Abandon any hope of fruition
I picked this for the words “abandon hope” because it seemed totally against anything we are taught. I love the image of figs ripening on a tree.
It’s not exactly the abandonment of hope, but the abandonment of what hope thinks that things should be, what we think of as success or failure. Instead of being focused on the results or our feelings of hope tied to certain results, we focus on the present, on the task on hand, without trying to force the outcome we want. You know what happens when you try to force things, you get impatient and annoyed, you feel stubborn or fearful, all wrapped up in some sort of anxiety and irritation.
Norman Fischer says “…if we measure our progress and become crestfallen when progress does not match the image our hope has projected, then hope becomes counterproductive.” Hope then becomes limiting and leads to discouragement.
Things will always change, therefore we don’t need to hope for change. It’s the subjectivity of what we hope for that causes disillusion if it doesn’t happen that way. Have we improved or failed? The mere hoping for something called “improvement” could potentially be sabotaging. Anything we imagine, like a vacation or something we make, never turns out the way we imagine. Is it the improvement we hoped for? It is impossible to say. Things will change, that’s all.
Abandon any hope of what fruition is or isn’t.
Boy, this trips me up constantly. How much nicer to feel happy just doing and puttering in the present without all this angst about hope for getting better or improving and what we want to happen. It seems tricky because we spend our entire lives doing the opposite, at least in Western societies, being taught that this sort of attachment to hope is a grand thing.
This is definitely going to need to filter in for a few days of contemplation. I’m saying what it is but I haven’t quite taken it in.