If a plant that thrives in temperate zones is placed under the tropical sun it doesn’t take long to die. If a creature that thrives in temperate zones is brought to the steaming tropics it will try to run away. Yet if a human that thrives in temperate zones finds itself in those tropical climes it will often force itself to adapt with a barrage of shoulds, oughts, musts, and air-conditioning.
Conflict may seem to be resolved in the mind but the body silently suffers. The evidence is visible all around: lethargy alcoholism substance-abuse obesity skin-cancer depression … and the root of all this suffering? The dragon – the one described so well by Joseph Campbell as the dragon whose every scale bears the dictum: THOU SHALT!
The secret sword that slays the dragon is the question: WHO SHALT?
Who is the one who must adapt? And who says so? Dragons are notoriously difficult to find, yet they dissolve in the mirror-light of Awareness. The conditioning that constructs them vaporizes. No ‘shalts’ survive. It’s all a matter of fearless eye-balling.
Sometimes one gets frustrated trying to find clean and accurate phrases to wordify this immaculate suchness – ‘n’ – the ‘what-is.’
Language – this English one at any rate – is quite useless for this purpose. Whatever is uttered immediately needs qualification, adjustment, explanation.
Perhaps poetry is the medium, but its technologies aren’t known to me.
(Are they knowable at all?)
The problem is the subject-object split.
If I say, “I am sad”, for example, I lie.
I cannot find an owner of sadness (or any-thing else).
Sadness simply is ‘what-is.’
Perhaps one could say, “I is sadness.”
But that would be grammatically clumsy. And also irrelevant, because the ‘I’ seeks no reason for it; ‘I’ has no aversion towards it; has no need to express it.
The sensation of sadness is an energetic body-brain response to apparent conditions, often appropriate and inevitable in the grand scheme of dream-scenarios – as is all suffering, at the bottom line.
And, like the dreams, changing, always changing.
How then to write about That which never changes?
Poetry is the medium.
Like creativity, knowing nothing about how to ‘do it’ is probably the only way for it to happen.
Old mates mill around at the moment.
One is convinced global evil is now over-powering goodness, and wants to leave
One is bored, yet afraid to emerge from her cocoon of security.
One is desperate to do something productive and meaningful for humanity.
One is locked into needing to know “what’s next?” and remains stuck.
They share the same symptoms of discontent: mind’s default dualism. They still believe in something they have failed to deeply inquire into, something that drives the great wheel of suffering.
And when I acknowledge their stories I too descend into a kind of schizophrenia . . . knowing something I cannot yet share, for when I try, they cannot hear.
Sometimes I feel like an actor in a phony role, yet there’s acute awareness that this seeming dissembling is not outside of Life’s perfect play.
It takes some getting used to, this unarguable Totality.
vulnerability = ability to be wounded
it is openness to Life’s slings and arrows
as well as its joys and pleasures
vulnerability is innocence
before the story kicks in
without a story about myself
and without a story about who and what
what is there to be hurt
and what is there to defend?
in true vulnerability, suffering is impossible
pain in gum: tooth trouble
pain in throat: head cold
how extraordinary to find
that pain and peace entwine!
when the response is relaxation
into whatever life presents,
when agony and angst are fully allowed,
pain simply does its physiological work;
and intelligence responds
That, which lives this body
and awares its pain and discomfort
knows no suffering
what if the little verb ‘to be’
woke up one fine morning
and realized that it was a homeless orphan?
what if its job description had been
modified overnight without consultation?
what if it was now relieved from its
personal applications, redundant,
only useful as a conventional
figure of speech?
no one to be asleep
no one to be wakened
no world to be an illusion
no void to be empty
no emptiness to be filled
no form to be found
no happiness to be chased
no suffering to be escaped
no purpose to be discovered
no meaning to be understood
what a shock that would be for a very busy ‘be’
after a lifetime of endlessly and earnestly
running around doing its determined duties
and always avoiding that inevitable destiny
of coming to a halt and remembering
how to simply be
recovery would take a while
but it too would come to pass as effortlessly
as bloom those flowers
that neither spin nor sew
oh the delight of a ‘be’ set free!
it’s true that the word is not the thing
but words can be powerful pointers
it’s fun, and often revealing
to take them apart
and see what can be seen:
see Freud and co
(hang on by skin of)
contingent upon …
neurosis, source of suffering
(she can’t help it; she used to be a teacher)