During a moment of introspection on my front porch, I was watching cars passing by on the road and came up with a broad analogy that turned into much more than it originated as. Let me know if you can think of anything to add, or if you would like to discuss a point I have made.
THE ALLEGORY OF THE CARS:
Shall we compare life to a highway? The highway itself can be considered to be our life on this Earth. The vehicles driving on the highway are the physical bodies occupying the earth. The operator of each vehicle may be looked at as the spirit, soul, ego, essence, or whatever you have it.
The main focus that I would like to have is on the vehicles themselves and on the attitude of the drivers inside. The physical vehicle (the body) is used, essentially, to go from point A to point B (birth to death). There are various forms of vehicles that vary widely on size, color, brand, etc. These variations represent race, class, sexuality, religion, etc. A Honda civic, a geo-metro, and a Lamborghini will all go from point A to point B (birth to death), and will continue to do so for some time all dependent upon how well it is maintained and fueled (exercise and nutrition). Time to go deeper. It is completely subjective for one to say that a Civic is inferior to a Lamborgini, as they both make it from A to B and nothing else matters, functionally speaking. Those who pass judgement on what vehicle another is driving implies an attitude problem of the haughty driver, not the functionality of the other’s vehicle. Both vehicles will end up as scrap metal anyhow. Likewise, why do some have an issue with race or sexuality? Why look at it as a differentiating factor rather than simple variety. Variety is nice. Even in this analogy, despite it being no more effective from A to B, a Lamborghini is still exhilarating to look at. This makes the journey more interesting, you see? This is how race should be viewed rather than like a Lambo driver condescending on others as if it were a bad thing. Happening to own a supercar obviously does not make anyone a more capable driver (better spirit), and the car is just taking them from A to B anyway, just like everyone else’s vehicle. Odds are if a driver is haughty about their vehicle, then he will find issue with others in a multitude of areas (i.e. racists would likely have a problem with many things such as class or sexuality for example. Race isn’t a true problem just because some bigot insists that it is.) Concerning spirituality and religion, this can be compared to the act of taking (or needing to take) vehicles to a repair shop. In life, we don’t judge others for having a broken down car or needing a part, rather we offer help and assistance. This brings with it the question of, “why then, in this analogy do we at times?” Some physical problems like cancer are not viewed negatively and discriminated against. Other things, however, such as mental illness, alcoholism, and drug problems are judged upon, especially from those that are religious or spiritual. These people are experiencing (in the metaphor) a break down or a need for a part/mechanic. They need help, not to be frowned upon and treated unjustly. This could happen to any of our vehicles and is not related to the driver or their capabilities. That is, however, certainly not including cases of reckless driving or lack of maintenance (severe neglect or destruction of one’s body). This then does become the fault of the driver. Even then though, they certainly still need other’s assistance and should be granted it. Finally, in regards to life from birth to death and all things in between. From the time a car is created, it has definitive purpose. Some are built for sport, come for hauling, others for passenger carrying, etc. What it was created for does not make it any less of a vehicle. Humans vary in race, sexuality, and other factors, but this is merely for the excitement and function of society. This variety certainly does not make anyone less human, so why do we act as if it does? We are, after all, all one and the same. Would it not be foolish to say either, “a bus is not a vehicle only because it is not what I drive,” or, “a bus is not as good of a vehicle as what I drive?” This is obviously absolute folly that no one would ever assert, even in the age of the keyboard warrior. We all drive different vehicles for a variety of reasons, and this needs to be accepted by all drivers on the highway in the theoretical half of this analogy, as it already is in the literal sense. This highway known as life has vehicles constantly meeting one another in universal connection. If one vehicle is on an overpass, the driver doesn’t think that they’re better than those driving underneath merely based on their vertical position. This is a social class illustration. Those underneath the overpass could drive to the top if they desire or had a lucky break, and those on top may have just have gotten lost (a purely lucky break) and ended up on the overpass (the top of society) trying to find their way from A to B. Also note, all things that go up must come down in this world. The last thought illustrated brings us the notion of the final down, or the end of things. Once a vehicle can no longer take you from A to B it is all over (death). The driver (ego/spirit) optimally doesn’t get too terribly upset as they were never overly attached to their car in the first place, they simply accept it and move on. Likewise we should behave in regards to true physical death. Ironically, the most vital part of life is to, in this order, understand, respect, accept, and appreciate death, of all things. The largest mistake one can make in life is being ignorant or resistant to death. The greatest tragedy known to man is dying with unfinished business. All business, however, can be picked up and finished by those who remain, with the single exception of continuing to live as one’s own conscious thoughts and memories. Therefore, for a man to die in peace, and certainly live in peace beforehand, he must embrace death ahead of time and know in preparation that he will continue to be a part of the universe around him. The death of the ego will allow him to realize that the big picture is so much more than just him, and that he has been a part of the surrounding universe the whole time. This can be supported by the thought that if you perceive the universe from your own solitary point of view, then the true universe is from each individual’s point of view. This means that the universe a s a whole is made up of all individual’s points of view. This, of course, implies a marvelous connection with the world around us that is far beyond the individual, you see? You share a bond with all things, as the beginning of all things came out of the same source. Coming to this realization is not something that can be forced or chosen, it simply happens organically. Be open to it, however, because it is completely vital! This realization allows one to make their own life finished business before physical death comes, which allows them to live life fully and die peacefully without restrain.