Why befriending life?

Why would we want to befriend life? Why would we want to befriend our experience, including the uncomfortable experiences? Why would we want to befriend different parts of ourselves?

The simple answer is that it’s more comfortable. Struggle is uncomfortable, and befriending is comfortable.

We may not see this at first. We may be trained – by our culture, parents, and friends – that struggle is the way to deal with our uncomfortable experiences. We try to avoid, fix, or get rid of it, and we do so both in immediacy (here and now) and in our life by seeking some situations and states and avoid other (which is generally a sane strategy).

We may accidentally befriend an uncomfortable experience and notice it’s actually not as scary as it seems and it comes with a lot of benefits. (Less struggle, more sense of wholeness and comfort.) This may open up something in us and we may find curiosity about befriending our experience. We may set out to explore it more intentionally, perhaps through mindfulness, natural rest, inquiry, heart-centered practices, yoga, tai chi, or something else.

We may also discover that struggle with our experience doesn’t really work. It doesn’t really go away. And we may be put in a situation where this is made very obvious to us, at least if we are open to seeing it.

Since we wish to avoid discomfort and seek comfort, the impulse to befriend is built into us. Of course, if and to what degree we notice and explore it varies. Sometimes, we are ready and drawn to it. Other times, we may not be. (And that’s OK.)

Another way to look at this is that in our own immediate experience, we and all of existence is one. What happens within each of our sense fields happens within and as consciousness, and in our immediate experience, we are all of it. We are all of existence as it appears to us.

So when we struggle with anything, we are struggling with ourselves. We pretend there is an absolute separation. And that’s uncomfortable.

If it appears that we are not this oneness, it’s because our mind is good at creating the appearance of a self and a world, and that we are this self and not the rest of the world. I assume this has an evolutionary function and has helped humanity to survive. It’s also an expression of the creativity of consciousness.

Usually, the transition from apparent separation to a more conscious oneness is gradual and goes over time (with some glimpses, jumps, apparent setbacks, rough patches etc.). And that’s not a bad thing since we need some time to reorient and figure out how to live in the world from oneness. We need to take the best from our life as apparently separate and bring it with us while also let go of the less helpful aspects of it. We need to learn how to function well and effectively in the world while also operating from oneness.


Initial notes….

  • why befriending life?
    • here now
      • struggle with life/experiences = discomfort, separation
      • befriending = more ease, comfort, allowing, oneness
      • built into us, the impulse to befriend (eventually, when we are tired of the struggle, see it doesn’t work, put in a position where it doesn’t work)
    • larger picture
      • the divine (One) pretending to take itself to be a separate being, and experiencing the discomfort inherent in it
      • then waking up to itself as the One again
      • lila, play of the divne, of life, of consciousness
    • ….


Why would we want to befriend life? Why would we want to befriend our experience as it is in immediacy, and all the different parts of ourselves?

When we struggle with life and our experience, there is discomfort and a sense of separation. It comes out of and reinforces a sense of separation.

And when we befriend life and our experience, there is more ease, comfort, allowing, and sense of intimacy or even oneness.

The impulse to befriend is built into us. Struggling is uncomfortable, we are wired to try to find a resolution to discomfort, and befriending is the resolution, Eventually – when we are tired of the struggle, or we see it doesn’t work, or we are put into a situation where it doesn’t work – we are ready to explore befriending.

In the bigger picture, we can see this as the One temporarily taking itself to be a separate being so it can experience itself from that perspective, and that includes the experience of struggle. The One struggles with itself within itself. Eventually, it may discover that befriending is easier and is more comfortable, and eventually it may also wake up to itself as the One.

In the bigger picture, at the level of existence as a whole, it does seem likely (or inevitable?) that the One eventually wakes up to itself as all there is everywhere and throughout itself. And then perhaps starts a new cycle with a new exploration of itself as one or more evolving universes and as apparently separate local beings. It seems that the One wishes to experience itself as many, that the infinite wishes to experience itself as finite, that the content wishes to experience itself as discontent. At least for a while.

We can also talk about this in a small or psychological sense. All of these dynamics happens within and as our own mind or consciousness, and we then project it out onto the universe and existence as a whole.

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