New year resolutions are fine as a wonderful conversation piece. Great to fill newsprint. Along with the best and worst of the previous year, the predictions that never come true for the next year, come hordes of celebrity new year resolutions, tips for healthy new year resolutions, new year resolutions for better sex etc etc.
But as everyone is talking about them, it does force me to evaluate myself over the past year. But then the past year is a reflection of all my past years. So I sit down and ask myself.
What do I want ? Not an easy question at all when you discipline it down like I do film plots. (If you cannot tell the story in 10 words, then you don’t have a plot. Sounds mundane and silly, but even an artist has an outline sketch that disciplines the painting). So what’s the plot of I want ?
I want to be happy. But then I have walked with enough thinkers and mystics, psychologists and intellectuals to know that is just a word that describes an impermanent moment of brain chemicals. Brain Chemicals. Now thats what frightens me most. Am I just a product of my brain chemicals ? If so then what could I want except balanced chemicals to still my mind and be restful and peaceful. Thats easy. All I need is a prescription from a doctor. Or I am told, drink the water of New York which contains high doses of prescription medicines for ‘happiness’.
What do I want ? Of course I should be making more films. But I make films to communicate. So the fundamental force comes back. What do I want to communicate ? I have always been told I think too much, because of which I don’t act enough. But thats not true either. Why should action be measured in terms of marketable creation ? Is achievement and fame, monetary gains and material assets the fundamentals of measuring action ? I am restless always. On the move always. Traveling always. Interacting with people always. Wondering, yearning experiencing, inquisitive. Always.
What do I want ? What should I wish for on this New Year ? What is that fundamental idea that would encompass that which I desire most.
Now here is the problem. My desires change on a day to day basis. On a moment to moment basis. Like a child I get attracted from one desire to another. One idea to another. So how can I trust my desire to define that which I want most ? I want a healthy life for as long as I can. I want all my family and those I love to be happy and healthy. I want to everyone to happy and healthy. I want there to be peace in the world. I want the Planet to be a greener and less polluted place.
All that which will never possible as the Buddha discovered much earlier in his life.
So really, what do I want. Not a wish list. Not a fantasy. Something I can achieve. Something real that underlies everything I have searched for. The root from which the rest naturally grows and flowers. Is there such a root ?
What do I want ?
I want to be honest. Not as in truthful. But to live honestly in the moment. To exist in honesty. Not the honesty or truthfulness of the moment that passed. For that is a prejudice. Not in the truthfulness or honesty that may exist in the next moment. For that is either a fear or a fantasy. But the honesty of this moment. That honesty that needs absolute awareness. That honesty that is aware of all that there is without prejudice or dogma. Without rules or desires. Where the moment stretches into an eternity from one moment to another.
Yes, I have walked with my teachers and friends who have taught me so much. And tried to teach me meditation. They have moved millions to it. But I have another path. One of constant yearning. One of restless and honest yearning –
Stepping from one chaotic footstep to another, but hoping somehow that the unknown path so traveled finds harmony in the journey.
That”s what I want. The journey. That is honest to each step.