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The Cycles of Life - We Go Round and Round in the Circle Game

Jul 3, 2008
In one of the great songs about the cycles of life--a song that captures the feelings of the moment--Joni Mitchell wrote and sang:

"And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game"

Are we captured on the carousel of time--experiencing fleeting moments of joy, suffering and some pain along the way--thrilling to victory one day, reeling in defeat the next--until we finally take that one last ride--when the painted pony goes up and comes down for the final time?

Birth--And Death?

It appears we are born and we die. In the meanwhile we exist--only God or the Universal Mind knows for how long--some mystics say we choose our birth and eventual death. Some Buddhists believe as long as karmic issues aren't resolved we are caught on the wheel of birth and death. Others say that death is an illusion--we are eternal beings. There are others that state that if death is an illusion--so is birth.

Are we born only to die? I believe there is more to it than this discomforting thought. My meditations allowed me many insights in the nature of existence--and the existence of other worlds--other possibilities. Quantum physicists claim that energy never dies--it is only rearranged or transformed. Madonna sings about being a "Material Girl" and she is no doubt having fun--but the truth is that we are energy. Still, I can't supply you anything definite about what happens after we ride the final cycle.

Life--The Cycles of Youth

Many people wish they were captured on a carousel rather than running the treadmill they are enslaved on. If only they could jump off safely and live the life that resides in the recesses of their minds. Once during the times of their youth they had dreams and believed their fantasies would be their reality. They knew they would experience their most sublime desires--not realizing that other urgencies and commitments would relegate these to the unattainable. If only they could return to the time when they sometimes lived in their dreams and fantasies and believed these had substance--that they would manifest in their lives. But they can't return--they can only look back. Maybe if they could see through the eyes of a child again--the child they once were.

Even though the child is captured on the carousel of time he doesn't look back with regret or live with fear of the future. Now is all that matters. All the child's fun, fears and learning experiences are happening now.

On a warm summer's day a boy sits at the bank of the stream, lazily casting his hopes for a catch--not worrying about a thing. At the same time a young girl could be playing house--arranging all her dolls, doll clothes, toy furniture, props, etc. into her fantasy of the happy family. She doesn't see this as an event that takes place when she grows up--it is happening now. It is a current event.

Do you remember the time only the moment mattered? Life was a series of moments--experienced and savored one at a time. The painted ponies kept going up and down. Another cycle is completed. It was the New Year--a new year of hope and of exciting experiences. It was your first boyfriend, your first kiss, the time you matured enough to make love for the first time.

Are you experiencing remembrances of your senior prom--when you clumsily pinned a corsage on your date--a blossoming young woman who took your breath away? How about the cool fall evening at the Friday night football game when you sat in the bleachers and snuggled up to your date for warmth--and companionship. Sometimes you cared if your school won the game or not--and you cheered until you were overcome with hoarseness. Other times you were too enthralled by the exciting boy or girl next to you. You embraced the cycle of life. We always will have these moments to remember.

The Cycle Becomes a Treadmill

The day you took your wedding vows. A new era was beginning. The painted ponies were going up and down--up and down in pleasure and delight. You marriage begins with fervent hope for the future--for everlasting happiness and love. Your new job and subsequent promotion. A child is born. Your first home--a starter house but cherished just the same.

Then something happened. You can't pin the exact time it occurred. Maybe it was gradual. You suddenly realize it's been a long time since you heard the music of the carousel and rode the painted ponies--in fact you can't remember the last time you ran and jumped on the carousel with anticipation of a joyous experience.. You are now on a treadmill--and endless cycle of walking and running--and it never ends. The days, weeks, months and years go by as before--you swear they are actually going faster than before. Some of your hopes and dreams came true and you have fond memories of some of them--others seem as if they were empty desires--desires without substance or credibility. If only you had conceived your dreams and desires with wisdom.

Many of your dreams and desires have vanished--vanished before they had an opportunity to manifest. Where did they go? You lament "Why did they leave me stranded in my suffering and despair? Is there a way to bring them back--to be rescued from a life that is less than it could be?"

Chained to the Treadmill of Despair

A time may arrive in a person's life when he or she discovers that they are living a life of many illusions--"looking through a glass, darkly." Why else would life seem like a never-ending run on the treadmill of pain, suffering and frustration? The individual believes he is unable to jump off and if he could--he lacks the energy and motivation to do so.

Once an individual abandons his dreams, desires and fantasies--he relinquishes his power. The subsequent feeling of emptiness causes him to look outside of himself in order to regain what he has lost. And what does he find? He finds that he is now controlled by the illusory power of others. He escapes in hours upon hours of television--which quickly becomes his new master. He adopts second hand values--that he can no longer distinguish from the values he once held. He allows other to do his thinking and supply him with their pseudo-philosophy. Finally he is permanently chained to the treadmill of his despair. At least he believes he is. Can he ever awaken from his self-defeating nightmare?

The Rescue - Riding the Glorious Heights of the Cycle

Fortunately some do wake-up and realize they have been sleepwalking or walking around blind. They happily discover that they didn't permanently relinquish their power--in fact they still possess it. It resides within who they are. They finally see reality for what it is. Their eyes brighten up and their spirit soars.

They get off the treadmill--once again jump on the carousel and mount the painted pony. Yes, the painted pony still goes up and down--but they realize it is taking them to a glorious future--the future that they had so often dreamed and wished for during their youth. The fact that their beloved painted pony will ride the final cycle and go up and down for the last time no longer causes fear, uncertainty and despair. They realize that the final cycle in this life is actually the beginning of a series of new cycles in an even more glorious existence.
About the Author
Robert A. Meyer has been investigating and studying economics, philosophy, psychology and metaphysics for 30 years. He realizes there are basic principles of Human Action that will help you become successful. His knowledge that life is to be lived on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level allowed him to discover "The Libertarian Way." He experiences its many pleasures and ecstasies on a daily basis.

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