Wednesday, May 4, 2011

burning down the house

This bald eagle was perched in a tree on Monday morning as I took the famous dog Isabel for her daily walk. As luck would have it, I had my telephoto lens with me.

Fortune favors those who are prepared.

I've been collecting impressions on the subject of today's essay most of the week, and I just don't know how to express it. In the end, it's necessary to just take a shot at it. It won't be right. That's already a given. Nonetheless, an effort needs to be made.

It occurred to me earlier in the week that the mind wants to burn down the house, just to see what's in it.

Have you noticed how much time we spend picking things apart with the mind? Discussing endless aspects of how things are, what we feel like, examining the question of what reality was, is, or might be in the future? Saying that we think things are like this, like that, might be this way, or that way. We live within this: the mind trying to tell us how the mind will be if we become free of the mind. We are so engaged by this reflexive activity that we are unable to see the irony in it.

Do you ever get the impression that 100% of this activity is useless?

What about just being here? Is it necessary to pick that apart?

Isn't everything just so?

Life is a whole thing. Impressions are a whole thing. There is no point in living in a house divided. True, I live in a house divided–but perhaps it is possible for me to see that, and to give up the idea–the misconception–that anything coming from that direction can unify the house.

Something entirely new needs to take place. Not anticipated, planned, described, explained, analyzed, or expected.


Unexplained, spontaneous, mysterious, inexplicable, irreducible, and unexpected.

Every moment that is devoted more directly to sensation, feeling, thought, and the integration, the union, of all those qualities–every moment that is devoted to an organic sense of being is a step in the right direction.

None of those languages need to be expressed in words. Each one of them can meet in the organism in a place that may not be now, but has the potential to discover now.

Now is always right here and directly both within and without–so directly, in fact, that there is no in or out–and yet it is so far away, due to the lack of unity, that the clarity of now becomes opaque. It is as though water had turned into marble. Sleep, our hypnotism, is a form of enchantment, a reverse magic in which that which is fluid become solid and does not move easily as it should through life.

There is a tremendous capacity for this fluidity, but the vine is already cut at the root.

Living becomes a process of search for a return to fluidity–a search for the root--but the search must be conducted from left field. The right hand must not know what the left hand is doing. There is a trick to it. One must forget in order to remember. One must forget everything that one is.

That is, self remembering consists first in forgetting this self that wants to remember.
Does that make any sense?

In any event, much more living needs to be done–much more living, and much less picking apart. Sitting together like dogs gnawing at a bone in order to try and understand with the mind beggars the question.

The question is a mystery.

The question doesn't have words.
The question doesn't come out of books.

It has to be breathed in and out. It has to be sensed like bark against the skin; felt like the cold shiver of sorrow at the sight of a vine hanging from a tree. Seen with new eyes, heard with new ears, touched by new skin.

What is this life?

Isn't it possible to reach past what the mind says, and to live?

May our prayers be heard.

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