...Did you know you can eat lotus seeds? I didn't. Not until this trip, anyway.
At the end of a long trip, a bit tired, I've found it difficult to organize myself and muster the energy for a post the past few days. as it happens, I am about to get on a plane to come home tonight, and I felt one last post from here in China was in order.
It's a difficult thing to admit to ourselves that we are essentially dishonest. All of us, in one way or another. This summer I heard a reading of Mr. Gurdjieff's where he expounded on this. In the reading, he told the listener that everything in their life is based on lies.
Of course, at the time, it occurred to me that he was painting the canvas a darker shader of black than was absolutely necessary. Nonetheless, looking back at it-having allowed it to percolate for a month, which is always needed--I can see his point.
For myself, living within the current experience of this life (that is, within a kind of self-observation which is no longer wholly based in intellect or imagination) I see that most of me has dishonest impulses, all of which arise within what I'd call the "field of association."
It's surprising how utterly self--serving my ego is, how it is always looking only towards what it can get for itself, and how sneakily, underhandedly, fundamentally dishonest most of the impulses that arise within the field of association are.
The fact is that I am constantly forced to go against these impulses if I don't want them to be the rulers and determinants of my life. And in order to do that I am required to constantly sacrifice--to make an effort to go against my lies, as best I can (which, truth be told, isn't very well.)
I say I am "surprised" by these parts, but that's not entirely true either. By now I've been watching them for so long that most of them are familiar old friends, even if their company is undesirable. I've seen my sleazy impulses once too often; when I was younger they were a bit harder to resist than they are now. Instead, today, the essential activity is one of watching this unpleasant side of me maintain a constant dialogue and critique of the events around me. It's rather annoying to have to watch one impulse after another which is dishonest and unseemly arise.
All of this calls into question just what I am. It turns out that anything worthwhile in me appears to be born precisely out of this mass of lying impulses, and the effort to prevent them from making the decisions.
The difficulty with finding oneself in the middle of this ocean of lies, and truly seeing it in a less partial way, is that the mooring for the ship is cast off, and one discovers that one is adrift.
The boat may be floating, but one sees that the direction is determined by the current, and one has not yet acquired oars or a rudder to direct it.
May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.