flowers from far away


IMG_2001POSTCARD #110: New Delhi: The computer feels cold to touch, hands stretch out over the keyboard and the soft spaces between the fingers are exposed to the chill. Make them into fists; stay warm, too cold to type… melancholia of late winter. Sit there for a while. It takes quite a long time to realize I could just stop what I’m doing and go up to the roof terrace in the sunshine. Around this time, the shadow cast by the tall building next-door moves away and there’s a patch of sunlight where I can place my chair and sit in the warmth.

Get up from the desk, out to the hall by the back door and up the cold steps to the top; habitual handle-grab, shoulder-push on an old door that’s always stiff, squeak, it opens… bright daylight enters, birds fly across my vision in a blur of random directions. Blue sky, and clothes hanging on the line, the smells of outside, vent pipes, clay-tiled rooftops of other people’s houses, other people’s laundry.

There’s new warmth in the air – I notice it immediately, walking around our small urban garden and checking out all the plants that live here in flowerpots and containers. Everything has that dry wintery look, but there are some signs of life, shoots appearing in the crumbling earth… an innate sentience. Take a photo with my camera phone, seeing the flowers as stars and planets. Tiny white blossoms form in clusters. So small, there’s a feeling they’re arriving from far away; distant galaxies seen moving towards us in slow motion.

I didn’t know. It was here all the time, and everything that happened prior to this, everything going on unseen, below the surface of the earth… before the flower, the seed and before the seed, the flower that created the seed; a sequence of patterns that started before I arrived in this place, flowing from the past into the future, always seen from ‘here’.

I place my chair in the patch of sunlight and sit down; a fundamental response to the first signs of that easing-away from the coldness, the unique warmth of Springtime, a softening around the hardness, a release from the upset, the injured and the slow spinning wheel of seasons takes it all away. Listening to the green parakeets chattering in the Eucalyptus trees opposite, there’s only the moment in which everything appears…

“… appearances are so intimately one with Consciousness that there are in fact no appearances as such, that is, existing in their own right. Rather Consciousness is the sole substance of all experience.” [Rupert Spira] 

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Related post: A patch of sunlight

22 thoughts on “flowers from far away

  1. So small, there’s a feeling they’re arriving from far away;

    I’ve been told more than once that the reason so many Deva and Devi are blue is for the same reason the sky is blue – because you’re seeing them from so far away. But if it’s due to doppler shift they must be closing fast.

    • Ah yes, springtime in New England is more than far away, but it’ll come soon. And that’ll be just as Delhi is getting ready for the hot season, maxing out at +45 degrees C. That’s when I’ll be wishing I was where you are 🙂

  2. Love seeing the flowers as “stars and planets” and the way you take us into your world and explore the simplest of things. In this case, being cold and going to the roof to get warm and bringing us into the world of the rooftop. Sounds inviting as we sit here chilled with it sleeting outside. I can smell the laundry on the rooftop.

    • So nice to have your observations again. The story line here really is minimalist and maybe that provides an opportunity to focus on the smaller details of conscious experience; sights, sounds and smells. I was on the roof on Sunday and noticed the sudden change in temperature. Now we’re headed towards extreme heat, although March should still be nice – but I have to go to Thailand then, it’s M’s school holidays…

  3. The seed is changing and flowing with the current: past –> present –> future.
    Consciousness is still and current flows through it: future –> present –> past.

  4. So nice. The reality that we are what appears has not been recognized here. Every time I seem to get a glimpse of who I am, Magdi reminds me ‘notice’ how I am one with what appears in my perception.

    • Thanks, sometimes the effect is like this. The writing here can be compulsively minimalist, rewrite and edit until it disappears completely; other times I catch it in time, deciding on the form it takes moments before clicking the Publish button

  5. Although we have different convictions, there’s an almost unaccountable unity between us, which is a wonderful thing. At the core of the nominalist outlook is the abstract individual just as the core of nominalist theology is the abstract God. In nominalism, God has no attributes, and therefore, neither do I. This sense of “I” is perfectly empty.

    • This is interesting, now I’ll start looking at the world in terms of nominalism – a wonderful lightness and easing. For the word: God, I’ll substitute Awareness. Language has this function of automatically identifying things; in the same way ‘self’ has been taken on as an identity construct. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon…

  6. At this point, it all starts to smell a bit like Buddhism, doesn’t it? And you’d be right to suppose so, for Buddhism is precisely a hyper-nominalist approach to religion. The Supreme Reality is not a reality at all, but merely an empty convention. The thing that we hang identities upon is, in fact, a Void. It has no attributes whatsoever. We can only say what it is not.

    Being a Canadian or an Arab or a Muslim or a Jew or an American are all labels we define ourselves by, our ego image. In the end we are all human beings, evolved from social primates to live in society with one another. All the rest is what separates us.

    Conservatives subscribe to the opposite view, namely that there are realities and that nominalist ideas of freedom are spurious and finally reduce human beings to undifferentiated sludge. Instead, by birth and circumstance, we are given certain resources which are realities and we find fulfilment through actualizing them, not through denying them.

    • I can’t help seeing it all in Buddhist terms, and: ‘labels we define ourselves by’, sometimes I think it’s the attachment to these labels that causes the world to continue in the way it is going – if you can include the idea of some sort of rebirthing/conditioning here. There’s really not much change since the time of the Buddha 2500 years ago. Birth and circumstance determined the structure of society then as it does now, mostly. Those who see the truth are a tiny minority…

      • Ah well, yes I suppose the boundary is a bit blurred for me nowadays. I was referring back to what Yilmaz was saying about how it all starts to smell a bit like Buddhism, doesn’t it – without thinking to elaborate more on there being a ‘something’ rather than a ‘not anything’ revealed in the nominalism Path…

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