No regrets

It may be unfair of an author, I was told, to invite readers for an open dialogue while remaining in the shade. If so, let me add a belated personal touch.

As it happens, I stumbled upon the contemplative path by accident and have stayed on it since. Such perseverance may be traced to my odds-defying propensity for making the worst possible choices followed by the nerve-wracking proneness to regret them. Eventually, I became curious about the origins of self-handicapping and self-torture. The ensuing inquiry led me to rather unexpected places that are described in the book.

How has the resulting perspective changed my life? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, as it feels so obvious and unremarkable by now. Like everyone else, I occasionally fall under the spell of delusions, get upset, and act as a nuisance, yet some tangible changes have apparently materialized. For example, a few years ago, a coworker asked me, “Weren’t you offended by a remark made by such-and-such?” I replied, “He was referring to something I said last week, and I can’t even recall what I was thinking back then, so he was probably right.” The coworker exclaimed, “But his comment was so personal!” “Not really,” I remarked casually, “he was talking about something I said, not about me.” When I looked up, I saw genuine puzzlement on his face. It then occurred to me that I hadn’t noticed being personally insulted for quite a while. People seemed to be commenting on what I said or what I did or even how I looked, but never on “me”…

Have I become transparent? Apparently not. When I search for myself, I usually find something looking out from the inside – thus failing the basic nonduality test. Yet, this “something” seems to have zero dimensions, having essentially converged to a mathematical point. And I find this outcome good enough for most practical purposes. Such as having no regrets. Not even regrets about having mindlessly tortured myself with them for so long.

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