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.
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.
Outside the cloistered world of private practices such as ’sittling’ (sitting in/with stillness), journaling and strolling in solitude I tends to feel about to be engulfed and hemmed in by the demands, errands and duties of social existence. Outside its airtight little bubble—in an effort to make a living I gets caught up, much like a fly in a spider’s web, in interpersonal strings attached, unavoidably. I constantly seeks to fend off binding communal duties and obligations to offer phony terms of endearment. But then, this I that struggles so desperately for its precarious sense of peace & freedom is but an idea that needs constant maintenance too, and even though it’s merely an idea (that is entertained to keep the ’me’ feel real & separate) it’s, in effect, quite a costly one, in that it takes tremendous internal tension and lots of gut-wrenching & constipating melancholy to maintain. Which stands to reason, of course, given that outside its (buffering) practices the I as such would cease to exist. Now, imagine how devastating would that be? The prospect of no more suffering. It’s just too much to take, I guess.
At any rate, I still tries to reason its way out of its irrational ways and so it occasionally reminds itself that: No matter the type of reality tunnel one happens to inhabit it too will have its ups and downs, its inherent opportunity cost. The idea of protecting one’s freedom is totally nonsensical in this respect. Inside the insides of one’s sprawling rabbit hole there will be joys and there will be sorrows and the desire to protect one’s privacy and delicate freedom just as much as in any other rabbit hole out there. It’s all the same from an ego’s point of view. We all play the same human game. All the tension over the mental noise echoing and reverberating off the walls of our private holes, however, is completely redundant and meaningless.
The very effort to protect anything is what creates the reason for that thing to exist in the first place—it only exists in theeffort but not beyond it.
The dissolution of my [sense of separate] self involves the dissolution of the image I’ve been cherishing about a perfect little ’unencumbered, relatively carefree and symptom-free, independent, humble life one day’ as well. But until it’s dissolved the I must go with what gives, headaches and duties and all. Until then, it must use all emotional and physical pain as an aid to navigate the process of the dissolution. And understand that: Self-pity and melancholy will sneak in at every turn to alleviate this pain, to distract ’me’ from the fact of no ’me’ [that is to be protected and promoted and that is to earn that ’unencumbered, relatively carefree and symptom-free, independent, humble life one day’] and by the same token let ’me’ off the hook once again. Similarly to denial & emotional resistance the function of indulgence (in the bittersweet molasses of blue moods) is to act as kind of an anesthetic and to reset (the idea of) ’me’ anew, repeatedly. Until I feel utterly exhausted of the buffering, that is. Until this drawn-out love affair I haves with my lonesome melancholic self comes to an absolute dead end, and the intuition that I must break up with its sorry little ass, much like my ex did in the bitter end, turns into an actual, concrete realization. Until my body has had to break down (more than) enough times for ’me’ to finally build up the resolve to break up with meself, at long last, for good. Etc.
All my life I’ve been trying to soften the blow of the truth. I’ve been putting tremendous emotional pressure on myself to spare others [and myself] from the pressure of dealing with the truth of my preferences and haphazard impulses. I was in a chronically contracted state almost all the time, in a desperate attempt to apply tourniquets on the leaky fabric of the truth of the moment. I’ve been both emotionally and metabolically constipated—conditioned to be agreeable and to seek compulsively to please and to act as a cushion and act as a buffer and pamper and therefore resent others. I’ve been routinely putting myself down and letting myself be bullied into being a resentful victim or occasionally the unwitting perpetrator of passive aggression. In short, I choose to be weak to reassure the weakness in one another. /Until the day I got truly tired of it.