Tuesday, February 23, 2016

chills, thrills and goosebumps

Just an interesting article about goosebumps.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Adam,

    Yes goosebumps. I just had it a few seconds ago. I realise I can hardly cope with the goosebumps by myself so I recalled instantaneously that you and my father are probably still alive so I thought I will send one a message.

    Because you are the news reporter that survived World War 2 you see, I am neither a reporter nor am I a war veteran.

    So there is this guy named Harish Nanjappa who got pretty famous in India, one main reason is because his body was cut into half during a traffic accident. There are photographs of his torso separated from his lower body over the internet. Now the photographs are very disgusting, yet all I could offer was goosebumps. This handsome chap apparently made headlines because his dying wish was to help others i.e. donate his organs. As we are Buddhists, the Buddha in the Diamond Sutra often spoke about how even when He got Himself amputated He neither felt any malice nor anger. So, when I regard Harish Nanjappa's last thought when he is dying, I saw a bodhisattva in my mind.

    I do not have such guts, seriously. Yet, when I saw photographs of him lying on the ground with half his body a meter away, I recall a lot of zen aphorisms that you taught over these years I knew you existed. More than that, I noted approximately all the Steven Spielberg HBO mini series on World War 2 as well as first person military computer games I have played. Usually when we make movies and games we leave the actors and actresses safe without harming them, but the truth is that history holds true that 70 years ago whether at Omaha Beach or Okinawa, the sight of a man being torn into half is just the usual piece of shit that men have to go through as disillusioned soldiers, in a way.

    In other words, I do not see the need for apathy. We empathise, I empathise, because it is my job as a zen student. Yet of all the English words I know of, few carry any real profound meaning when somebody is cut into half on the road, or when I see somebody being cut into half on a screen.

    Except the word 'mother'.

    I recall this word 'mother', because in Saving Private Ryan it was precisely a scene of a young soldier on Omaha Beach crying out loud for his mother with his guts flowing out. The movie scene is fictitious, yet our historical accounts know everything about what war is, and what happened between 1944 and 1945 in Europe and Pacific. Movies are ficitious, but histories are more than probably real.

    If I have time to create an orbituary on the internet for Harish Nanjappa, I probably have all the time in the world to download all the world war 2 shooter games that the world has got, and kill a couple of German and Japanese animated soldiers that are probably dead today after all.

    I do not advocate violence.

    Yet the goosebumps since a few minutes ago, I do not have a supramundane teaching for them.

    It is supposed to be known as 'rapture', or 'joy' if I were a Theravadin meditator - because I am not the driver that committed that accident and got arrested, perhaps.

    But to suggest that I am experiencing rapture or joy when I see somebody dying with half his body gone, I rather it be called goosebumps.

    I never understood anything about zen.