Monday, June 30, 2008

Be still the mind

Did you never walk down the street on a warm day, the smell of eucalyptus/coffee/wildflowers in the air, the breeze on your face, and a song you love came on your iPod and you just thought

omfg

A day will come when I am not.

If we could not soar, we would have nothing to fear. But knowing that we are not tied to the earth makes us wish we were birds always.

I am not despising the mundane, and if you think I am, you have mistaken my meaning. We do not soar when we rise above the world. We soar when we are fully part of it.

Sometimes, Naughtyman does a wild dance that not only absorbs him but sucks all the energy and focus in the room into his circles. You cannot help but watch him and laugh. You would not be able to ignore him.

It is his pure joy in having a body that makes you want to look.

Did you ever, just after exercising, feel the blood flowing through your body, your heart pounding, your breathing strong and true, and say to yourself

Now I am truly immortal.

***

Look.

Don't pretend you knew all along. It feels like you did.

But you do not know what you knew until after you knew it. This is my belief about how we are conscious: we know where we are after we have been there for a while, and then it seems like we always knew where we were.

What we have are the echoes of a stone falling into a well. We hear the echoes and then work out what made the noise.

Sometimes we believe we threw the stone. But we have no arms to throw with. Nor ears to hear.

So what are the echoes? If they are not things we construct in our head, what are they?

We are trying to find out, and it may be that when a tree falls in the middle of the forest, there is a sound, and we are less important to constructing our reality than we think we are.

(I can hear boots tut-tutting, but I fear boots has forgotten he is a monkey.)

Which we are.

I looked in my rearview mirror today and saw an old couple in an oldish car. The woman looked very much like an ape.

I've sometimes thought how curious it is that racists make out that blacks look like monkeys when actually it's whites who do. You can see the ape in us, whereas blacks rarely have that sunken cheekbone thing that makes you really resemble a chimp.

Which we forget we are.

Yes, you think you are so special. And you are. You are your own sun in your own solar system. You are not wrong to think that.

But it's like you're in a galaxy and that makes you less special. And that galaxy is part of a vast, mostly empty universe, and that makes you more special, but smaller.

So small we can barely see you.

***

Because we are blind. We look at each other and do not know what we are seeing.

Stop, stop. You are thinking it doesn't matter. Stop though. I know it doesn't matter. None of it matters.

You are just atoms spinning in a void.

I am excited that we will collide large hadrons. I do not care what the answers are, but I love them to be asked.

I love that we are able to ask questions, but it too is a cause of sadness. Because the questions are endless, even though we have the illusion of progress and believe we might one day know it all, and life isn't. I will never find out the answers to many questions.

It is a good thing that the questions are generally more intriguing than the answers. The difference is similar to that between cooking and eating. Cooking is involving, deep, satisfying. Eating is a brief satisfaction.

And you know why I struggle so? Because I could, can, do achieve what others find hard easily. And that has never been enough.

I have a restlessness in me too that can never be quelled. It's not just a roving eye or wanderlust: it's a roving heart.

Yeah, I know. I do not have a heart, really, that is anything other than a clutch of muscle.

But fig it. It feels like you feel, doesn't it?

And today, driving along Mt Cotton Rd, the vivid colours of the trees, the solid sheet of blue water in Tingalpa Reservoir, taking flight with the rise and fall of Juanita Stein's voice

I forgot I had to cease to be because I was here and being.

And if I close my eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind, if I close the eyes, and still the mind

even mantras have an end, but the wind, does the wind too have to have its end in some lonely future when our sun flings itself out into space, when we are long gone, our deeds not even forgotten because nothing remains to forget, and my genes, should they survive even a few generations, long dwindled, diluted to nothing or simply ceased to be passed, the only purpose I had futile in the longest of runs, does the wind have also to cease to be?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Paula Light said...

Yes, I do have that thought ("omfg"), and frequently. It's exactly as you describe for me as well. I find that interesting -- that you and I are so different and yet we experience this omfg-ness the same way. Maybe that means something, but probably not.

July 1, 2008 at 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Arleen said...

I've never had that thought. Not in that way. I've thought about the world without me, but it's more like, so?

Death doesn't bother me as much as knowing that I have less and less time to make my dreams come true.

July 1, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous $Zero said...

yo, Zen, i've been playing Texas Hold'em for the last couple months.

about a dozen of us get together and do a ten-dollar entry fee tourney once or twice a week -- winner takes all (minus the snack draw).

although, usually once it gets to heads-up one-on-one play, one of the two players suggests that the pot be split up to reflect the two chip stacks.

not me.

i almost always like to play it out.

why?

probably because i've learned the most valuable poker lesson:

how to win with crappy cards.

(great book title, huh?)

and not only is that a useful set of card-playing skills to develop, it's also lotsa fun.

so anyway, while i'm busy counting up all of my winnings for the night i often feel obligated to be generous to the second-place loser, hence flipping them off a few bills in exchange for all the laughs i've enjoyed at their expense.

so anyway, our weekly games have gotten so entertaining that we're gonna be doing a hundred dollar entry fee pretty soon.

who do you think came up with the idea for raising the ante?

well hey, in my way of thinkins, it's way better to keep the money amongst friends than always hearing about them blowing it at the fricken' casino.

July 1, 2008 at 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Dr Zen said...

I have no idea how to win with bad cards. Sometimes, not with any cards at all.

July 1, 2008 at 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

"..and we are less important to constructing our reality than we think we are.

(I can hear boots tut-tutting, but I fear boots has forgotten he is a monkey.)

Which we are."


The nature of the mind seems to be that it will apply closure to whatever is at hand and create a justification for its beliefs on-the-fly.

While we are less important in the construction of our individual realities than we might think, that is not because we are monkeys in a mechanical world and in the final analysis we create our worlds in their entirety either through enlightened intent or as a result of our arrogance.

"I have no idea how to win with bad cards. Sometimes, not with any cards at all."

Try paying less attention the outcome and more attention to the experience. It is after all being created specifically for you by you with special attention to the curing of your arrogance through experience. If you insist that you are a monkey you will find that you have made yourself one.

July 1, 2008 at 8:28 PM  

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