Can you now see that 'ultimately' no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience?
Rach said: You know I've used "matters" so much in this thread that it's kind of lost its meaning for me ... as repeated words are wont to do. What does it even mean to say "this matters." Or: This matters ULTIMATELY. Is it a value judgment? A feeling? A filling of a painful void? A longing to have some Primal Authority Figure tell me I'm doing the right thing?
It means whatever it means to you Rach, and often it means different things at different times.
Whether it's a 'matter'
under consideration, or 'matter' itself (having definable properties)
1. physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.
2. a subject or situation under consideration.
synonyms: affair, business, proceeding, situation, circumstance, event, happening, occurrence, incident, episode, occasion, experience, thing;
be important or significant.
The interesting 'definition' of matter the noun to matter the verb is that it becomes personal & subjective.
Matter the noun is impersonal until it's processed into a positive or negative verb by 'someone' who places value on it.
Eg matter 1. noun might be ice cream or dog poo - and the difference only 'matters' to 'someone' interacting with it.
matter 2. noun is present tense interpreting of the 'values' of those examples in the list above eg: experience.
Matter verb is personalised, judgement, opinion, labelling etc which while maybe not as 'concrete' as the dog poo/ice cream, takes up 'space' as well, even if only in our own minds. This is the one that 'who says?' is a good qualifier to apply to it.
I don't know why it made me think of The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, maybe these are things I think 'matter'. (?)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals, or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.