POSTCARD #252: Chiang Mai: 05.00: When I open my eyes in the morning I don’t remember where I am. The great white neon light of the hotel sign across the way fills my room and takes away memory. I’m here so infrequently, there’s only a sense of the last time I came, an unfinished jigsaw puzzle with some pieces left over but no place where they fit. Or a thought appears in the empty mind like a beautiful small fish, and then it’s gone… where’d it go? Taking everything apart to see where that thought went, but can’t find it.
Ah well, pull the pillows together in a cushion and settle on top of that in a folded-leg sit. Aware of the breath, focus on nothing in particular. Early morning kitchen noises across in the hotel, clatter of plates, rolling-around-clunking sound of objects as they collide with their surroundings: bump, scrape; a cupboard door squeaks, water sloshing-in-sink noises, cutlery in metal mesh baskets becoming high frequency white noise received over here in the neon glow, seated in a third floor apartment on the other side of the street.
All and everything that occurs here, there and everywhere in the scenarios through life from start to finish pass through me now and the world becomes neutral. Non-intrusive, random thought mechanisms that function at the edge of attention pull me into the gentle whirr and flicker of thinking-about-things.
A far cry indeed from the western automatic-reflex-attached, “thou-shalt-not” society of the late 1940s when I was born, unaware and unschooled in Good Orderly Direction and seemingly by chance (?) narrowly escaped the fierce lock-down of a mortgaged future by means of sacrificed present time, with the simple thought that the thinker has no other form than thoughts… and with that, everything just drifted away from its moorings.
All that resolved itself somehow really very well. Now here in a street in a tourist town in the North of Thailand with a passport and inconsequential luggage… items of thought can pass through freely, fish uncaught – no reason to be holding on to anything at all. The emptiness of the moment is no-self. Nothing here except the operating system; form, feeling, perception, mental processes and consciousness [Link].
In a clamor of sounds, auditory events jump out in perceived grabs of recognition, registered, processed; memory updated. It happens so fast that trying to find words for it are like action-replays in slow motion, and I have to catch up after, as everything has moved on. Pause button; awareness aware of itself, the eye turns inwards, consciousness as a sensory organ, the ghost in the machine, no self. The process itself selects the sound – or the sound selects the process, and there’s no ‘it’.
Sensory mechanisms waiting for things to happen because it’s in their nature to do that, inseparable parts of the world out there/in here. Nothing happens, the time is not here yet. The alertness is all there is, receiving the world and, since we are also the world, so to speak, it’s an all-inclusive enfolding, unfolding, and remaining in the present continuous form, ‘listening’. Suddenly the great neon light is switched off. Blinded for a moment in the absence of it, traces of blue sky out there, birdsong. Without any sound, go quietly (whisper); the time is not here yet…
A “mortgaged future by means of sacrificed present time”– powerful words. Sounds like a narrow escape. Thanks for the inside view of the non-I.
Yep, it was hard for people to accept in those days that the central spiritual truth was being obscured by the authorities – still is, that’s politics! These days we’re more inclined to disbelieve politicians, and more individuals are waking up to the realization that Truth is in the non-I
Great post! A lot not to think about 🙂
It’s like this, it all passes through unthought 😉
Thanks for the beautiful post. It occurs to me that I had very little conscious involvement in escaping the “fierce lockdown” of the life that many of my American peers chose… it just sort of “happened” that I’m here with some “inconsequential luggage” and the freedom to make some choices based on the very un-suburban set of priorities that I’ve somehow gravitated toward. It becomes more and more apparent that I’m not the director of this show, merely an observer. I find myself increasingly enjoying the seat…
This is what happens, ‘the system’ filters out those who don’t fit in. Then other filters and others, leaving us with the understanding that at the end of the day, it’s really karma that brought us here. The same could be said, of course, about those who went in knowingly to the ‘fierce lockdown’ and now their lives are seen in the faces of their children perhaps, and their achievements, possessions, wealth etc., take up all the space, filter out their own clarity of mind as we understand it…
Waking up in a dream, connected and detached, maybe it’s impossible to let go. Fear and confusion are the catalyst, determine the breaking free…
Reblogged this on Stuart France.
Thanks for the reblog 🙂
In out in out.
What’s it all about?
Left foot in, left foot out…
The eternal dance.
That’s what it’s all about… hoi!
So they tell me. 😛
Thanks for dropping in…