. Held in place with screws to the head, it’s painful and extremely uncomfortable.
After three months, the halo removed, Dave came back to work. I didn’t exactly know what to expect. I mean people have serious near-death accidents all the time and usually come back with thought-provoking examinations of their lives and a resolution toward a greater good. But what happened left me perplexed. So I waited with abided breath for Dave to proclaim some words of wisdom, a result of his experience, but I was completely perplexed, he had nothing of great significance to proclaim. In fact, he shrugged the whole incident off as just another day in a life.
This puzzled me for years. Then I started to read the philosophy of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, how life is something that should never have been, and in deference to this awareness all one can say is a resounding ‘yes’ to life and all its confusion, its tug of war opposites, its mystery. It’s the Buddha’s middle way and Dave seemed to epitomize it even though he had never read or desired to read anything of more significance than comic books.
To my mind’s eye, Dave is the most enlightened person I have ever known. I make that statement in the eyes of saints and sages, who down through the ages have given us first-rate examples of a life lived in the pursuit of the perfect balance between spirit and temporal existence… space and time…
Yes out of the mouth of babes is certainly appropriate here. But to believe the simpleton is ignorant of his effect is foolish, it’s just not the point for he is totally void of any ego. And his indifference is not in an insulting way but a quiet resilience to the situations that could tear another apart. It emanates from a deep well over many lives and times. Just maybe true awareness is unaware, to forget the awareness and just become, for mindfulness shouldn’t be constantly mindful of itself. It should be natural, seeping out from every pore, totally ignorant nor caring of where it comes nor how it started. So what is it that makes this quality come to fruition in a human being? Love.