The most amazing thing that never happened.
Years ago I walked into a bar in Dublin with a friend, what walked out a pint of Guinness later was not that which had walked in. Something indescribable seemed to have occurred. The perfume of that (non-event) pervaded the days after with such an unfamiliar but stunning wonder that I ended up visiting therapist to try and understand what was going on. In the following years I was buddhist for a week, an infrequent and reluctant disciple to some teachers/speakers of Advaita or non-duality before stumbling on The Open Secret (theopensecret.com). There was a slow dawning of recognition that “this” was it/that thing. The following two pages seemed to arrive out of the blue recently and are an expression.......
I want to be special, to belong. I want an audience, to shine and be loved. I seek to make objects that have that certain quality and to be recognised by reflection as creator of their timelessness and thus as beautiful, artistic and special. I want her to find me interesting and attractive, to seduce and build toward the conquest of her underwear. I want to be witty and loved for my turn of phrase, my sense of humour. I want to climb the hardest mountain, measure my endurance against a clock or a mileometer so I can tell the world my size, my value, my enduring qualities. I compare myself to others and judge them so I can reassure myself of my worth and relevance and I am consoled by comparison. I want to possess that object that promises arrival, a new car, handbag or other, and in owning I can seek to possess/grasp the fragrance of the promised splendour, the image, I am Prada.
I am a snob and proud to say I know him or her as if by association I am worth more. I tell my story to be heard and to be recognised, to sell myself in the market place of opinion, to be validated. I seek to understand and to control the unknown. I use my opinions to defend myself and push away the other. Every “she is like this” or “he is like that” is a spark/sword or reflection/deflection by which I can defend/build my own self image, buy the conspiracy of the herd and define myself by setting myself or others apart. As often as not I am what I judge the other to be. I suffer from low self esteem and so I strive for success. I count my pennies and look down on those with less and strive for more. I want to be there for the other because in that moment I am empowered and validated, I help therefor I am worthy.
I am afraid of oblivion, of failure. I fear my depression and distract myself from darkness with irrelevancies. I masturbate and fantasise and crave submission, domination, oblivion. I endeavour to please in order to be loved. I bow to authority. I fear death, old age and illness. I fear criticism and judgement and I judge and criticize. Relationship is conditional and love a compromise/contract based on: power, need and fear. I can be violent, angry and destructive in the name of god and democracy, or just because anger and violence are a means to an end and in any case they deserve to die, or because it's all his/her fault anyway. I am married to addiction. I cannot stand alone. This moment is wrong because of everything that went before, corrupted, tainted and I am so tired of it all.
And even if I seem to be in a loving relationship, a good home, meaningful work, a full life so to speak, somewhere at the edges there is a shredded boundary where these colours play. If I have enough plates spinning I can hop from one to another and all seems well in the dance, I am afloat, dancing in the flotsam but deeper currents flow, when one plate seems to slow I hop to next.....and stave off the plunge.
I can seek. I can strive towards meaning. I can seek the higher, the light, and parade my “profound understanding” or “sanctified self” in the sangha of delusion. My seeking is bound and chained to my loss. Every movement towards (hope) carries unseen/unrecognized the reflection of what I seek to avoid (loss). My light is rooted in darkness. I can uproot myself and begin anew, but I carry with me all the hurts of my past and so will recreate the same again, again, again. There is no escape. I perfume reality with my own unique smell. Eau de moi.
If I am lucky I am unaware and just live, believe in and seemingly enjoy the ride, I may not even stop to question, but if I do I will be confronted with a seeming infinitely complex ball of twine to unravel. I have become a seeming entity, a solid thing, a person. I am apart separate from the universe, a tiny fragment and now my job is to make sense of it all, a fragment, how? I can go to another fragment and seek insight there..... endless, two fragments dancing in the void, a bit like cherry blossoms trying to understand the wind when all is just movement and no sense required. Waiting for Godot.
I could paint you a picture of where this is being written, the space, the light and character of the place but it is of no relevance as so am I. It is as irrelevant as the place where this is perhaps being read and as irrelevant as you. There is no (real) gap between the seeming writing and the seeming reading, we as such are united by death. The paper has more the quality of freedom than the words, see beyond if you can. The words and thoughts expressed here are meaningless squiggles.
It is possible that the whole “construct” of the seeming person collapses into breathlessness time stands still, what remains is impossible to describe, as impossible as to describe silence using sounds/words, they are intrinsic. To even say that “here or now is enough” is to stray back into description, to speak the silence. But all I have are words. In the collapse, everything is, and everything needs nothing more for it to be fulfilled, it is filled full. To say that in this vastness/openness I am no longer here, or that there is an absence where I habitually stand, or that death is life suggests something of the radical flavour of this freedom but can just as easily turn something as simple and natural as breathing into effort/complexity/confusion. To say “I am not” is wrong because everything includes this “me thing”.....seeming me thing.....
In this timelessness there can be no real before or after, but if there was you could say I was once living, and now there is just life. Seemingly “I” am lived, and yet there is a seeming past and seeming future, paradox. How to describe such a revolution where everything whilst seeming in a sense as ever is born afresh, any effort to approach kills the light.
In the seeming before there was some times a me being depressed, in the seeming after there can be a bottomless plunge, a pressure in the brain, a sense of heaviness, but it is not mine to manage, to hold, to heal, it is just what it is, darkness unfiltered in free-fall, boundlessness. In freedom whatever appears is just what it is, vivid, simply being, calling out and reflecting essence, as so is this, darkening, just what it is, as is the treeing, cushioning, tea cupping, so is the seeming doing and seeming person-ing.
In this freeness, perception is subtly imbued with a sense of gratitude and pleasure because it is no longer mine, constrained, contained, confined....and yet is feels somehow life is more intimate that it has ever been. Humanness is perfectly fine and more fully lived because my inner policeman has given up the ghost. My character lives unfiltered and feelings and sensations are fully free to pass uncensored through emptiness unbound. Sometimes it bubbles out as joy incoherent, and I am a clown, a fool, and there are tears, or just sitting in wonderment. It's like stepping out of a hot bath, towelled down and jumping in between clean sheets, delirious, and nothing at all to do with “me”.
I join so many things to be apart of something, in reality nothing is a part, there are no parts in everything, but seeming objects, how strange, inexplicable, inexpressible. Apartness is a seeming illusory function in totality, there is no way in or out, no requirement, no consequence, all is and no more to be said about it.
Home, this, freedom, is the intimacy of a finger tapping a keyboard, the pressure of a cushion, the hum and buzz of insects, cars, the fridge...whatever....digestion....thoughts, movements, feelings, emotions, action, inaction.... all the seeming time it's the subtle whisper/invitation of the sirens song of a million things, calling me out from darkness, from hiding, into oblivious light. It's life lived in unknowing by and for no one and it is humanness in all it's colours unbound. It is catness, dogness, or treeness, thingness........ It is also simpler than simple and what I always once was without knowing as an innocent what I lost when knowing/apartness began. It is also almost universally always rejected, cannot be held, owned, approached, understood or described. The stone that the builder refused.
It is the most intimate caress by invisible fingers, whispering all the time “this is home” but mostly falling on deaf ears, and who in any case could accept the invitation? Yet I am called, all the time..... life sings and dances and I miss the party until I dissolve and merge with unknowing......
Ian somewhere in France 2020.