Yesterday I met again my unlived time... and it went terribly wrong.
From all the things we experience in life, the passing of time is the worst of all, because it's the only thing that turns to be absolutely irreversible. You can restore health, you can fall in love again, but you can't return back to the previous age.
You may try to reformulate the past, to try to intellectualize the fact that you actually did a lot of useful, wonderful, things. To reframe something dead is nothing but defense mechanisms... or plain bullshit in my opinion. It may work for others but not for me.
You may try to live now what you failed to live then. They say that you're never too old. But what if you ignored yourself for many, many years? What if your desire to re-live the lost time would hurt your loved ones, or the loved one? What if living what you failed to live has meanwhile lost its meaning? Getting drunk, for instance, is something I never did... but is it something I'd enjoy now? Probably not. But I'd certainly have enjoyed then. Now the idea is not so appealing to me - a proof that there are things in life that you should do at the proper time and not later.
Guilt is something I avoided the most in my life. I spent my life in such a way that there should be nothing to blame myself for. And while doing this, I avoided many things, until the day when I started to blame myself for not doing those guilty and sinful things. One way or another, you end up by feeling guilty, and I thought for a while that I can escape this...
I currently try to live in the present what I failed to live in the past. First, I cannot cheat myself. Second, seeing the younger fellows having fun, makes me immensely sad. Instead of having fun, I cry for my lost time, not being able to live it in the present. And this adds more guilt to the one already existent.
To the exterior, I seem like a neurotic individual. I probably am a neurotic. Feeling guilty towards yourself is one of the worst things one can experience. If you did something wrong to someone, you can apologize. But when that someone is yourself, even if you deeply apologize, and even if you grant to yourself forgiveness, you still feel that empty space, that unlived lifetime, that scar.
The scar of the Nothing.
"terminal restlessness" This is a beautiful example of terminal restlessness. "What if, probably, maybe" These material considerations are limitless. Is there an Absolute answer? Sometimes people tell me there's no such thing as an Absolute. I always ask them if they're absolutely sure about that.
Yes, I am nearly every man and this is great because one of the things I wanted to do in this life was to have a human experience as broad as possible. Sometimes I'm a guide for others, sometimes I'm the one who learns. What I experience here - good or bad - is the only thing I take with me when the time comes. And it's one thing to read from books and other thing to live yourself various mental states - guilt and remorse in this case.
I don't see the link between my text and faithlessness... The theme is the irreversible passing of time during this lifetime - as irrelevant as it can be - but for some people it can be relevant, especially for those who believe we have only one life on Earth. Nobody can return to the teenage, specifically to that amount of experience we have during our teenage, a knowledge that would allow some experiences to be significant.
There aren't absolute answers. What I do is to ask questions. Each one will have his/her answers based on his inner faith and personal experience or history of life.
The scar of the unlived lifetime is something I perceive in me, an observation, a challenge, but not a negative thing or something meant to generate pity. It may heal with the increase in knowledge or it may heal with the increase in self-acceptance or awareness - I don't know now - but I believe it's important to know the problem, to ask the question. This is the beginning of each road.
You say, "There aren't absolute answers." and, of course, we're all trained to think like that. That's why I always ask, "Are you absolutely sure about that?".
Maybe there are absolute answers or maybe there aren't. I didn't find absolute answers until now, so probably I will find them in the future or I won't find them at all. Maybe I lack the necessary knowledge now and I might get that knowledge in the future, and even if I get that knowledge, it might not be enough to answer my questions. Or maybe, in the end, I might come to the awareness that reason can't give me absolute answers, and I must appeal to my emotional side, to the truths I feel inside me, despite all the knowledge I accumulated during my education and during my cognitive life. Feeling the answers might put me on the right path or it might trick me into a downwards spiral that goes nowhere. And even if my inner voice would guide me to the answers I long for, it might not be what I really desired, because in the meantime I might discover that it is not the destination, but the process that really makes the difference, and knowing the absolute truths would become meaningless.
I love the fact that you challenge me, Sarvo, because you force me to go to the next level in order to answer to your questions!
Instead of being dogmatic I try to offer any kind of a mental exercise that might raise questions and lead to different kinds of transcendental understandings. Somewhere back in the 80s a spiritual teacher who later fell into disrepute offered the thought that if I was an atheist I would tend to think that everything comes from nothing, whereas if I was a theist of any brand, stamp or label I'd be more likely to try to understand how everything can come from consciousness. Over twenty years later I ran into him in LA at a big Hare Krishna festival on Venice beach. I immediately thanked him. That idea he'd offered had been a very helpful piece of information.