1024px-Siddharta_Gautama_BorobudurOLD NOTEBOOKS: DELHI: I have this headache that lives with me now; wake up in the morning and it’s there… dreamy half-formed images like wings of birds fluttering around in front of the headache then I see it’s becoming something and try to correct it so there’s no ‘becoming’. As soon as I do that, there’s no headache – wonderful except, I fall asleep again; the mind assumes, since there’s no becoming, no subject is focused upon, no actual thing (nothing) happening, this must mean sleep; okay, goodnight. Zzzzz….

Wake up again, and stumble out of bed, the whirr and buzz of the mechanism of headache that still hasn’t managed to become anything yet is taken into the hot shower. Then dressed in scarf and warm clothing because it’s cold here in North India this time of year. Downstairs from the third floor holding on to the hand-rail in an almost spiral staircase makes you dizzy to look at it and balancing the head as best as possible in a stable position because now the headache has become a snooker ball rolling around and crashing into the walls inside a sphere at the top of the vertebral column.

Stone steps with shiny-soled slippers that slip. Spinning around, everywhere in the mind thoughts arise; there’s always a subject searching for an opportunity to ‘become’ something. Is this what holds beings in the cycles of rebirth? Curious idea; a possibility… so it must be to do with non-becoming – allowing it all to ‘become’ without anyone ‘becoming’ it. Let’s see, how does that work? Stop here for a moment and think about this.

Am I down yet? Which floor am I on now? Having to be careful about not slipping, how many landings are there? I’m losing my sense of direction. But this idea gets my attention: active thought arises from somewhere in the midst of a great cloud of inactive thought. I can decide to not-become a thought just allow it to ‘become’ by itself.

So it’s possible to be focused on two parts of a thought at the same time… there’s a kind of transparency about it, a ‘becoming’ but no one who ‘becomes’. There’s no become-ee; a headache but no ‘headache-ee’ – it doesn’t belong to ‘me’. There’s awareness of the headache, but no awareness of to whom it is happening, there must be a larger awareness that includes this – an awareness of one thought that includes awareness of another. There’s something that allows me to consider this; I’m seeing it from somewhere else.

Yes this must be it, I’m at the ground floor now, and these stairs are difficult I get lost in them every time – don’t know if I’m going up or down. The mind searches for this awareness in some place completely unknown. Where is it? The space that’s unattached: the space-in-between. This takes me to another awareness that’s quite distant from the headache. It’s like it’s happening somewhere far away.

The mind is the canvas on which our thoughts are projected and is part of consciousness. Our body is a holographic projection of our consciousness. [B. M. Hegde, cardiologist and former Vice-Chancellor Manipal University]

Source for header picture. Note: this was developed from an earlier past titled ‘non-becoming‘. the structure of it is almost exactly the same, only difference is I had no headache in those days. So I was inspired to apply the same strategy in dealing with the headache I have now and it’s been quite succesful.

25 thoughts on “becoming

  1. Hi Tiramit, I can identify with you. I am aware now of the need to be very mindful of every step I take, especially here in the Northeastern US with ice and snow underfoot. We are slowly donating or rehousing many of our New York things. Today we decided to take two Tiffany-style lamps to our place in the mountains. I went back up to the apartment to get them, and took the two long and one short flights down with a heavy lamp in each hand, having a hell of a time opening the door to the vestibule and the front door. Made it safely despite imagining tumbling down the stairs dangerously. Once outside it was necessary to place each foot carefully on stone walkway and over the big hump of snow at the curb. All the way I could imagine falling on the ice and causing these lovely lamps to smash to smithereens. I did not. I hope you feel much better as the weeks and months unfold.

    • Yes, there’s something about staircases I notice. We just moved into this place so everything is a bit unfamiliar. on these long staircases there comes a point when you forget where you are – a kind of Alice in Wonderland thing. Anyway thanks Sonniche, I’m just getting used to things here trying different meds and learning to live with it. Hope all goes well in your new move…

  2. It’s helpful to view my experience as an ongoing process that “I” am simply part of… Nothing is happening to “me.” Thanks for this insight, and thanks for the Hegde quote, “Our body is a holographic projection of our consciousness.” This is one of those things that we typically get wrong way ’round, believing that our body somehow creates consciousness and thought… Jeff

    • Nice to hear from you Jeff.
      There’s all this stuff going on and flying around and you’re holding on best you can then this tidal wave rises up and blows everything away. That’s when things get undeniably dispersed and you can never get it all rebuilt the way it was, so you try for a little while then give up and leave it as is, dispersed. The Hegde quote seemed right here, I’ve been looking for a place to put it. It comes as a shock and really stops everything.
      By the way I eventually got that book ‘A Year To Live’ I’m reading it in sections over a long period of time not quite as precise as you did. Thanks for that and good to have you visit again

  3. Tiramit, you have encountered the Spirit, that dovelike form fluttering away from and outside of the headache.
    The headache, the physical forms and understanding, flutters away and is observed by the form of Spirit.
    Spirit is at once observer of the soul and cognizant of the thoughts and feelings within the soul, but from the perspective of the bird, always outside and above the inside and without – that is to say another layer above the physical experience.
    Mould yourself into the spiritual experience and the headache of the physical world melts away. All is known now, apart from the universal perspective. Each experience is there to cause us to understand universal truth and take us to the next level.

