On Becoming - The Bhava
In the Buddhist traditions, the idea of Bhava in the most simple terms is the becoming that begins shortly after birth. There are many wonderful koans and sutras on this becoming and I would encourage you to look them up and enjoy the wonder of the thoughts of people far wiser than me. I will say this. I feel sorry for people who arrive and find enlightenment. When that happens, there is no more becoming.
From the very moment of birth, I am in a process of bhava, of becoming. This is growth and learning and discovery. This is a mind that is open to new ideas and new concepts and being challenged with more beauty and more wonder. I cannot fathom a period in my life less interesting and less boring than no longer in the process of becoming.
There are movies I can see, books I can read and songs I can hear over and over again and discover something new or see it in a different light. While those reruns are going on there are constantly new books and new movies and new songs for me to discover and be moved my. I have yet to see a sunrise or a sunset be exactly the same and my perspective of wonder not have a different perspective on it.
I once kissed a woman. I had kissed her many times before, but there was one time that I kissed her that was unlike any other we had exchanged. Who we are to each other is still becoming and who we are as individuals is definitely still becoming.
To arrive and finally become and stay in that space would be so mind numbingly dull I could not even imagine such a thing. It would be a world without imagination for there would be nothing to imagine or wonder. There would be no more growth. There would be no more struggle. There would be no more mystery.
We see those who have thought they have become and arrived all the time and we see the end result of it. Spiritual people who have more answers than questions offer a limited perspective and philosophy that restricts more than it frees. Couples that think they know each other completely no longer try to woo and understand the other and their romance stagnates and dies until they are strangers living together. We see historically what happens to the social evolution of those who cannot continue becoming as they fight civil rights, women’s rights, interracial marriage, gay marriage and now they fight against the rights of those who have “non conforming” gender identities. They cannot see beyond a flat earth that has evolved over billions of years and miss the wonder and beauty of nature and each other.
The universe is too vast and humanity is too complex to ever completely become. For some who need a right answer to everything, this may be frustrating. They miss the wonder that there are no singular discoveries, just a never ending series of small ones that unravel more fascinating questions and opportunities for growth.
In my process of becoming I have hopes and dreams. I hope to be a writer and a photographer telling stories of love like a troubadour. I hope to spend the rest of my life growing old together with a sweetheart and best friend. I hope to actually make love in a hammock and see if the figure of speech is all that and a bag of chips. I hope to see my son grow and continue his process of becoming and never stagnating. In all of these hopes and dreams there is no end game. There is no plan with a destination. I want to write new questions and explore new ideas. I want to photograph things that continually move people. I want to learn ever more about my sweetheart and like the aforementioned kiss, still be blown away my new moments that we have had before. I always want the process of becoming but I do not want to become anything.
May we from birth start the process of becoming. May we never stop becoming. May we never become.