Death comes, of a morning, to sit in my lap while I smoke and drink coffee. We chat amicably in an unspoken language that is akin to water burbling in a shallow, flowing river -- each small sound resounding, across the small waves, and harmonizing with yet another across the way.
He sits in my lap, light as a ring of exhaled tobacco smoke, and we talk. I worry that if I die, he will be lonely. It's obviously a ridiculous worry since he already keeps company with a majority of others ... he will not be lonely ... and yet I worry. There is no friction between us. Everything is light and bubbly and fair.
As light as smoke, sitting in my lap for a morning chat. He is as comfortably situated in my lap as once my baby children were -- hammocked in the crook of my right arm -- and yet requiring no rock-and-murmuring. He is whole and grown and burbling as I too burble. Does he fret, I wonder, that he might die and leave me lonely? I want to reassure him that there is no need to worry.
We chortle and bubble and harmonize and time passes as I smoke and sip coffee.
I cannot personify death. I feel that I am trapped in a coffin made of biological goo, and running out of air. There is only self separated from the universe. I'm a bad buddhist.ReplyDelete
Charlie -- "I'm a bad Buddhist???????"Delete
Next thing I know you'll be claiming worse ... as in ... "I'm a good Buddhist."
Stop it! Even in jest.
Aside from my intentions, as much as I can understand them, I doubt I'll ever associate myself as a good anything. No jest about it. Water's wet.Delete
Unlike you, olcharlie, I never felt trapped in a biological coffin. Maybe I will, one day, as the body degrades. Until then, I feel within an amazing biological vessel that brought to life this individualized consciousness who has had the opportunity to see life beyond separation. That doesn't make me associate myself as a good - or bad -Delete
anything. Indeed, while I sometimes feel grateful that I've had the opportunity, to be frank it often feels more like a curse. "Water is wet." I love water. On rainy days too, but especially on a sunny day.
I hope you never feel trapped in your body. It's not a nice feeling. I'm really struggling with it, fear, dread, panic. I imagine most folk don't experience anything like this. I don't think it's mandatory or inevitable, just the cards I'm holding right now. I've had better cards before this hand. Whatever you may have wanted, you take what you get... and this too shall pass, one way or another.Delete
I feel trapped in this world, of which I feel a part and - yes - I'm struggling with it too. Not so much fear anymore, but sadness, frustration and resignation describe my feelings better. It's not a nice feeling either.Delete
"There is only self separated from the universe", said olcharlie. Is separation from the universe even possible? I can't think of better evidence than our very breath to prove how separation is an illusion, which - in my mind at least - doesn't mean that individual self is altogether an illusion. Don't we have different life stories, experiences and traits? Don't we live and die? There's a difference between feeling "one - a whole part connected - with the universe" and "I'm the universe". Death to me sounds more like the later, so like olcharlie, I can't personify death either. A fruit isn't the tree but is one with the tree, until it falls to the ground and becomes food for all sorts of bugs, to the tree that gave birth to it or maybe even give birth to a new tree. I'll have plenty of time to rot and become something else. Does seeing life like this make me a Buddhist? Don't know and - to be honest - don't really care. For the time being and that I may have left, "I am" and that is enough for me.ReplyDelete
For me, feeling wrapped up in an eventual demise, it feels like a separation, losing the body little by little until completely. It gets in the way of feeling connected somehow. Projecting ahead isn't being here now, but in each now I'm experiencing a diminishment. It's just change, but I've got a lot of aversion attached to it. I've always thought biology was a pretty sloppy way to get around, but I have grown attached to it. I imagine all religions have in common our discomfort with ourselves and the universe. But ol'buddha man summed it up pretty well with the grasping and aversion and attachment. Sometimes being is a wrestling match with yourself.ReplyDelete
I never enjoyed reading apostle Paul's writings much because of what - to me - feels like an extreme aversion to the biological body. I never got that sense of aversion to it reading passages from Jesus or Buddha, but I haven't read them all. Sure, the body does pose some serious challenges, frustrations even, but I still feel we would be less with a cold metal body and mind. As for my discomfort with the world, I would lie if I said I don't feel aversion to it, though not so much with the world, but rather with what is going on in it. It's especially hard for me to not feel aversion when I look back and understand that my body and mind has been under attack and so many traps have been laid on my way, from before the day I was born and long before I realised it. This two-class system we live in and is so heavily promoted certainly gets a lot in the way of feeling connected. Makes it feel it's a one-way connection and I don't think that works well. It makes me feel that the only chance I'll ever have to experience life has been mostly reduced to a mediocre prison world experience. And I can't imagine being on the up side would make much difference either. Prison guards also live in prisons. I love feeling free, why I love nature so much. No spiritual teachings have managed to remove that sense completely away. The reminders are daily. More and more, removing myself from society and social life is the only thing that eases that sense away.Delete
Biology enjoys food and sex, but being a cloud might be nice too. I shared this thought with Adam a while back. Hope he won't mind if I throw it in here for you.ReplyDelete
From the Big Bang on our universe has been a circus of particles ping ponging into each other. Some are increased by collision, akin to eating, and some are diminished by collision, akin to being eaten. Do these particles feel anything about it? Dunno. We’re told that you can’t experience pain without nerve cells carrying information about such experiences to a blood soaked sponge of similar cells that will opine negatively. But somewhere along the way, some complex proteins got together and declared I AM… not food, but I am feeling peckish. I am separate from the things around me. I am a self. Perhaps I overstate the experience, but this roughly defines the beginning of our situation.
We are given to understand that animals kill and eat other life forms. But this isn’t exactly true. Animals eat other life forms, and the death of the eaten will occur somewhere along the way. A deer for instance can lay there, glassy eyed and in shock having surrendered to being eaten, to some extent experiencing having it’s guts and limbs chewed away while waiting for death to occur. I imagine one must have pretty low self esteem during such a process, no longer having options or a future. Not that there were ever much in the way of such things to begin with. But food is no longer able to defend itself through flight or fight, and no longer able to sustain itself through eating. Food will never again enjoy coitus. But then it will never shiver with the cold either.
A universe that is constantly and entirely changing can’t really have a future. All outcomes end as food, whether eaten or not, either digested or in a state of unmolested dissolution. An ability to defend or sustain will be ultimately erased. Low self esteem is the only real outcome, assuming there is ever an end to things. I take it that the zen way is to not carry it with a judgment or emotional response, just to experience it, to be aware while awareness is possible. Fortunately we have endorphins to ease us through it, something less complex forms may lack the benefit of.
So I am food now, bits being digested by other bits of my biology along with the occasional insect, and the rest slowly dissolving. I do feel somewhat trapped in a biological coffin and that does strike a fearful chord. But I find heights that didn’t faze me once upon a time, can now make my heart lurch, even if just seen on the boob tube. Perhaps being less busy increases sensitivity, or just makes one more available to notice what was previously ignored. And here’s something I wouldn’t have expected, self esteem feels irrelevant. My successes and failures are really unimportant, just unrecorded history. And I would really like more endorphins please. Hydrocodone just doesn’t cut it.
Self esteem seems irrelevant to me too. I tend to agree with Krishnamurti's words "it's not a sign of health feeling adjusted to a sick society." And if other people can't see how sick it is to live in and support societal systems where babies brains are screwed up with shots containing muriatic acid, drain cleaner and mercury and where the vast majority of 2nd class citizens are bound to debt - a form of slavery - and often treated when not put down like cattle, even in some of the most progressive countries, especially those that so hypocritically uphold banners of freedom and human rights, then - at least in my eyes - it's not my self-esteem that is diminishing and being eaten, but theirs. I just rather not be a part of the way or be eaten game and simply move out of sight. Out of societal sight doesn't mean diminishing self-esteem. Different things. I don't even bother measuring myself, less even by sick society standards. In all honesty, my greatest consolation is not leaving any kids in this world.Delete
Correction: I just rather not be a part of the eat* or be eaten game and simply move out of sight.Delete
Do consider that I'm from an EU country that prides itself of being civilized while a portion of people have fun watching guys in pink tights and gold embroidered suits running around and sticking blades on an animal's back, a country where the government spends 11 million euros a year on a privately owned and very lucrative technology event, while cancer struck children under hospital care sleep in ship containers - that's right, ship containers -, where natural forests have been devasted to give place to huge eucalyptus plantations that are bound to one day turn the country into a desert and where a primary school that in a couple or so years moved up rank from 1.200+ place to the top 10 and should be a case study was instead shut down. So, yeah, not my self-esteem problem. It's those who rather play along this sick society game that may want to consider whether their self-esteem is overrated or underrated. I suppose that may sound a bit arrogant of me though. But, hijacking Adam's words "fuck it".Delete
As for more endorphins, don't know about you, but riding my bycicle, walking in the woods or even laying on the grass in a park under the sunshine usually does the trick for me. As for coitus, well... it can be overrated as well. I find it as good as the connection with who it's done with and I rather do without disconnected coitus, where it comes down to eat or be eaten.Delete