So this past weekend I was visiting longtime friends. At one point, the husband and I had a good hour or so to ourselves and we picked up chicken wings.
Car rides often come with philosophical talk, in my experience. My friends shared with me something he says often, both at work and in his life.
“When in doubt, pan out.”
That is, step back from yourself, from your immediate prospective. Seek the wider viewpoint.
This is really smart stuff. And for several reasons, and several ways:
- There’s this thing I’m always saying how there’s only hear, only now. Zooming out in that way helps me see so zooming out in that way helps me see that. Whatever amazing thing’s going on, it’s a nanosecond event in a very long life. That’s also true if something terrible is happening.
- It’s not all about me. I’m just one among many. Often what works out well for me isn’t so hard for others around me.
- Furthermore, we’re all in this together. So it’s often helpful to consider how something that affects me positively might affect others in a profoundly negative way.
There’s more to this, lots more. I’m pretty sure this is going to be part of my meditation and contemplation for several days if not weeks or months in the future. Just this morning, I saw this Boudin Doodle cartoon that touches on and aspect of this paradigm.
The thing about perspective is that as a means of observations it’s controllable, blinking your eyes, are we going your ears maybe. I know I can make the conscious effort to shift my perspective. When I’m considering the moment I can choose the context buy which I am considering it
Here’s a simple example.
It’s Monday, October 29 as I write this, around 8:25 AM. It’s simultaneously early in the week, not particularly early in the morning, and rather late in the year.
None of these perspectives or wrong, they all matter. By changing which one I musing, I can wrap my head around different truths about my life.
For one thing, shortly I need to get on the road and get to my job because it’s waiting for me and I have things to do there.
Simultaneously, the midterm elections are a scant number of days away, and it’s very important that I vote.
At the exact same time, it’s valuable and worthwhile for me to take the 10 minutes or so to stop and write this post. I feel a profound sense of peace and strength from doing this sort of introspection, and sharing it with you.
During the conversation with my friend, I was trying to explain this very difficult concept related to non-duality, that of satori. Satori is, sort of, the realization that you as a separate entity do not, have never, and will never exist. We’re just the totality of existence expressing itself in this place, at this time, through this body. As I told my friend, this isn’t terrifying, it’s actually quite soothing. Through what he shared with me about panning out, I think I’m beginning to understand why somewhat.