Saturday, 20 November 2010

When You Do Dance, I Wish You a Wave o' the Sea, That You Might Ever Do Nothing but That.

There is a lot of thought put into the quality of life, the actions, the motives, the intentions; there is profound judgment put upon those actions, and many hierarchies spring into existence; lists and names, desirable traits and defects of character, formulas for living and commandments for behaviour. It is all understandable. Perhaps it stems from the story of survival, and useful fear, and the need for protection. Maybe this fear of death so many of us desire to conquer is a necessary tool for survival. These stories of heaven and hell, afterlife, rebirth, karma and purdah are simply the mind's natural response to the need to survive.

Existence itself just exists, and does not judge. All states are equal, all objects equivalent. All motives are accepted, all actions simply are. Good and bad may be, light and dark, object and subject, killer and victim; but for there to be appearance, there must always be opposing forces, and they are what they are, as we have all noted, over many apparent ages; the manifestation changes constantly, but the pattern changes little. Existence cares not for the outcome of the story; all outcomes are identical. We have become caught up in the story and its outcome. Existence is here and now. The story, and this identity we protect and need to survive, is icing on the cake, fun and painful, satisfying and distressing, but entirely unimportant.

It doesn't matter which dance is performed. All the dances that exist, exist, and they all must be. There is simply dancing. All types are necessary. It is all dancing, this life, and some dancers appear to be more proficient than others. Some dancers are highly skilled, and some seem to have a natural rhythm. Some dances are ugly and warlike, others beautiful and airy. The dance happens now, and it is always now, and we are always dancing.

Maybe you've caught the dance theme of this blog keeping with that, and entirely opposing (it's necessary after all) the themes of oneness, witness Fred and Ginger in the pinnacle of this particular, innocuous human achievement: the pas de deux. And remember - whatever Fred had to do, Ginger had to do backwards, wearing heels!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Well, Jove, Not I, Is the Doer of This, and He Is to Be Thanked.

It is not necessary for life to be anything other than what it is. There is no need to feel a different way, to act a different way, or to think a different way...including thinking that you need to act, feel and think a different way. There is no way that what is happening, or seems to be happening, could be anything other than what it is. The identity, so apparently entrenched and subtle in its persistence, is a phantom...albeit a tenacious one. This phantom is useful for survival, and all the actions and feelings and thoughts that appear are some spin on the need to survive. They are all understandable, and inevitably some will be judged to be misguided. But before the mind, operator of time, latches on what is and judges it, it simply is.

What is accepts all; it is all. It accepts outrage at what is; that, too, is what is. Life is life. There is no other. The fact that anything exists at all is the miracle. However the story plays out, that is the story; and the story, although there seems to be objective truth, and actions and feelings and thoughts and interpretations can be compared to some objective standard, there is very little absolute truth in this vast and fascinating appearance. There is the truth of its existence; this is the simplest truth, and the only one. Enlightenment is this. It is what is. There is no way to get to what is except here, and now.

I recently watched To Kill a Mockingbird with my family, and despite the judgmental protests from the children ("It's not in black and white, is it?"), we were all soon captivated. Atticus Finch is perhaps the most appealing hero in modern literature. His integrity is something that seems to beckon to us all. However, in this clip the star is Sheriff Heck Tate. Boo Radley, town recluse, has just rescued Atticus' children from attack; in the struggle, Boo kills the attacker. Atticus tries to rescue the situation by suggesting that his son, Jem, be blamed for the stabbing, which would obviously be self-defense, committed by a child, and not liable to result in any punishment. Sherriff Tate has a better idea. The clip is worth watching just for the way actor Frank Overton, as the Sheriff, says "it's a sin". See the film, but beforehand, read the book. As stories go, there are few better.