We often think and call certain things “normal.”
When, in reality, it may be more fruitful to express them as “eternal.”
Because “normal” is more of an intellectual expression.
In our everyday, day to day, moment by moment experience of life however, most “normal” things to us don’t feel normal, no, instead they carry behind them the weight of the unchanging universe.*
It’s what’s right. Proper. Expected. True.
Sitting down over a cup of tea, waxing deep, we can say “well, it’s just what I grew up with,” or “it’s what we’re used to,” or “it’s just how it is right are now,” or “that’s what they know.”
But “normal” doesn’t dig deep enough to give access to wisdom.
Especially when we’re in the thick of things. “Normal” doesn’t open window into mindfulness and thus the awareness to realize our limited view(s) in that moment.
“Normal” can, perhaps counterintuitively, cloud insight.
There is so much “normal” out there that feels so right and like it’s that has ever been that we can miss all our assumptions and very much miss the constraints we’re living and operating under.
What is the economy, what we shop for, how we produce things, what does work mean, what’s a “good life” or “successful life,” what opportunities should you pursue, how to treat people around you, what’s proper to wear, how much attention (or not) should be applied towards community, things we like, want, need, what does love mean and entail, what’s precious (or not)…
Most days (and months and years and maybe lifetimes) we likely pay no thought to any of these whatsoever. Why would we? They’re eternal.
Nothing is inherent. Much is inherited.
Speaking therefore of “eternal” is much more accurate, and thus powerful, way of interacting with all those background views we have inherited and assumed and lived in for so long. It directly calls forth the dichotomy between our experience and the intellectual understanding that nothing is intrinsic and that much is created.** And by rendering the division sharply, it allows us to take fuller control and responsibility of our views.
We get to examine what’s so, call upon our authentic selves, do some true thinking, and bring forth new possibilities that will guide us forward and upward.
* Hilarious, of course, given that the one thing constant in the universe is that it is quite in motion and flux…
** And, indeed, going to another country and culture shows us how differently things can be interpreted and created.