I have yet to identify the correlation or coincidence, but I have been repeatedly encountering the esoteric concept that our value as a species lies not in what we do, or how we contribute to the world, but in our very being. A podcast I had already listened to but that had not connected with me in a profound way (i.e. the discussion flew straight over my head), I was seeing recommended in spades by countless resources. I tried playing it again, with fewer distractions this time around, but no further connection with the topic or content manifested. Determined to elucidate the (smarter) public’s comprehension of that podcast, and the supposed life-altering shift in perspective that evidently ensued, I went in search of the layman’s translation should there be one.
Naturally, I first asked my husband as I often do. We were in the car of all places. Something about the confines of a vehicle leads me to ask some of the most complex questions, much to my poor, distracted driving husband’s dismay. I blurted out on a recent drive, “Who are we without the doing? What are we if we don’t do anything? What does that even mean? How can we be without doing?” He gathered his thoughts for a moment and patiently described his thought process. Nope, still over my head.
I dug around for a minute on my phone’s browser, searching God only knows what terms: humanity, realness, how to be, etc.. I’ve been particularly disappointed with the podcasts I’ve chosen over the last few weeks, but given my limited resources in the car, I pressed ‘play’ on Tara Brach’s From Human Doing to Human Being.
We drove along for a while, stopped for gas, and the podcast played on. Resolved to get something out of this life-altering content, I forced myself to put my phone away and merely listen. I closed my eyes and drifted in and out of a very light sleep. I enjoyed Tara’s voice, her jovial tone. I actually appreciated the lecture format for once as opposed to the more common interviews. I experienced moments of consternation, I’d occasionally nod my head in accord with a particular point.
And then it happened. Out of no where, it clicked for me. I don’t recall ever having experienced a spontaneous, resonant clarity of that magnitude before. Unable to assemble a cohesive set of words to express myself, I stumbled and stuttered through various adjectives. I was overwhelmingly emotional, on the verge of tears, my voice soft, my tone introspective, speaking merely to understand and not to be understood, desperate to cling to that sliver of sagacity breezing by, like a dream evaporating upon waking.