I’ve started the practice—the admittedly quaint practice I should say—of looking at people as if I was looking at flowers (partly as a countermeasure to the chronically clingy nature of my strategically aloof personality). Whenever a cute girl, for instance, turns me on and I feel a surge of an urge to pick (up) and possess or at the very least fixate on her from a safe distance I know that in a sense I enact the death of (the spirit in) both of us—as in: (neurotic) attachments retard relations (the dynamic unfolding of authentically relating to self & other): an image of ’her’ and an image of ’me in relation to her’ takes the place of the truth of the volatile moment. By making a mental note of this I manage to curb my fervid enthusiasm.
And gradually it’s starting to dawn on me for real what my spiritual savvy ego-mind has been telling me for a while now: that there really is nothing inside us. Nothing. We are truly empty—plain, hollow forms undulating, just like flowers or blades of grass in the fluctuating flesh of the air—we simply exist. In other words: there is no-one but ’only’ some body to us, we are no-one but some body. There is a subtle but all the more poignant sense of this creeping up on me now that just blows my mind—I wonder what happens when the recognition descends deeper into the heart and the gut: Nobody is special. There is no substance to (the idea of) anyone.
And yet, there is me and there is the emotional attachments plaguing me. There is me and there are the compromising (social, financial, health) conditions of me. There is me and his recognitions—A face grasping against the mystery of its abysmal depthlessness.
You say that you’re heartbroken over ’’moving on’’ because you’ve grown truly fond of the forms—the places, the faces—you’ve encountered. But let’s be honest: do you get as attached to plants too? Do you feel dejected when you see a blooming flower in April and think about the fleeting nature of your encounter?—Now, is this a silly comparison? Why? What is the extent of the difference? Isn’t it but all about forms? forms that you can appreciate for their unique flair or fail to do so. One thing’s for sure, we go easy on the plants because they cannot engage in our drama, but when it comes to people we turn into weird, needy little desperate Gollums clinging, grasping, claiming and demanding—no matter how passively—we proceed, in effect, to project the love that we are onto theirform—their peculiar face and their bodily rhythms, gestures, postures and style of engaging—because we expect them to be someone for us so we can get to be someone for them.
There are the faces around that we all are, faces, already fading, about to be forgotten faces, blooming, withering and vanishing sea waves of faces, my face and your face to be lost sooner or later we are to lose no matter how hard we try to save it on facebook, from humiliation and utter oblivion, always already fading from the face of the Earth, every single face you ever face faces to be replaced, by other faces, as our faces have replaced the faces flowering before us, under the sun, nothing special,
Do you see?
Do you see them now?
Do you feel the love you actually feel for all of them? The faces up the streets, in the shops, in the parks and on the trams. The faces at work and the faces at home. The faces from the past, opposite, behind and next to yours, the newborn faces. Out and about. Take a look. Variations on a theme. Beneath all these faces we all share the same essence. Underneath the myriad faces there is only one sameone there.
nothing stays, on the face of it
What remains, in the end, nothing else remains but awareness, of this moment, above and in front of all the toyful joys and the soulfull sorrows of the person who is losing everybody and everything, slowly and surely, all that it—as an I—has ever attained or missed and all that it has ever grown fond of and loved, sooner or later, falls away, and then the truth meets the truth… this heart is breaking and oozing gooey pain at the thought of my parents fading, at the thought of an ex and the countless unpursued prospects blending into the impersonal mass of the female flesh I’m so mesmerized by day by day: nothing remains that I could hold on to, nothing that I can grasp, nobody, noone, nothing to fixate on, nothing that fix(at)es, nothing that grounds me, nothing to write about really, all the writing blurs into noise, another iteration of the same old, same old, everything pixelates, with me in the middle of it all, alive, a heart, ready to burst, or stop, almost, for real, and it’s beating on, for it’s only the mind that is blown away by the overwhelm called truth
Things go awry (emotionally) when I take them personally—which is natural, this is what an I is supposed to be doing anyway. The I is geared towards experiencing frustration since that’s what sustains (the sense of) it. Once the recognition arises, though, that the person who takes things personally doesn’t exist and the world this person enacts and the struggle that it experiences in this world is only as real as an optical illusion is real then there will be less and less inclination to avoid the truth of the moment. Once the recognition arises that I can either rest in the truth or I can be driven by frustration: there is less and less inclination to do the latter.
Do I still wish to deny the truth in favor of the ideas I entertain in my mind; does it still feel more reasonable to keep shadow-boxing with the phantoms that I project than to rest in the openness of no struggle; does it still feel more convenient to take things personally and feel continually frustrated over circumstances than to rest in the openness of no reason; does it still feel easier to strain and to strive and struggle than to rest in the openness of no progress; etc—you bet it does, and of course it does, for I just cannot help it, that’s in the nature of ’me’—the truth of the matter is: I [as an I] can’t and I won’t ever stop. But then, no matter what I do to counter it: stopping happens to ’me’ anyway. And it feels confusing for ’me’ even when I know that feeling puzzled is totally unnecessary and that tensing up about it ain’t necessary either. It’s all cool, though—I gets it now.
The sense that I gets is that: It’s painfully inconsequential. There is nobody to promote, nobody to work (=struggle & suffer) for and nobody to build up. Which feels so abysmally flat. It feels like death. ’’Just life’’ without a grounding center. It feels groundless and totally meaningless. No boundary, no purpose, no project, no hope. And absolutely no control, since there is no need for that anymore. It feels almost bleak and yet immensely colorful at the same time. It’s not moving at all and it’s not warping around a self. There is no funneling. No congealing. No process and no progress whatsoever. It simply surrounds, all around, fully, gently, blooming, undulating. No path, no direction, no reference—just flat embeddedness. Laid out, spreading and sprawling. This moment. Almost radiant. Not quite radiant. I don’t know. No idea. Not the faintest. Just some brightness.