Saturday, July 25, 2009
I've stopped reading Dharma-Books. There was a time when i'd devour just about any Dharma book , magazine or the Dharma feeds in newspaper segments. What i'd already read was hardly enough. It made me hungrier. My appetite for all things related to the Dharma was so insatiable i was kind of like the Yidas (Thin-necked-big-bellied-eternally-hungry-beings) in the six-realms.
The college library in Kanglung was my temple; my refuge from the hum-drum-dreary world. I was lost in the Koran, the Gita, the Bible, Judaism and Zen Buddhism. There was particularly one shelf that housed all these treasures. It was tagged "Eastern Philosophy and Religion." Zen Buddhism was a personal favorite. The Tao teaching were another. These books and their philosophies soaked my mind and like a sponge, i took them all in.
You should never mix drugs and religion! It is a recipe for disaster! To top that combo, i was also fascinated by astrology; western astrology and numerology. Hence i had Linda Goodman and a few others telling me how the number "1" is actually the teacher standing wise and erect as the disciple, the number "2" bows at him. Together they total up to "13". The master having none of the negative traits of the "12" zodiacal signs and all the positives. Hence the "12" signs- the "12" disciples of Christ.
Needless to say, Judas was a scorpion. John was a fisherman and so on. It was an intoxicating world!
The Tao masters had their own puzzling tales and anecdotes- done in a fashion to deliberately destroy our conventional bent of mind and leave us totally flummoxed!
I was! And it was refreshing! But like i mentioned earlier, drugs and Dharma books! That's one lethal mixture.
What happens is this: you're so consumed by the wise teachings and sayings that you actually start talking to plants and flowers. You invite the nocturnal insects of the dusky-evening world to your rooms. You talk to dead people hanging on your wall like John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix. They talk back to you!
You go out for a midnight-star-littered piss in the outdoors and you actually see a UFO! And guess what? You actually have the altruistic presence of mind to give them a friendly "wave!"
At least i did all of that.
Time has flown by. In between, you have out-grown some of those attachments and obsessions. You realize that these books have given you some form of knowledge; some form of awareness and information. But along with that also comes the realization that you never really understood the heart and core teachings of all those books you so feverishly devoured.
There's a certain naive innocence about it all and that's kind of endearing. But living in the real world and being knocked bout by the gusty storms of reality makes you more real. Reality really is the wonder of all wonders in the end. Life really is the wonder of all wonders in the end. Through these knocks and realities you find your mind going back to a certain book, a certain phrase, a certain something that you read a long time back and whose revelation now stares at you right in the face!
Circumstances, surroundings, incidents happy and tragic trigger all of these. Moments and bouts of anger, rage, annoyance, pessimism, regret, love and hatred trigger all those associations. You suddenly remember what that line in that book meant. You suddenly realize that this was what that meant.
Now you are beginning to rediscover the meanings of those books. It hits you that this was what the teachers were teaching. Now you are beginning to discover how truly bewildering, complicated and simple life can be...all at once.
And together with those books comes the many proverbs, parables and sayings of famous beings who have said something simple and yet very profound. You realize that Gandhi's "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind" is indeed profound clarity!
You realize the songs you have sung do echo in the distance, telling you, reminding you that "life is indeed what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Now the songs are more than just mere melodies. The proverbs are more than just mere sayings and the books are more than just letters and words. Now you will never approach another book, song or phrase the way you used to. Now you are ready and beginning to learn everything all over again!
It is life itself.