We walked from Petain Road to the Novotel, and covered the space of 5 years, 4 continents, several contexts and a few people. So the discussion yet unfinished is when, why and if the mid-life transition is universal in experience. Is it the exception or the rule?
Perhaps mid-life is a popular time to ponder these things, perhaps Daniel Levinson in his “Seasons of a Man’s Life” is accurate in his theory of ongoing adult development. Certainly in the theory of the archetypical Journey of the Hero, and in Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis the time of the descend into the unconscious and unlived aspects of our personalities are well known.
The time of mid-life transition is for me a time for deep introspection and questioning, due to a dissatisfaction with the realities I had been experiencing. It wasn’t the only time that these questions bothered me, it was the time that they bothered me enough that I could no longer ignore them. Life, without answers was unlivable. There had been a growing nagging discontent, a constant feeling that I was living in a world and a life through a fog. I felt a separation from all that was meaningful and worthwhile. Life as a one shot deal ending in eternal bliss or eternal suffering was pointless and waste of time . Life as a one shot deal ending in oblivion was equally senseless. If we are the only intelligent life-forms in this vast universe, isn’t that a waste of space?
The mystery of life was intriguing. The experience of an inner knowing and boundless space hinted of a bigger picture, a inside joke that I was not in on. The continuam of life through the generations, through the genetic codes, and genetic mutation spoke of a higher order which also embraced chaos. The transfer of wisdom or lack-of through different societies and cultures spoke of the continuation of evolution and revolution. The clues left by the discoveries and mistakes of millenium of seekers after the truth proved that we are not satisfied with just this one experience, and need a deeper meaning for existing. What we are dissatisfied with are represented individually and universally in art, in poetry and in war. What we seek is expressed as unity, divinity, emptiness, salvation, eternal life, as if we do not have it now and need it. It is a longing because of a belief in lack?
If we do not feel lack, then we do not seek. Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable. If there is attachment to that state, then there is a potential of loosing it. Life is not static. Then there is a potential of feeling lack and the cycle is just waiting to start. If there is non-attachment, non- covetousness (equanimity) then the craving for non-lack does not occur.
Which journey do we want to take? How do we put the puzzle together? Who are we, and what are we doing here? The question which is not asked need not be answered.