Zen and the Art of Losing Your Virginity

Part Three: The Unknown

If life taught me anything in all these years, it’s that one never knows what’s going to happen next. Life is ever-changing, ever-fluxuating sequence of events. Of course, if you’ve been alive long enough to have a memory, you might already be aware of this phenomenon.

But, that’s just it… we’re all aware of this. We’re also aware that, at any given moment, something devastating could come along and wipe away everything you have come to know and find comfort in. Think of it. Earthquakes are starting to happen in places we never really expected and creating more damage than we dreamed possible. Hurricanes have been known to clear out entire cities and wash them right back into the Dark Ages. Tornadoes, fires, flash floods, mud slides, land slides, volcanoes erupting, violent wind storms… all raging with the power and the desire to tear down anything it can in their pasts – and that’s just nature! Let’s not forget human-triggered disasters like drive-by’s, robberies, riots, auto accidents, chemical weapons, warfare, mass genocide, terrorism…

Yes… at any minute, something stunningly traumatic could occur and turn anyone’s life inside out. But, rather than running around worrying about these things, we just continue to scratch on day to day, wasting our hours at some meaningless job we can’t stand, and doing nothing about anything unless we genuinely have to. Seriously?

Picture, for a moment, that all that you may believe to be improbable actually happened. For example, picture yourself in a car wreck. Let’s say, in this wreck, your legs have been severed from your body. What will you miss? What could you have done, wanted to do, and now cannot because you have no legs?

How about this one… let’s say you wake up one day and find your house on fire. Everything’s burning. You barely get out alive, but suddenly find yourself to be the sole survivor. Worse yet, the fire inspector finds that the fire was started by one of the children playing with volatile chemicals and a lighter in the laundry room and the insurance company you’ve paid hundreds of dollars to over the last couple years decides not to cover the losses. What then? What would you do? Where would you go? How would you recover? All of these things are probabilities which lie dormant just on the outskirts of all that’s unknown, but they are possible and could happen at any time… and, often, when we least expect it.

So… if this exercise was new to you and you hadn’t even thought to fear these things before, why do you fear the unknown when it comes to asking out that gorgeous person you’d been eying for months? Why do you fear the unknown when it comes to exploring that new job opportunity? Why haven’t you gone to that one country you’ve been dying to visit since you were a child with that whole “I don’t care what happens, I’m going and I’m going to have a good time while I’m there” attitude? Why have you not gone to that audition to try and land that role you’ve always wanted to have? Is it because you don’t know what someone would say or how things will go?

How is it that the fear of the unknown stops us from pursing all of that we desire, but the fear of the unknown doesn’t stop us from leaving our houses in the morning out of the fear that something somewhere could somehow take place and kill us or leave us begging for death? Why is it that we sweat the small things, but can easily play ignorant to larger, more devastating possibilities? Curious, isn’t it?

Well, as for myself, I think applying that same ignorance to all that’s unknown would be absolutely beneficial. And, why not? I’m certainly confident enough in my hard-earned wisdom and educated enough through the experiences I have survived to know I can handle just about anything that comes crawling out of the unknown – and all what I have yet to experience, I am definitely open to it. Hell, I welcome it. It’s always time to lose one’s virginity when it comes to new explorations and new experiences. That’s what life’s all about and it offers all these things in abundance. We cannot grow as human beings without new experiences and discoveries, so… why not take life up on these opportunities when they come along? And, who knows? Maybe tomorrow, you’ll be shot on the way to work or be hit by a falling satellite… all because we decided to stick to our safe, simple routine and thought it best to not take risks with life. Wouldn’t we feel foolish? More importantly, wouldn’t we also live out the rest of our days in regret, dreaming about all those things we could have done if only we took the chance?

Don’t think about it. Just go out and live life to its fullest. Life sure doesn’t last long enough to ever take it for granted.

About Mihkael Fournier

Photographer, Graphic Artist, Writer/Novelist, Clown Magician
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  • http://www.yearlyglot.com/ Randy the Yearlyglot

    Hell yeah. I read a wonderful evolutionary explanation for this once. You’re a prehistoric man, animal, whatever. You see a “risk” – taking food from a bear or something. If you’re a creature with the gene for fear of doing what you want, you’ll stay hidden, and while you won’t experience “success”, you will live to reproduce. However, if you happen to be a creature without that “fear gene”, you may go for it, and there are higher odds that you will die, and those genes will fail to be reproduced. So the biological fact is, we’re all evolved to be afraid, even when there’s nothing to fear, because that behavior increased the survival rate of our ancestors.

    Well, the nice thing is, it’s easy to get over fears. You just have to push past them the first time, and then after that, they’re not so bad.