A metaphor that I’m increasingly enjoying for life, for the mind, for the person, is like an ocean.
Think about the layers.
Ocean has so many layers, and that’s what we’re like too.
And it’s so easy to focus on the surface layer, and there’s something powerful about just remembering that there’s always another layer underneath, and we can kind of remind ourselves to be conscious of it.
So the top layer, we have the waves, and you know, the surface of the waves, where the water touches the air, the little crests of the waves.
That’s where you see the water going up and down.
Maybe it’s a calm day, and you know, you just have gentle ripples.
Maybe it’s a stormy day, and you have all kinds of big waves and spray everywhere, and this is all from this mixing with the air.
This is all the surface momentary things.
And the day and night, and wind, rain: all these things are what set our feeling for the moment, for the day.
And it’s so easy to focus on that and kind of feel like that’s our life.
I mean, I do that.
You know, I feel good and I think life is great.
I feel bad, I think life sucks.
And really, this is just the change of the surface.
Because underneath the surface layer, there’s the layer of water now that doesn’t touch the air.
It doesn’t really care that much about whether it’s windy, stormy or calm.
You can see the light kind of goes through it a little bit, so so it’s still kind of near the surface, and maybe it’s affected by whether it’s sunny or not, and you can kind of- and the rain, you know, if there’s new rain coming in, it’ll kind of filter down, the rain.
But it doesn’t really need to care about every little up and down.
And that’s like what’s just behind it.
It’s like we can have good and bad days, but there’s that layer behind it where it’s like, you know, how do I feel overall in this year, maybe? You know, what’s my overall feeling of life right now? And that’s one step removed from the daily change.
So if we can remember this layer, it helps to be able to sort of balance out some of the up-and-down, and you know, focused on the daily, momentary weather, because we have this kind of longer-term, steady layer that is always just a bit below what we actually can see and perceive.
And then as we go even further down, there’s more water underneath, and now we get to the layer where the sun doesn’t even go through.
So now, this layer, it’s completely indifferent to what’s happening right on the surface.
This is just something that’s always going on, no matter what the up-and-down is, those variations that are filtering down to the next layer.
But this layer is getting really deeper and into the unknown parts of ourselves, where we can’t really directly see into them.
The light never gets there.
But we know that that water is there.
And this is where we can see the deep currents moving.
The big ocean currents that are moving the water around: they’re at this layer.
I always found it interesting to think that when a wave is moving, it looks like waves are moving across the water, and the wave is moving across the water, but the water is not actually moving.
It’s just the wave that moves, but the water itself is simply moving in a circle up and down.
So although the waves make a lot of up-and-down motion, they don’t really move the water.
The movement of the water happens at the lower layer.
So I think of that, you know, being like the things that really change us are working at the lower layers, and these these long-term currents, these big currents that are moving water all around the world: that’s happening at the lower layer.
And then even further down, there’s even more water.
There’s always just more water underneath the water, and we keep going down into the dark unknown, and there’s always more there to be found.
There’s always some layer beneath.
Until eventually we can get down to the bottom of the ocean, the ocean floor, but that’s a long way down, and I don’t even know if it’s possible in this metaphor to actually get down to there, you know, for ourselves.
It seems like, you know, we can take a dive in and try to understand how we see things at that kind of unconscious level, but it seems like as far down as we go, there’s always more that’s unknown inside us.
So this can be sometimes less than fully reassuring, because there’s always something in us, that we never can really fully know ourselves, and if we think we have things figured out, there’s always more mystery underneath that maybe can take us in a different direction than what we planned.
But on the other hand, it can also be reassuring to know that no matter what’s going on today, no matter how much up and down there is in the moment, that there’s always some lower layer that is still there, and below that, even more.
#layers #personallayers #depth