I had a wonderful day at this city’s Jazz Festival and in the sunshine yesterday. The photo to the right shows exactly where I was.
As I left the apartment, I scooped up a newsletter by a man who channels Gaia.
What a surprise I got when I scanned its contents.
The newsletter predicted that my city would be destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis in 2010, a few months after a quake hits San Francisco.
I should add perhaps that this man apparently predicted the demise of my city in 2009. Well, it’s 2010 and nothing has happened. I really have no idea whether his prediction has any merit or not, but, supposing it did?
As I walked through the festival, I found this thought sobering. My mind immediately began to think of ways of saving my skin.
I don’t have dependents. I can go where I like, do what I wish. I spent a long time mulling things over.
But it soon became clear that the prediction offered me a far greater opportunity than simply an early escape. It offered me an opportunity to get on top of my remaining fear of death. Viewed as such, why was I going to respond quickly and from panic? Why rush away from this chance?
The issue had never before been present for me, always something faced by someone else. The “message” from Gaia made the situation real.
I let go of my fear of death and looked at the situation from another perspective.
At first I thought of things which I later dismissed. To make this into a real learning experience, I could agree with myself to be the last man to leave this city. But that got me into all kinds of fine and unnecessary distinctions – what if there were people in a coma? What if someone wanted to stay and did not fear death? How would you know you’re the last?
Take a stand like that and you may regret it later, when people fasten onto it and begin to look at all possible scenarios. No, I didn’t want to turn this chance to rid myself of fear into something I’d live to regret.
The last man leaving was not the point I wanted to make. Overcoming my residual fear of death was the point. That would lead wherever it did.
The next line of inquiry was that I found I wanted to have real alternatives to choose from. I didn’t want to be driven by an emotional reaction and kill off the alternatives by making one right and all the others wrong.
Werner Erhard called that “deciding” rather than choosing. The root of “decide” is to murder the alternative. “Suicide” is to murder the self and “homicide” is to murder another person.
To make another’s choices wrong didn’t make sense to me. To choose myself outside the fear of death did. Again I felt an expansion inside of me. The opportunity the prediction provided was rich.
And that’s how the day went, moving from one arising issue to another, altogether a fruitful exploration.
At one point I was strolling among people and noticed that I was perennially looking at what is different among us. I suddenly found myself looking at what unites us. When I did, I felt a shift from walking alone to being one with everyone. That was a treat.
The sun was nice. The jazz was catchy.
Nice day, on the whole. Eery to consider that all of what I surveyed just might not be here in the future.