New Delhi: Travelling across town, Shym is driving. He drives slowly and carefully, surrounded by vehicles honking their horns, cutting in on the nearside; they don’t like it that he’s driving slowly. But Shym remains calm – much ado about nothing – he’s an older man. Out there, fierce displays of male feathers in a ritual display resemble pure outrage, shouts and gestures through wound-down windows. If looks could kill… eyes sparkling with diamonds of malice, giving him ‘the daggers’…. Shym stays solidly as he is. Ah well, people, you can’t always get what you want. Sometimes you’re just stuck with it, you know? It’s how you respond to that unhappy state of ungratified wanting that determines the future for you; cause/effect – if you react with anger, it’ll lead to more anger. But these drivers seem to have gone way past that stage: up-to-their-eyes in the world of anger. Without their anger there’s no purpose in life. They thrive on the struggle; mythical realms of the Titans, and the Asuras, declaring a state of war that lasts an eternity. All this doesn’t phase Shym, at the correct time he slides the steering wheel slowly through his fingertips, indicators flashing clicka-clicka-clicka, telling the world, I am now turning right, and the car sweeps around like a large boat in a wide arc. The surrounding traffic forced to move out of the way. The response is plosive, to say the least. But, well that’s just how it is.
I’m sitting in the back, looking out through tinted windows, incognito, people can’t see me in here – a car wearing dark glasses. Nobody knows I’m inside, the voyeur, the invisible man, looking out at the world all around. I feel like I’m not here. Everything passing by outside the windows of the car; events come and go, arrive and leave. Things occur in random order and drift away without leaving anything behind, video images recorded on security cameras from various places in the 360 degree coverage, showing the car entering the car park, that I’ll never see. I say something to Shym and I hear my own voice in the acoustics of the car; the sound of it causes me to pause for a moment. Everything stops… it takes an effort to get started again. Before it happens, just this silent space. The body feels light and I’m seeing through it.
We turn into the car park. Parking attendant looks like ex-military, sharp uniform, whistle held in his teeth, a piercing blast, signals for us to go left but Shym indicates right. Outrage, more whistle blasts, and he comes up to the car, peers in through the tinted glass, hand cupping the space around his eyes to shade from the sun, I see a large bristly moustache and yellow teeth, the glass fogs up slightly and there are small bits of spittle from his hot breath and shouted words. But Shym gently points with an inclination of the body and politely insists that he’d prefer to go right, not left. More displays of warlike behaviour but I can see this is an act, it’s only how it seems to be. So we are allowed to go right, there’s no problem.
I’m amazed how this system works. All my assumptions are wrong. Attachment due to causes and conditions, that’s all. It’s like everything is a continuation of how things have been; inherited from some former time, or former life, the outcome of actions still hanging around due to tanha, attachments… velcro fastenings, super glue, magnets, welded bridge structures and all the mind stuff about wanting things to be like this or like that or wanting things to be different from what they are. The created ‘self,’ seeing the world according to likes, dislikes and preferences, obscures cessation; doesn’t see that things stay as they are only for as long as it takes. Then it all dissolves in a myriad of changes, disintegrates, crumbles away. We can’t hold on to anything. It all comes to an end.
[Link to: how it seems (1)]
‘…when attention is drawn to the presence of the Knower, to that which knows and experiences, whatever that is, it immediately becomes obvious that there is something present that is conscious of the body, the mind and the world. As we do this, whatever it is that knows seems suddenly to become more present. It shines. In fact it is simply discovered to have been always present, but apparently eclipsed by our exclusive focus on the known.’ [Rupert Spira, ‘The Transparency of Things’]