POSTCARD #234: New Delhi: Traffic comes to a standstill, fierce displays of male feathers in ritual acts of outrage, shouts and gestures through wound-down windows. Eyes sparkling with diamonds of malice… but even this settles down. Things aren’t ‘held’, the silence of no-thought is possible. At least for me in the back seat of the car, disengaged, conscious only of sensory awareness in a body/mind world. It’s not meditation; I just have to remember to not be caught in thought stuck in the traffic jam of Mind.
Particularly these days of push and shove, and the fierce, blunt Donald Trump intrudes with his collection of body-slam syllables that make up a name which rhymes with: bump, lump, rump, thump, sump. The strategy of devil’s-advocate one-liner tweets, “better to reign in hell than serve in heaven”, make it necessary to wake up and feel the urgency of mindfulness – this politician has extended reach. Be aware of puzzle-headedness. Stay poised, balanced and alert.
Otherwise, in forgetfulness, I may go back to stir the ashes of defeat; return to that place of locked-in conditioning, reading pedagogy of the oppressed, the myth of freedom and other demons itch like a skin irritation you have to scratch. Isn’t it remarkable that outrageous remarks, in-your-face disregard and proud indifference wins the Presidential race… what does this tell you? Pre…tty scary. I need to remove myself from here, forget I ever knew such a thing was possible. Turning a blind eye? No, it’s not that. What I’m scared of is the unspoken denial, “I see no ships”, (Horatio Nelson turns a blind eye at the Battle of Copenhagen). People know they’re expected to turn a blind eye – not turning a blind eye is to be labeled conspiracy theorist. I try to stay free of what all this means, meditation is about the skill of staying with the feeling of all the tugs and pulls of it demanding attention, but undisturbed and steady – just letting the mind unstick itself.
In the East the world is an illusion; a discussion point that goes back at least three thousand years. There’s only the quality of experience, nothing else. Gone is the ground beneath our feet, there never was anything there in the first place. The opposite of how it is in the West where we are embedded in the illusion, overlay upon overlay, believing it’s real and uneasy, of course, about the intuitive feeling that it’s not. As a rule, politicians speak with forked tongue; doctors say there’s something wrong with you, take this medicine. There’s no one else to turn to, so we’re feeding the craving of the mind with consumables to quell the fear… but it’s never enough.
Thus we arrive at the core of the illusion itself: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” (Adolf Hitler, große Lüge). A sleight of hand (this must be when I pretend to not see it), and before your very eyes, ladies and gentlemen, the Truth is hidden in plain sight… now you see it, now you don’t – those not turning a blind eye fall into a yawning chasm wherein everything is sucked away not held on to with tenacity of grip, as with all things inexorably lost, Amen. Or, a better idea, you can disappear off the grid and become a Buddhist.
The traffic is moving now, engines starting up, and we are on our way. I console myself with the thought that there’s a possibility DJT will root out the bad guys hidden in the woodwork for decades, albeit for the wrong reasons, he and his cronies will just take their place, but somewhere in there we will stumble upon a revelation and things take a turn for the better…
Oh, I so love this, expresses the current state of affairs way more perfectly than I can even begin to do. I am too caught up in the horror of the cronies he is choosing, what it will mean for those who are poor, what it will mean for us. Yesterday we were faced with losing two sources of income. Today, what? I want to run and hide, cannot move. Who knows what we will face and always the pre…tty scariest of the likeness to Hitler. That has been since day one. He and his party have no morals, no better angels, only demons. I must detach or be ill. Finally your beautiful writing… “Eyes sparkling with diamonds of malice…” says it all. Thank you for saying calmly what I can never.
I was as stunned by it as you – and a tidal wave of people were too, I’m sure, from every part of the world – so many we can never count. It helps me to stay with that thought; I am not the only one. My small fear and uncertainty is part of the whole. There’s a teaching by Ajahn Chah on uncertainty: https://jackkornfield.com/the-wisdom-of-insecurity/ this is a way, an acceptance that this is how it is, and allowing it to be uncertain. I do hope this helps you and thanks for your kind words…
“If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.
If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.”
– Lao Tzu
I had to use this one I just received from Gary: spontaneous presence
What can be known by any pointing out, when the point lies beyond the pointer, the pointing and the pointed out? [Longchenpa]
“Fierce displays of male feathers in ritual display.”
Love this expression … and the words that follow T 💛
Thanks Val, I was writing about how the hostility, so extreme in its letting off steam, inevitably runs out of breath and becomes comical. The fierce dignity takes too much energy to maintain, fizzles out after it’s done its thing…
May it be so T! I am reading more about Yin energy to counter the Yang that is overwhelming us. May the rise of the feminine also helps in the fizzling out so we all find balance 🙏
Thanks Val for drawing my attention to this. I find it immediately easeful to contemplate Yin – enough just to consider what it means…