Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm [sic]. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know-
Do you have a favorite “thing” to which you identify with? Cycling, yoga, running, under water basket weaving? Listening to music? Flags? Religion? Sports teams? Society is increasingly being swallowed whole by the symbol based experience – I’m a cyclist, a super flexi-wanderlust-yogi, a weekend 5k master and a LvL 5 underwater basket weaver. Dear Reader, it’s time we remembered what we truly are – Timeless beings, trapped in a physical body. How much time do we spend doing “something” that does not signify something else, to someone else? How often do we take a break from our intensely representational world?
When I arrived home yesterday after work, I had the sense that I needed to “tune down” the processed, symbol based day I had so far, to a fairly unprocessed natural evening. I quite enjoy practicing mindful meditation while walking our dog. Thinking of nothing is really hard as the two of us meander along in the rain … “Why are our neighbors hopelessly obsessed with keeping their yard pristine? Oh this is nice! A sprinkler system running during a rain storm! This elm tree is interesting, I wonder how many cicadas are calling it home at the moment? Why are cicadas so damn loud? Really Dude – You are seriously going to pee on their trash bins?!?” I do remember one wonderful meditation experience I had recently in Utah, when I was able to just be aware of my physical self and surroundings, apart from the cultural and the social layering of interpretations the world flippantly heaves upon us. That is to say, I understood what I was as a being, not as a social identity – A middle-aged white male from Nebraska. Someone who is often associated with competing because I enjoy riding a bike and racing. Some dude who goes to yoga class to be “seen” … This experience was wonderfully freeing, and when I ended my session, I felt that I had returned to my life, – Being, with a renewed sense of energy, because I was choosing to take up my name (Jeremy), and eschewing everything else that society neatly fits me, us into. In stillness, I placed my name down for a short time, laid down all the symbols that help me process and live in this cruel world, and for a moment, I was able to just – Be.
I said aloud to our dog as we stepped back inside – “My identity ultimately does not depend on these “things” in order to exist.” He looked at me inquisitively and proceeded to lick his belly.
The real world, a world without symbols, mass shootings and senseless violence. The world outside of “whatever”, outside of our roles? Is more splendid than we know it to be.
Morning without you is a dwindled dawn-
*Written this past Wednesday at 0500*
I’m more than a little bit pissed off this morning. Primarily with myself (for ignoring my tight hamstrings and back for nearly two weeks), at our local utility company (for raising our rates again), at the lousy Nebraska weather forecasting people (for raising my hopes for nice biking weather), at some close friends I help train for not taking my advice about ultra marathon prep, and at my body once again (because it’s been barely three weeks and I’m lying on the floor covered with ice).
*Written five minutes ago*
Looking back at what I wrote last week, it just occurred to me that maybe my extreme frustration with “life” and the people around me, has at least as much to do with my own irritation(s) at the way I take care of, and treat myself. Interesting to think that if one is as gentle, kind and compassionate as one would like to be, one wouldn’t get quite so pissed off at the necessary trials of dealing with this thing called “life” …
I leave you with this – In one sentence – Who are you?
No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from-
Many of us currently live in a culture, a society so to speak where we are expected to eat healthy, drink the freshest of coconut water(s) and purchase “things“, many of which we don’t need. It’s our duty to be faithful consumers of what we are force-fed via advertisements in Runners World and Yoga Whatever.
What are we to do to look after ourselves in a culture that is certainly not looking out for us?
Avoid temptation – Yeah like this is easy … There are many temptations in today’s world, don’t believe me? Resist the temptation to click Here. Whatever you do, do not click this link!!!
Will you fail this seemingly simple temptation?
Motivation is the answer we are seeking. Motivation to persevere, even when our self-control has been run down, pushed to its limit!
The idea that I am proposing is that by regularly exercising our willpower in one aspect of our lives (resisting adverts etc), it will lead to a stronger sense of self, willpower in many other areas of our lives as well.
Dearest, note how these two are alike;
This harpsichord pavane by Purcell
And the racer’s twelve-speed bike.
The machinery of grace is always simple.
This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected
To another of concentric gears,
Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected,
Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers.
And in the playing, Purcell’s chords are played away.
So this talk, or touch if I were there,
Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,
Like Dante’s heaven, and melt into the air.
If it doesn’t, of course, I’ve fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire, and feverish care,
As bicyclists and harpsicordists prove
Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.