I’ve been thinking a lot about barriers and boundaries recently. For a while, I thought they were the same, but then I came to realize that they were quite different. And actually now, I’m toying with the idea that barriers might not exist at all.
I got started on this particular exploration because I felt like I kept running into barriers. You know them—rules, bureaucracies, laws of physics, etc. I didn’t like being prevented from doing whatever it was I wanted to do. I experienced the barrier as an obstacle to be gotten around somehow or—particularly when I was in a ferocious mood—demolished.
One day, however, a revolutionary thought popped into my head: what if I stopped trying to circumvent or push through the barrier and instead investigated it.
Now I’m in many ways a visual person, so in my mind I immediately saw a wall, and in my mind, I approached the wall with the intention of discovering as much as I could about it. Imagine my surprise when, as I got closer, I began to see that the wall was not a solid monolith. It had cracks and spaces. And it wasn’t a thin, hard thing; it was wide and porous.
And then a really curious thing happened. I began to see the barrier as a very dynamic place, a place where energy is being exchanged all the time. Far from being static, it was always in flux.
I could see particles of energy moving in this wide band, leaving, joining, traveling within the borders, which were themselves more like those clouds I see in the sky, fraying at the edges. It reminded me of a crowd of people, and suddenly, I knew how I could cross it.
All I needed to do was cooperate with it. It was the most natural thing in the world!
I mean, if I want to get through a crowd, I could just throw myself at the edges of it. I would probably be bounced backwards, maybe even fall down and hurt myself. A better strategy would be to move into an opening, any opening I see, and then find my way, small space by small space, through the mass until I reach the other side. And so what if my path is not a straight line? Nothing in nature is a straight line!
And here’s something even more exciting. As I feel my way through the crowd, the crowd itself, the flow of its very energy, can help me get through!
I bet you can see now why I’m thinking that there might not even be any barriers in life, just—let’s call them boundaries. Because, after all, a boundary is just a border area where something ends and something else begins. And if I want to get to the other side, it’s just up to me to find my way, step by step.