The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, July 27, 2006

No Gain, No Loss

“When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.”

Boy, does this ever sound like a fever dream of Liberal philosophical excess. It would seem that such a position on life would lead to an inability to defend or differentiate between friends and enemies, good and bad, right and wrong, gain and loss.And yet some of the deadliest warriors who have ever lived embraced such a path.

And some of the smartest people I’ve ever known have guided their lives in such a manner.

I remember a conversation with a Scientologist (I have to assume that it was that aspect of his life that prompted his comments) in which he asserted that any human experience or thought could be communicated linguistically. As the above quote suggests, there are some states which, if they have not been experienced, simply exceed language’s capacity.

But is it useful? Well…I currently have a situation in my life where an opportunity MAY be arising. If it happens, it will be the single greatest thing that has ever happened in my career. Too many of my interests and talents, hopes and dreams come together in this particular situation. And as we all know, most such situations don’t work out.

I absolutely CANNOT allow myself to hope too much.And yet…I must also bring 100% of my skill, energy, creativity, integrity, and enthusiasm to the table, or there is even LESS chance of it happening.

I mean…the truth is that people’s dreams are fulfilled every day. I have had wonderful, wonderful things happen to me over the course of my life. This could well be another one.

In speaking to Mushtaq about this situation, I asked what he thought my perfect reaction to all of this might be. And what he said was that I must approach this potential career move as if it is a service to God, a natural unfolding of the universal plan. Seek neither victory nor defeat. He was coming from a Sufi perspective, and the above quote is Zen. Truth is truth.

And the truth is, I must raise my son with 100% commitment every day, although I have no way to control what will happen to him, or who he will be.I must write my heart out every day, although I cannot control how the public will view my work. I must do my best, protect my interests, without being attached to the balance sheets or sales figures.I must love my life and do my best to preserve it at every moment…without caring if I live or die.

Damn, this is hard. But then, if it weren’t I doubt I’d get such joy out of life.