These days, I observe the line between science and faith and see it fading away. In my years in science and yoga, I’ve come to see that science demands faith demands reason. There is no beginning, there is no end. I’m growing to believe there’s no line at all and that the lines I perceive between belief and doubt, love and apathy, passion and indifference only exist as a residue of what I’ve been taught. The more I experience and the more I live and the more I sit with myself to learn my own beliefs and biases, the more I move away from the notion of absolute adherence to anything. I used to think the world was 30/30/40% in its distribution of black/white/grey, but with renewed consideration, I’m seeing more of a 1/1/98% breakdown. Most things are arguable; most things are relative.

In a society that seems to love certainty, it’s considered weakness to not know, to be undecided. Certainty anchors us, it is safe, it is purposeful. We follow leaders for their drive and persuasiveness and we applaud passion and feature the feats born of it and with good reason — passionate people achieve incredible things. But I think there’s a good portion of people who are not driven by the fires of passion, but are fueled by the persistent smoldering of earnestness. Tenacity and persistence come in many forms. For me, my refusal to live by passion is a product of my personality and a conscious decision. When I embrace passion, there is imbalance. Imbalance over time is injurious at some level of my being. For me, there is no greatness at the end if I become imbalanced in the path to achievement.

I can see that I’ve generally been on the outskirts of most communities, probably because of this grey area where I spend most of my time. I’m not the most passionate or the most dedicated because there is always doubt to temper my interest and such skeptics are not always welcomed into the communities I’ve come across. My identity is not climbing, it is not riding, it is not my pets, it is not asana. The only thing I am is striving for a balance of all of these things so that the relationships in my life remain nurtured.

I don’t discount the possibility that one day, I may find something to live, breathe, eat, and dedicate my life to. But the idea that I may not doesn’t scare me like it used to. I no longer see a passionless life as a purposeless life. I don’t think my life is worth any less for not having “a thing” and for seeing my existence more broadly. Since I’ve been studying with my teacher, I’ve been living my life along the principles of reducing suffering in my life and in the lives of those around me. I may never take on the title of “Teacher” as I thought I wanted, but I hope that I can still be in the role of a teacher by allowing the teachings to permeate through the way I live. It isn’t dogged or single-minded, but if I live the rest of my life on this foundation of consistency in earnestness and treat those around me justly, having lived an ethical life will be enough. Certainly not glamorous, but enough.

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