One can imagine a lot under “observation and contemplation of life”. So I want to make it a little clearer what I mean by that. When I observe and describe life, I can do it from many perspectives. I can observe and talk about my own life, that is, my life story, and that of everyone around me. I can contemplate the entirety of all living beings, of the nature, of this earth, or of the universe. I can also talk about life seen from the historical, social, cultural, political angle as well as from many, many other angles. All of these usual and ordinary ways of looking at life are in themselves not uninteresting for me, they are all part of life as I experience it, and deserve attention.
But beyond that I would also like to dig a little deeper than usually, and both question the usual, expand it, and perhaps discover new angles, new ways of looking at life. These ways are probably not even so new, but for many people – quite unfamiliar. In any case, they are, in a way, very fresh, because they operate with questions rather than with thinking and concluding. Instead of building on and philosophizing on the knowledge we have acquired so far about life, the way I propose is one of the curious observation and wondering. Something that is usually reserved only for children.
And yet we are no longer children, and we have all accumulated some knowledge. Therefore it may require a certain openness, as well as willingness to shift and widen the focus, from that what we think and assume to know about ourselves and our life, as well as about the life of everything around us, to an open, experimental and experiential perspective on life. Such perspective encompasses practically everything that is here and now, and that which is here and now is also life, but observed from a slightly different angle than the usual ones.
I guess that to take pleasure in such an experimental contemplation, you have to have reached a certain level of maturity. Not necessarily age-appropriate, but in the sense of a mild to severe disillusionment, oversaturation and dissatisfaction with the usual, widespread views of this world and us humans. Moreover – to be able to follow my way of looking at life, requires an interest in direct experience, observation, questioning, exploration, reflection, contemplation and even meditation.
In this sense are the writings you will find on my site not for everybody, but more for those who are looking for alternative ways of living, because they do not feel completely at home in the world and society in which they grew up.
In order to get started with a small example, I suggest asking yourself how often, you just sit there without doing anything, without enriching yourself with any knowledge from the books, the internet, the radio, the television and simply observe what is. And observe it in such a way, that the boundaries between you and that, which you are observing, seem to be disappearing. I don’t mean concentration at all, just an observation, without any conclusions. Simply being and looking, listening, sensing what is here. Like now. With ease and in a very relaxed way.
What do you hear? What do you see? You can name it, of course, but you don’t even need it. Perception is enough. Can you rest in this perception? It is the life that is here, isn’t it? That, which is closest to you. Accessible here and now. The green of the plants, the sounds from the outside, the smell of coffee, the breathing, the rumbling in the stomach, a thought here and there, the sensations in the body….
Ask yourself how well you actually know this life that’s closest to you. The reality that includes your being. How often do you stay in this reality? How often are you aware of the life and being you actually are?
Are you HERE at all? At least from time to time? Or only in a world of thoughts, in a world of concepts, ideas, and everything that has to be done today and tomorrow, in a world of your plans, duties, pleasures, defeats, fears, wishes?
We speak of life. Where is life? Is it not most of all there, where you are sitting, standing, lying, walking? And isn’t it worth to pay a little more attention to this life that here and now unfolds before your inner and outer eyes? Isn’t it worth to experience it before it ends?
By that I don’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to all other aspects of life, but the fact is that this, which is in our direct presence, is most often overlooked or suppressed. To the benefit of all possible thoughts about life and the world, we experience the life and the world that is here far too seldom.
And since this text can be found in the category “Essentials”, I cannot help but tell you, that discovering and contemplating life, as my little example suggests, can become a lifelong, life-changing and life-expanding adventure. And possibly the most important discovery of your entire life. It is therefore worth giving this approach a chance, even if it initially feels insignificant, too unusual and probably unnecessary.