Everything in life can become a rabbit hole.
No matter what it is we fall in love with or become intrigued with, it can devour us and take us into oblivion for as long as we live.
It’s just one of those things that add flavor to our existence.
There’s really no limit to the stuff we can embrace.
We can become infatuated with almost anything, add it to our personality, and build on it.
From tiny housing to hard science.
From plant-based living to geocaching.
From being a left-wing activist to earning billions while destroying the earth and not giving a fuck.
And of course ‘spirituality’, that vague concept we all have different ideas about, is an endless playground for infinite directions we can roam and explore, because we can go from yoga to crystals to angels and horse-whispering and back, and there’s much, much more.
We can study the Tao, spend the rest of our lives trying to become master meditators, or explore the many intricacies of non-duality.
You get the idea.
Today I was watching an older BBC show that follows people who are building and renovating houses to make them into their dream projects, and the guy in this episode said, somewhere halfway through the program, that ‘simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve’.
Because simplicity is my rabbit hole.
I’m totally intrigued by how complex and hard life can feel for one person, while the next man or woman who can live under fairly similar circumstances, has nothing but good vibes and experiences.
I’ve tried almost everything in existence to be happy and feel good and fulfilled and safe and inspired, and it turned out that knowing and trying less works way better than adding and plowing on.
The way I see it now, simplicity is not about figuring out everything in existence, but the exact opposite: coming to a place where you stop figuring it out.
Now that’s hard.
That’s hard because it’s so simple, and seems TOO simple.
And that’s why the quote in the show appealed to me so very much.
It’s hard because our experience of life is mostly confusing and rich and enticing and overwhelming and insecure and scary and unpredictable, and we’ve learned for many years to try and understand it and control it and manage it and bend it into the shapes we like to see and believe will keep us safe.
So that’s what we keep doing.
What we’re promised will do the trick, what’s supposed to scratch these terrible existential itches, is knowing as much as we can, and that’s why we never stop studying.
But the overwhelm keeps coming anyway, and the suffering remains, which makes the whole thing even more confusing.
Simplicity is hard because we think all the fucking time, and those thoughts look and feel like life and not like thoughts.
It’s hard because the idea of not controlling a single thing, the idea of being lived from moment to moment by something we’ll never comprehend (even though we’re made of it), is the most terrifying notion possible for the mind, and a lethal blow to its importance.
Simplicity means REALLY knowing that you ultimately know nothing, and life goes on anyway.
It’s a deep relief, but you’ve got to get used to it.
It’s not anything like a dull and scary emptiness and you won’t be left emptyhanded, but instead, it’s a creative vastness, an infinite source of possibilities and formations and options.
It’s the direct feeling of life, without the taste of forms and ideas.
Within that feeling, within that knowing, everything can still go on, and it will.
You can still study, still do whatever it is you feel inclined to do, but the approach is a lot lighter, and finding the answers becomes more playful than crucial.
It’s like being calm in a world that’s not.
Sometimes it’s referred to as ‘the eye of the storm’, and that sounds about right.
Simplicity is how we feel when we’re not lost in thoughts and ideas about the world, if we step back from the grotesque creations and suggestions of the mind, and realize there’s a sense of being that has never not existed in the background.
It doesn’t mean that all thoughts go away or change into nothing but positive messages, it also doesn’t mean you stop feeling all the feelings we can feel; it just means that your overall experience is grounded in unchanging, unwavering okayness.
Simplicity is not really a discovery, nor a reward for hard work.
It’s just one of the rabbit holes, twisting and turning until you find your way back to where you started.
It’s the sweetest, most invigorating way to feel a bit stupid.
(Photo by @shashanksahay, for Unsplash)