Late last winter, after doing a 40-day prayer condition to deal with gambling, I received a kind of double revelation. The first part was “Every day is a new lifetime.” The second was “Don’t be stupid.”
The second, “Don’t be stupid,” has been difficult for me to master. It seems that I have an attachment to doing stupid things.
However, the first little quote has proven to be quite helpful. If I recollect correctly, the thought was not original. I vaguely remember seeing it as a quote on an Internet graphic. I thought it was from a Hindu yogi.
Just now I googled it and found this quote: “Every day is a new life to a wise man,” written by Dale Carnegie in his book, How To Stop Worrying And Start Living. Wow, sounds like a book I should read.
In any case, the idea that every day is a new lifetime has proven to be very efficacious.
For one thing is an antidote to wallowing in regret and self-accusation that sometimes immobilizes me when I do stupid things. Sure, one regrets doing stupid things and has to bear the consequences. That is inevitable. It’s called karma.
For those who believe in reincarnation, each lifetime carries with it past karma. Past karma defines some of the challenges that we must meet in each lifetime. Yet each lifetime provides the opportunity to rectify past indiscretions.
I will forego wandering off into a discussion of karma and reincarnation. Let me just use it as a parallel to our daily life in one incarnation. Each day carries with it the possibility of rectifying past mistakes. Each day carries with it the possibility of responding differently to
various temptations and trials. It’s like a game that is played over and over. Each time you begin, you have a fresh start and chance to improve. Or if it is silly game that has no value, you can simply choose not to play and go on to some more meaningful endeavor.
But every day is a new lifetime doesn’t just relate to the past. I have found that such a mindset introduces an element of adventure. If every day is a new lifetime, then we don’t know what to expect. One is open to the new – new opportunities, new perspectives, and new ideas. Somehow, I have discovered a stronger sense of intuition that leads me down unexpected paths.
I have a tendency to set a routine and follow it — wake up, go to the bathroom, transition from dream world to waking thoughts, get a cup of coffee, study languages and religion, meditate and pray, check my email, Facebook, etc. Then set about getting some work done. In the evening, eat dinner, watch tv, and go to bed. If my neck isn’t sore, read myself to sleep. If I only follow this routine, I invariably get wound up, go crazy and do something stupid. There is little adventure in following routine. Life becomes boring and lonely.
However, if I begin the day by reminding myself that this day is a new lifetime, my life becomes magically transformed.
For instance, today I began following my routine. My wife, Linda, needed a ride to the chiropractor. After dropping her off, I went to the casino because I had $10 free play. I won $5.
I ignored the temptation to play further. Going home I was inclined to resume my routine, but I felt the need for social interaction.
Earlier, I had seen a post by a friend about the upcoming full moon in Taurus. I read it without fully understanding but went to research it a bit further. I still didn’t fully understand. I thought about people in a group I belonged to that sometimes discusses such things. We hadn’t talked for a while. I missed them.
So when I got home I began to call different people in the group. After listening to several answering machines, a person answered. Our conversation was not too long, but it was incredibly profound. I was energized and uplifted.
I decided to write a blog. As I sat down at the computer, the phone rang. One of the friends I had called had seen my number on her caller ID and called back. Once again, our conversation was not long but was very rich. I felt connected.
Linda came home as I was finishing the second call, and telling her about the content of the two conversations led us into a deep theological talk.
All of this may sound very superfluous. But none of it was planned or expected and it was just what I needed. Afterwards I was able to go on and do some of the necessary preparations for winter – cleaning the pool pump, shutting off the outside water, etc. The work proceeded smoothly. I also got a squirrel tail today, but that is another story.
Then I sat down to write this blog.
It is difficult to explain, but this one short lifetime of a day has been fulfilling, enjoyable and meaningful.
Each day is different. Yesterday, on a whim, Linda and I went off on a drive, ended up on a
cliff being blown by 80-mile-an-hour winds and then drove down an unpaved road we’d never traveled before and saw a mountain lion running through the woods. It was the first mountain lion I’d ever seen. Amazing and totally unexpected.
Every day is a new lifetime.