Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Midnight Swami


I just cannot sit still. I'm feeling the Delta blues and i'm feeling the Himalayan blues. I feel trapped. I feel claustrophobic. The time has come. I'm going insane folks...i'm officially going bonkers! I'd like to blame it on the Sun and the intense heat but fuck! i ain't gonna lie to myself.

This wouldn't be the first time i've gone off the rader, the wagon or the hornet i drive. There is that time once every couple of years, months or weeks where you just go "off."

I'm fucking "off!"

Some of it is frustration with work. I'm a patient chap but this magazine's gotta come through. There're issues upon issues waiting to be written about and it’s not pretty. The "mojo" has gone from me guts. I need it back.

Some of it is to do with the fact that everything we do seem so repetitious and dead. Jesus! The way we go about life to eventually hit the grave's not even funny. But that's life you'd say and you'd be right. "Don't worry it'll pass like everything passes" you'd say and you'd be right.

"Broaden your horizon and look at what you've" would be the sages' advice and they'd be right.

I clasp my hands together and sigh out long and loud. I'm depressed i can't bring my son over for the summer holidays and my head's just numbed. I rack my brains for a solution and there's nothing in sight.

Then i wonder if life's worth all these disappointments we go through. Images of sages i've read and heard about tempt me with their version of life. The choices they'd made seem so fucking simple, naked, logical and true. The more you've the more you've gotta protect and preserve.

Talk about land and real estate acquisitions spill over dinner tables. Why'd you fortify yourself against the inevitable i wonder. Talk of kids acquiring the family jewels seem to make sense to everyone. "At least they'll have enough" i hear.

Enough of what and how much is enough i wonder.

Going to bed last night i flickered the channels on TV out of habit, boredom and just to get that remote-wielding itchiness over. I flick channels and i see aswami. He's giving a dharma talk. Its been awhile since i'd heard dharma talks. I like what i'm hearing. He talks about the "insurance" we all wanna have in our lives. The insurance of marriage, kids, wealth and health. Then he reminds us of the opposite. That it is nothing but "fear" that drives us to adopt these "insurances." The bomb comes later when he asks you, "Where is the guarantee?"

The guarantee that your loneliness will be fulfilled by marrying and having a wife, a companion and a partner. The guarantee that your blood or bone line will continue after you've had kids. The guarantee that you'll have some "satisfaction" when these insurances are contracted out.

"What and where is the guarantee?" he asks out loud to the audience again. He recalls an anecdote about Rabindranth Tagore. He says Tagore didn't feel the poetry of "Geetanjali" until after he'd written it and received the Nobel prize for it. That Tagore had spun the words beautifully but hadn't yet experienced that feeling, emotion, reality et al.

A man drops in on Tagore at his house and asks him point blank, "Have you experienced God?"

Tagore chases the man away. The man leaves Tagore's compound laughing. Tagore cannot sleep the whole night. He's bothered to the bone. The next morning Tagore takes a walk and sees a muddy pool with a bathing buffalo in it. The Sun's rays are reflected by the soiled pond. Tagore recognises the pure sunshine in the dirty swamp and poetry flows out of him, spontaneously.

Somewhere a man is watching the spectacular "Niagara Falls" and dysentery flows out of him, spontaneously, says the swami. There is laughter after the anecdote's doled out. I'm not quite sure i understood everything the swami said. I'm not even sure my recollection's accurate.

But the point was this: Live without fear or favor. Live without assurances and guarantees. Live without doubt or regret. Face your fears; your expectations and disappointments and do it all right now. Not a minute later or a minute sooner but right now.

Our traditional Buddhist skull has this taunting look of knowing-ness in its face: It holds two lotus flowers in its teeth and there's a phrase accompanying it. It reads thus:

To Look into the Face of Death- To Live and Die Without Regrets.

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!

No comments: