Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Perhaps we'd like to call all of existence "absolute love" because that is a promise of comfort to the fragile, timorous ego. Yet what is, simply is, before we label it with any reassuring or despairing concept. Those thoughts, whatever they are, just come; and after, so it seems, we give them credence. We believe this or that about reality, and those belief systems are all the causes and conditions of a life, memory, upbringing and the Universe itself, coming together, seemingly over and over, in this ever-present endless moment. There is nothing wrong with belief. There is nothing wrong with "wrong" belief, or falsehood, or truth; these are arbitrary labels, subject to all the causes and conditions mentioned; reality will be interpreted as a matter of survival. There is no escaping the truth of mere existence. It is, whether it is obviously apprehended or not. It is, in everything, in every appearance, every act, each thought, all feelings; it is every frantic manifestation of reality, ever transforming, never changing. It is, whatever it is labeled, by billions of label-makers. Truth is here. Truth is this. Truth is existence.
Being is never lost, so can never be sought. Seeking is a bundle of thoughts, feelings and interpretations happening here and now. The feeling of emptiness can be the flavour of all, just now. It does not matter what the bundle seems to be. It does not matter what how the story of one life, all of humanity or the Universe seems to be unfolding. These labels are fleeting, ambiguous, ever-changing and unimportant. What matters is existence itself, whatever its apparent form. And mere, absolute existence mattering or not is yet another arbitrary label, as are the words and concepts contained in this brief essay. Read, or do not. Interpret, or ignore. Take comfort, or tremble at the void; there is no choice about what happens or what is thought and felt; there never "was"; there never "will be". Even the most conscious, responsible choices are choiceless. All the Universe comes together for these apparently well-thought-out decisions. When the last sacred belief is no more, when the last unbreakable tenet is discarded, when everything is gone, then everything is possible, and everything can be reveled in, by the reveling itself. And whether this happens or not is also unimportant. It only matters to the nebulous, ghost-like identity.
If seeking enlightenment no longer holds persuasion, take it as a "good" sign.
Even the Grinch must exist, and a fine thing too, even if he didn't have his own spiritual awakening at the top of Mount Crumpet. The best part of our family Christmas celebrations involves watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the original Chuck Jones/Theodor Seuss Geisel collaboration, not Jim Carrey's somewhat overblown full-length cinema version - and waiting for the smile that accompanies his wonderful, awful idea. I remember reading an Atlantic article in the 70's calling Mr. Jones the great lost actor of his generation, as he drew his own emoting visage in the faces of characters from Sylvester the Cat to Jerry the cat to Bugs Bunny himself. And, of course, the Grinch. I can't find that article online but here's a fine article on Charles M. Jones' life and work. Merry Christmas.