You start where you can. Eternity kills, and nihilism commits suicide. Sometimes you survive both, and find yourself in retreat. And you continue where you are.
I’ve withdrawn. Disembodied myself in a metaphysical sense. I’m here on a material ledge, seeking a spiritual edge. I’m a subject enamored by the object within. When a form is born in space, isn’t that what we call ‘time’? And time seems to do one thing very well; keeping the watch.
For better or worse, I’m keeping the watch.
Once in a blue moon, you see the moon. Mostly, the finger pointing at it keeps us all preoccupied, where it becomes a full-time occupation. Where keen eyes go pensive. Aging body eats, walks, and talks.
Samsara labors. And Nirvana keeps asleep.
The neighborhood monkeys are up, mocking serenity. Winged skies bird in space. Today the void is cloudy. The breeze has sway, rippling the river. When you see the fish the fish see you too, but right now the waters’ too murky. There’s the buffalo, wallowing in gravity. Here’s a dog, barking emptiness. There’s the spider, weaving a web of spontaneity, trapping emptiness. The Venerable Alan Watts says you’re an aperture through which the universe looks at itself. I say you’re a Wholesome Hole, spying on yourself, playing the voyeur, feeling the guilt, forgetting to remember, and finally dying solid with loss and regret.
When reality matters there’s a lot of noise. The commotion is the disturbance.
When illusion shatters there’s no sound. Quiet becomes the void.
See. How the high rivers empty into the lower sea. Watch. How the mountains rise. It seems everything is the consequence of everything else. Have you ever met an inconsequential thing that did not matter in some importance?
Samsara is nirvana; and nirvana, samsara.
My failures are fleeting, along with any sense of success. When one is angry two is no more a company. A common housefly loves another housefly, as much as every Romeo did love his Juliet. See how it massages its arms and legs.
Peace often travels abuzz. And anger moves in smiles.
The important thing is remember the unimportant thing. Flaws now become peeping holes, through which I may gauge myself. The ideal is tidal, waving to and fro along the shore. Shaping it. Changing it. What I don’t know shadows what I do. A play of perception. The eclipse alights in dark reminders. The absence is the presence.
And in all our comings and goings; we’re all exactly where we need to be.
I say it’s not their fault. I say there’s nothing wrong with everything that’s wrong. It’s not their fault. They didn’t do it. My idea of who they are and of what I should be are the same. Ideas replacing ideas. Changing every day. Nothing’s right either. The pinpointing pricks itself. I don’t know what’s happening in your world. That’s OK. I don’t have to know.
The number of anything and everything is directly related to the number perceiving them.
Thought begets thought. Knowledge confines knowledge. Experience restricts experience. The watchman towers above, looking down. The guard is a perpetual eye in the sky. Every single memory is a time-traveling assassin. Remembrance captivates and incarcerates. Thinking robs moments. The body is booby-trapped with sensibilities. The mind is a minefield of explosions, trigger-happy. Escaping it all takes time, energy, and space. You must give up each and every thing you value. Such freedom is elusive, but reachable. Question is, can you make the sacrifice, or do you have the recognition?
When awareness is aware of awareness, who’s aware of it?
You’ve memories. Recent and long past. Some of us live in them; as nostalgia, where the good old days gather. And melancholy; where they die. It begins with our caged-birth, where we cry-out for life. And as life flows with life, we dam it with memory. Slowly choking it, suffocating it, killing it. The sheer effort to live itself becomes the victim, and its murderer. Can you recall an unborn memory? Is your consciousness free of itself?
How do you taste your own tongue? Bite your own teeth?
Here’s birth. You don’t choose it. Unless you’re some sublime bodhisattva. The majority of us come back blank. Its arrival from nowhere. An involuntary flight. Now crash-landing at a pit-stop. A long journey you don’t remember comes to a stop, and re-plays. You’re now here. You’re crying-out loud, appropriately, for you know there’s a life of tears waiting ahead. Waiting to be shed. And this is the only time you’re allowed to cry, as loudly, as openly, and you’d be all the more cherished for it. As briefly as that the suckling moment’s over. You’ve been weaned. You’re growing up. Expected to deliver. Assume responsibility. Become important. And leave behind a legacy if you can, or will. And then what?
The rainbow wasn’t made to be owned. Grasp and you suffer.
Life seizes center-stage. You’re thrust into the spotlight. Its performance-art. But it’s eerie. Something’s not right. Something’s amiss. The realization shakes you like an earthquake. You’ve never known yourself. You’ve been too busy making ends meet, or too lost bridging earth and sky. Now you wanna go seek, meet and make peace, with whoever you might be.
When fear becomes familiar, the face of the devil begins to look less evil.
It’s time to cry. And you cry alone. Or become a stone. In any case the repayment of karmic-debts has begun in earnest, or in resistance. You’ve to settle dues. The heart’s weary with burden. There’s no shortcut. Under the table is as useless as over the table. The only way out is in. Reconciliation hurts. But there’s no choice. You’ve to pay. And pay you do.
When karma burns karma, the ashes become dharma.
In life, you’ve a modicum of choice. Or so you believe. By the time you actually arrive at a point where you truly make a conscious choice there is not much time left. The dues have hardly been paid, in fact, they’ve been doubled, tripled, even more than quadrupled. You’re now more indebted than you were in the beginning. Payback closes in. The dues deliver no clues.
Where you sit is where you start, where you start is where you sit.
Your state of existence is reflected. The temple bells wails. The muezzin’s prayers are full of fear. The river has no head, and no tail. The pilgrims are doomed in their beliefs. The gods are man-made, and people journey on making comparisons. The path you walk is one among its many roads.
Distraction distracts. Temptation tempts. Reminders remind.
The world mirrors your maladies. It’s sick with affliction. The haves and have-nots are both infected. But they go on treating the symptoms, ignoring the disease. Even if they detected the illness, there is no medicine for such ailment. The remedy found is no cure, just a lull. It’s now quite certain that you’ve always been sick. The shadow catches up, looming large, dwarfing your token resistance, enveloping you in a thickening shroud.
Summer’s smiles come as autumn’s falls; winter’s dread welcomes spring’s thread.
What thing isn’t made-up of other-things?
Your refuge shrinks. You run out of shelters. In a life full of apologies, this might rank as the final excuse, the last outburst. The lights are black. The darkness is complete. You’re a subterranean being groping on in the dark. At this point, a cave sounds like a mansion.
The majestic peak of a mountain begins in the depths of the abyss.
So you wake up, with an equal dose of fright and wonder. The fright comes from the fact that you’ve woken up, and the wonder at the fact that you’ve woken up at all. The questions still lie unanswered, and they rise up for one more day of inquiry.
Until it exhausts itself, everything is effort. Exhaustion is the beginning of effortlessness.