Greedy For Life

If the universe is full of infinite possibilities, does that mean we are infinitely possible too? I’d like to think so, but it doesn’t seem feasible. We seem to be bounded by our genetics, the way our brains are wired, our very thoughts. Can we go beyond such constraints to something else?

Working within natural laws, we can change ourselves to a certain extent. We can get a new job. We can move to a different location. We can divorce or remarry. We can become thinner, fitter, stronger, more serene. We can even look and feel younger, but we cannot actually be younger. Nor can we be anything but what we are — whatever that is. I suppose it’s a good thing our basic nature doesn’t change. It would make life intolerable if every wizardmorning when we woke up we discovered we were something different — a butterfly or a dragon, a flower or a star.

Still, in a universe full of possibilities, there has to be more possibilities than we see or even fathom. But how does one find (or create) these possibilities? I realize that wanting to be something other than ourselves is wasting who we are, but still, there has to be a way of becoming more of what we are, of reaching a greater potential.

I have such a desire to be “other,” though I don’t have any clear concept of what that means. Wiser, of course, and more in tune with the universe. Transcendent, maybe. Able to sense that which I cannot now see.

At the very least, I’d like to be able to just go along for the ride, see where life takes me without worry or fear. But even such a small transcendence seems improbable — I’m a worrier (thinker!) by nature and genetics, and fear is not just a mental state but physical reaction, a body response to danger, and we are such physical creatures. And anyway, aren’t worry and fear part of the experience of life, just as grief is?

Maybe there is more life on the horizon for me than I can now see, and all this cogitation is but a way of occupying myself until that life arrives. Or maybe the cogitation will help get me there by opening up my mind and soul to more, like a flower opening to the sun.

I’ve never been a greedy person — never really wanted much, especially not things — but now I see there is growing.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

7 Responses to “Greedy For Life”

  1. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    About five years ago an historian/scientist came across something strange in the records of the last of the great plagues to hit England. By his own reckoning more people should have died during this outbreak. He didn’t doubt the parish records. There were simply more survivors than there theoretically should have been. Why?

    He was a man who didn’t believe in luck. The crowded conditions should have meant something. So what happened? What went right for these people?

    He was able to find a village in England where most of the inhabitants were descendants of plague victims that had survived. He took blood samples. What he found amazed him. There was indeed something in the DNA that could be synthesized for others. It wasn’t something that could prevent disease from happening but something that apparently aided the person’s system in fighting back.

    The documentary ended with the notion that this research and what these people had in their DNA might be used in the future to combat AIDS and various cancers.

    Hence you had a man with a question and in the answer to that question all sort of possibilities for a better future for other people. Just a thought.

  2. SFH Says:

    The greatest journey I am in the midst of taking is to my own ineffable inner being. Sometimes I see a little spark of who I truly am, and then it disappears. But through meditation, journaling, counseling and determination, I am one day going to find the me in me.

  3. Steve Lakey Says:

    In David Hamilton’s book, “It’s the Thought That Counts”, he suggests that we can actually turn on and off our DNA. In effect, rewrite our genetics – purely by the way we think.
    I think our outer world, is a representation of our inner world. I believe that by deliberately directing our thoughts, feelings and actions we can literally change our life experience from the inside out.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I wonder if we would need to know what we want to be in order to make those changes. Last night, I wished upon a star, but after I finished the incantation (Star light, star bright . . .) I couldn’t think of a thing to wish for. Or rather, couldn’t find the words to voice the wish.

  4. Chuck Thurston Says:

    I recommend Viktor Frankl’s work “Man’s Search For Meaning” — Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and an Auschwitz survivor and, among other observations, wrote of the characteristics of those who made it through the experience and those who didn’t. Joel Barker, in his film, “The Power of Vision” tells Frankl’s story with a riveting description.

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