The Beauty and Horror of Being Human

By Aubrey Marcus October 18, 2022

It is so easy to get lost in the judgment of people, that we become blind to the beauty of human beings. It takes fucking courage to be a human. We are the only earth-bound being forced to reckon with the awareness of our inevitable obliteration. We know, every second of every day, that everything we ever love will be taken from us. If not by screeching wheels and smashing steel, by time itself. One day we will no longer taste our favorite food. We will never touch the skin of our beloved. We will lose the ability to run, to play, and to dance. We will say goodbye to our parents and many of our friends. Sometimes holding their hand, and sometimes we will never know that it was our forever goodbye.

The horror of this reality would be inconceivable if it were not true. Death aside, we have all been through a break-up where we had to say goodbye to being with someone we love. This suffering alone is unbearable. To remember their smell, their moans, their laughs, their smiles. The way you thrilled and delighted each other, and to know that you will NEVER have that experience again. This is the deep cruelty of sensual love.

The easy thing to do is to look away. To close down your heart, and lock yourself away from love. Everyone always talks about numbing the pain, but it’s not the pain that needs numbing. It’s the joy. Because a life that is grey and dreary is easy to leave. It has a simple solution. But a life vibrant in color and bliss… that is terrifying. Because the pain of letting that go might be the greatest pain of all. Yet some of us choose to love, to live, and to laugh anyway. That’s fucking courage. And that’s why humans are beautiful.

When I spent my time in the darkness retreat 16 months ago, I realized that I didn’t yet have the kind of courage I was looking for. I was still protecting myself from living and loving to the fullest. That’s starting to change. But as this new reality sets in, I catch myself looking back at the opportunities I missed to do this sooner. That time is gone though. And regretting the past only serves to prevent me from opening to the present.

What about the humans who don’t yet have that courage? They are beautiful too. I detest the fear, but I respect its power. Everyone is just doing their best to reckon with it. Whether they are wielding power in an unconscious attempt to keep themselves safe, or happily locking themselves away in permanent ‘social distancing’, it’s all just a precious attempt to avoid the inescapable.

But to the heroes out there: The ones who drink from the screaming, pulsing, honeyed cup of ecstasy, the ones that keep loving over and over again no matter who or what they lose, the ones that look at the gnashing fangs and erasing stare of the monster of Time and say “do your worst”...To all of you, I bow in a deep salute.

There is no one I have ever met that embodies this courage more than this week’s podcast guest don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. He is a true mystic, and on this show he is joined by his son don Jose Ruiz. I have waited over 10 years to have this conversation and it was everything I hoped it would be. We discuss Love, Life, and Death in the Toltec way.

I love you all to the fullest extent of my courage,

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