Being is Action

What do I mean when I say being is action?  I mean that the state of existing in time and space automatically indicates that we are in some state of activity.  Some examples of activity would be: lying down, reading a book, typing on the computer, standing in the living room, eating a banana, talking on the telephone, sleeping. Our idea of action and what it actually is, are somehow misaligned.

We generally associate the word “being” with existing which tends to connote images of breathing or some kind of simple stillness.  If we equate being with existence then we must look realistically at what it means to be existing.  It means we are “somewhere” and by default “engaged” in some activity.

I make a big deal about this point because we spend most of our time concerned with our “doings” which are really just our physical activities.  We are consistently preoccupied with what we wish we were doing, what we believe we should be doing, and finally, what we feel pressure from others to be doing.  Our mind entertains a concept of doing that is different than the reality of doing.

If we are in some activity (whatever it happens to be for any given moment), then for that moment that is the only action we can be in, until and if we move out of it.  Because we spend a lot of time feeling pressure to do things a certain way, unless we actually are, we cannot.  This is because we only have one body to operate with, and if it is busy with what it is already doing, then that means it is physically impossible for us to do the thing our mind wants us to be doing.  I find this a crucial point being that we spend so much of our time victimized by the internal and external pressure to be managing our life differently than we do.  We can each only do the thing we are already doing in each moment, because when we check in with ourself we see that we are just there in the space, doing it. Being, therefore, is doing, and vice versa.

For me, the knowledge that being is action is grounding in the sense that it reminds us that the concept of doing in our mind is only an idea because what we are actually doing in each moment happens before we get there with our awareness, and is irrefutable, once it is happening.  To repeat, if we are alive, then we are always automatically in some physical activity.  If that action happens to jive with what we wish to be doing then all is well, but if it does not then we must concede to what I call our “physical reality” which ultimately defines our behavior, whether we approve of it or not.

Book Links:
The Myth of Doing: managing guilt, shame, anxiety, regret and self-judgment Paperback and Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B9OQJUU
Body Over Mind: a mindful reality check: attaining psychological freedom by confronting thought with reality Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1492776408 Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FQ5D5DI (also available in all other e-format modes)

 

5 Comments

    1. I meant that we generally don’t associate the word “being” with action, as I am talking about in the article. That word “being” generally does not evoke an awareness of the action we are in but rather just an awareness of being alive…existing, rather than “doing” something. I am trying to highlight the fact that the mere state of existing, being, being alive, is automatically a state of action (i am sitting on the couch typing) and that it is the only possible action one can ever be in. The state of being is by default a state of action. Let me know if that clarifies your question? Thanks for commenting!

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    1. There is no difference between being and existing. They are the same; for me in this context they just mean “being alive.” I was referencing these words to point out the fact that we generally think of the state of being, or existing not as an “action” when they in fact are a state of action because we are always “doing” something no matter what that is…even if it just sitting on the couch. I am sorry if my words confused you!

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