As I walk, I contemplate identity and evaluate life choices based on love versus choices based on fear. I sit quietly and deconstruct the ego/identity complex and analyze love versus fear. I wonder: could there be a third option? Perhaps it would feel like ambivalence, making choices based on the most appropriate action.
Nonetheless, I examine my life choices. I intend to pursue the martial arts as a life path. I choose this because I believe that practicing and teaching martial arts is a direct way to help people empower themselves and develop a mind/body relationship. The martial path is inherently about warriorship and individuals taking personal responsibility. Thus, through mudra and combat exercises, practitioners are led to discover a spiritual path and deeply grow as beings. Or perhaps I choose this because I fear for my physical safety and want to be competent at beating people. The latter doesn’t seem likely.
Ultimately, I want to be unconcerned for the fate of my body or identity. Regardless of opinions about any supposed afterlife I may have, I prefer to not fixate on the attachment to being alive, and sharpen my ability to appreciate life as it is. This seems pragmatic to me: death is deeply unknown, which is frightening – however, it is universally unknown to all mortals, ultimate, unfathomable, so, let it be. Not particularly fearful, but neither driven by love.
My approach to nutrition follows these lines. My choice is to eat all food as fresh and whole as possible, and in accordance with nature’s food-chain. Industrial food systems are very recent additions to civilization, and have become wide-spread very quickly, as reductionst models of science describe all phenomenae as components of a machine rather than elements of an integrated whole. These recent models are untested, and already appear to be causing harm at multiple levels of nature and culture. I frankly want to be involved as little as possible with systems that inhibit life or sequester creativity and freedom.
I want to participate in the flourishing and proliferation of life. At the thought of this, I feel a powerful emotional swell in my chest. Perhaps this sensation may be described as ‘love’. The decision that triggers it, however, is one of merely ‘appropriate action’. Life proliferates; I want to contribute my actions to that proliferation. Including my family; parents, siblings, and someday, children; all humans on their quest to embody their highest-selves; animals, both wild and domesticated, with habitat and food supply; plants, cultivated herbs and vegetables, grasses, pasture, trees, shrubs, ferns, mosses; fungi, of course – all proliferating with my assistance and, yes: Love.