    • Thanks for this inspiring comment and beautiful description of the experience that perhaps we’ve all had; I mean that situation when eveything is totally outside of your control, ‘the ground beneath your feet falls away’, and you simply let go of everything, nothing to take hold of except… I use the word ‘spirit’ advisedly here.. It’s something beyond words. And the recovery from it means you’re a changed person. you find you’re less likely to have words that can describe things because words themselves are acrobats that never seem quite seem to say it as it really was…

    • I think what you’re saying here Kim is, ‘keep it simple’ because the complexity that arises is simply not worth the effort, it only causes things to become more complex…

      • Keeping it ordinary… no place for the extraordnary right now, for me, like rehearsed engagement with sales staff about cards and special offers and so on, when all I want is my purchase to be accepted so I can get out of here. High frequency noises of AC machines and some kinds of shrill voices make me feel like I’m losing my grip

      • Unnecessary ‘chatter’ disables me, I depend on my wife and others to take over. Pain is involved and very much part of stability/instability…

  4. Hi, Tiramit! Things seem a little worse for you. Please do be careful on the stairs!! Maybe some sneakers or rubber bottom shoes might help. When my husband was taking care of his great aunt, Dot, an octogenarian, she would teeter totter down stairs in high heels, we threw away her high heels. It seems mean but she was most stubborn and very feeble and unsteady on her feet. Once you get into these medications, it is a bit like entering another world of full of mysterious symptoms and side effects with vertigo at the top of the list. In our recent snow storm my husband and I stayed in. After a certain age and under certain circumstances, breaking bones can be fatal. My mother and aunt had serious illnesses but breaking their hips was what did them in. Sorry to be so gloom and doom, but you’re valuable and have much to do still, and I pray you’ll be okay.

    • Hi, Ellen the thing is I’m still getting used to this PHN condition and also we moved to a new house so! It’s all discovery and loss you know what I mean, Like I used to have a good pair of indoor footwear but have to be putting up with these other ones foer now. I’ll get the old ones when Jiab gets back from her business trip, she knows where everything is. And the stairs, well I didn’t think of it at first but sleeping in the studio is not a good idea because it’s 3 floors up. Can’t imagine how your Dot in her high heels could teeter and totter like that, and you’re absolutely right about getting into these medications, and yes, it is a bit like entering another world of full of strange things that make it difficult to get this body organised, I never had to think about t before. There’s the real fear of a fall and breaking bones, hospitals and all that business. So I’ll be careful, and thanks for your concern Ellen, I don’t want to end up as a hopeless case. Also Thanks for your reki healing on Friday mornings.

  5. I loved the description of the snooker ball rolling around. When will it land? In which pocket? The waiting for a pending difficulty is its own kind of difficulty. I like the description of letting thoughts “become” without a “become-ee”. Like they are flowers on the other side of the room, just blooming, then fading, then falling apart petal by petal. What are we then? Some sort of room where flowers can bloom, where the light shines. Some sort of spaciousness, that has a room in it somewhere, where flowers can bloom, where the light shines. Some sort of shining light, illuminating every flower, filling spaciousness. Something like that, perhaps.


    • Hi Michael, I have to say I didn’t think of there being snooker ball pockets in there too, that’s what you could call a stretched metaphor and the discomfort of that stretch to get it to fit kinda sums up my condition these days. Not exactly putting on clothes backwards but some difficulty in just getting the limbs into where they’re supposed to go and the most ordinary things. It pleases me to consider that you can have these actions that take place and there’s nobody there doing it – there is no do-er, nor a do-ee, can’t think at the moment which would describe it best I use the example of the examiner and the tremulous examinee. I try my best not to go anywhere near difficulties, knowing that even thinking about how difficult it is causes hours of difficulty. Your sad little room full of sunlight and petals falling unnoticed is part of it I have to admit but there’s the feeling of sunlight and the being of sunlight the spaciousness and the wonder of it all as you fly out of the small window of that little room. There’s that of course, I should try to write less painful accounts of things. Hope all is well with you and Hafiz on his little yellow moped, clipboard tucked away somewhere…

      • Hi Tiramit, yes I probably stretched it too far. Or maybe just had a different one in mind. I was thinking about how sometimes when I am in pain, or a difficult and recurring situation, there can be that phenomenon we both touched on, where anticipating suffering is its own kind of suffering. That was what I was trying to convey– the moment before the snooker ball drops into the pocket and the suffering arrives.

        And yes to the wonder of it all. It is interesting to see how we respond to one another, because I wasn’t trying to paint a sad room– just a room where thoughts flower and fade away, one after another. If we don’t get too caught up in any one thought, we see how the light interacts with the room, and with the flowers, and how there’s so much more to it all…

        Hope this finds you well, my friend.

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