Living in the Unknown, Part 2

Still living in the unknown, dancing on the high-wire of plans and no-plans. At either end of the wire, the stability of Home, to either side, the spaciousness of Home. Somewhere in between there is the condition alternating between “I-can’t-make-plans-because-of-my-uncertain-health,” and “Carry on, regardless.”

I notice out the second floor window, a cable company technician on a ladder glancing in as he fiddles with wires to improve the system. We have all been duly notified that our telephone and Internet service might be interrupted for a few hours while work is being done on the lines for our benefit.  An entire city of 3 million people is being rewired. Someone must have made some plans somewhere, dauntless in the face of weather contingencies, labor relations or other potential obstacles.

The cable guy showed up on the scheduled day, just as planned. On the other hand, despite considerable telephone negotiations, the plumber did not.

Life would be chaos if we couldn’t make plans. Where would we be if we weren’t able to pretend that what we intend is actually going to happen? How could a community coordinate itself and all its activities without plans, without this make-believe or act of faith?

How to dance on the tightrope of not-knowing fearlessly yet utterly realistically? It’s not just a question of playing the odds or calculating the probabilities. Those are just dodges to tranquilize the mind.

What we can develop is the capacity to not take our precious plans quite so seriously, or not fret so much when they change. Casteneda’s Don Juan called it “controlled folly”. When we rest in our homeground, the dance of making plans, knowing they are completely ephemeral, becomes easier. And we can appreciate the changing landscape without distress when plans fall through. After all, they are only falling through our homeground, the spaciousness of Being.

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