Context is important

Context is vital, but it is something that we take for granted.

When we talk about a good cup of tea, we will often talk about which tea is best, our tastes, our preferences. We usually forget about the water. The quality and taste of the water is also very important but it is usually ignored or forgotten.

This is a good analogy for the way in which we live our lives. We are so focussed on events in the foreground (the tea) that we forget about the context (the water). Driven by the compulsive demands of our rational mind, we focus on the foreground: doing, planning, pushing, criticising, analysing, acquiring stuff, being mindless consumers etc. Rarely, do we pause and reflect on the context in which we live our lives.

Ask a fish about water and it won’t know what you are talking about. The transparent water is everywhere; it is what the fish swims in; it always has been there. To the fish water is essentially invisible.

So why is context important? Without context we are simply machines with emotions: sleeping, eating, fucking, working, consuming endlessly trying to satisfy our appetites. These appetites have in large measure, been instilled into us by those who wish to profit from our addiction to the acquisition and owning of things. They are often driven by a blind, mindless addictive greed for power and money. Our lives feel both very busy and empty at the same time. The usual way of finding relief from this frenetic tedium is in mind-altering addictive drugs such as alcohol, which act as an anaesthetic to help us to escape briefly the suffering of an empty consumerist existence. Here is a lovely saying:

The best things in life are not things

Develop your relationship with the great mystery of things. As you go through your day realise that we are all deeply connected to each other and everything else − something we forget as we rush with mindless self-importance from one place to another. A piece of paper cannot exist without the sun and the clouds. The forest is really the beautiful, verdant external part of my lungs. You the reader are my brother or sister, simply by another mother. I am quite literally a part of the stars; I am part of them and they are part of me. I am a short-lived manifestation of the universe with the characteristic of consciousness, the ability to appreciate. What a mind-boggling gift, what a privilege, to be alive, to be here now, to experience with wonder with awe, with gratitude.

Living in this context we are naturally drawn to a state of mindful awareness imbued with gratitude. We start to notice the beauty right in front of our noses, hiding in plain sight: the unique but strikingly similar patterns of the branches in trees; the trembling of an emerald leaf against the infinite blue sky; the improbable beauty of a bumble bee; the pleasure of breathing. We rediscover love is our natural state.

Contemplate context, whether that be through the prism of your existing religious beliefs or the teachings of others. Whatever you do, follow your own experience; make it personal not tribal.

You are currently viewing <strong>Context is important</strong>