persistence of the dream

Mpic2A village near Hat Yai: Here in a house surrounded by trees, it’s nearly one year since I was last in this place [Link to earlier post: ‘nothing in itself’]. Birdsong and mostly quietness; only a faint noise from the road reaches us here, drifting in according to wind direction. And the sound of two puppy dogs yap-yap tied up on long leads, getting bathed by being dragged along the concrete path, pulled under the garden tap and held there as long as possible (they’re so small you can do that), then untangling the leads is the difficult part. They soon dry off in the hot sun. The chicken population chirp-chirp of last year has disappeared from this world, some eaten by carnivorous nocturnal creatures that watch from the edge of the clearing. Most are eaten by carnivores who live in the house – thus the truth of farmyard life is revealed. A new population of chickens pecks the ground chirp-chirp where the others once pecked, and who’s to say they’re not the same ones reborn? A piebald kitten miaow goes around seeking attention, miaow. Four cows; three have bells tingaling, tingaling, tingaling around the neck and there’s one with a bamboo bell that goes clacka-clacka. Three of the animals are dignified and silent; there’s one that goes moo-aaaah, feeling a bit hard-done-by, maybe. I don’t know if it’s the one with the bamboo bell; that’s just the way it is, no obvious connection; no reason for it – or for anything. There’s just this multiplicity of loosely related phenomena that has the characteristics of a farmyard scene. It’s like this right now because it’s nearly evening, and everything’s going: chirp-chirp, yap-yap, miaow-miaow, tingaling-tingaling, clacka-clacka and moo-aaaah. Sun turns orangey, pinkish purple, sinks rapidly below the horizon – no twilight. Approaching darksome night mystery, and wild nocturnal carnivores wait in stealth at the edge of shadow. Insects zzzzzling and large moths surround the porch light that’s left on till morning.

28052010010Upstairs in the half-dark of the guest bedroom, M can’t go to sleep. ‘I not go to sleep yet, Toong-Ting. You have to tell me a story’, she says, addressing me as Toong-Ting, in her 9 year old way of giving people and things in the World different names. It’s my responsibility, I’m the fictionist. Too late now to go find a story book from downstairs, and I try telling her that…‘Then you tell me your story, your own’, M says. This means I have to invent something… there’s just no getting away from it. So, in an inspired moment, I start telling her about all the birds here around the house and, when we leave next week, all the chickens and the rooster and the ducks and birds in the trees and the owls will come with us to the airport. They’ll have to take a taxi by themselves because there are so many of them but the driver can follow us in our car. They don’t have to check in any bags because they don’t have any bags, of course. They just get on the plane with us, perch on the seat backs and arm rests and fold-away tables and go: chirp-chirp, cockadoodledoo, quack-quack, woo-woo, tweet-tweet as the plane rushes along the runway, up into the air, flies away into the clouds, far far away until nobody on the ground can see it anymore. There’s a short pause and M asks me, ‘Leally (really) Toong-Ting? Why the birds go in a plane, they can fly by themselves?’ And, yes, there’s this unforseen logistical problem about the story, I realize – so, I begin my explanation for these circumstances then notice that M has fallen into the dream and is already asleep…

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‘If in this way I see one of these creatures withdraw from my sight without my ever knowing where it goes to, and another appear without my ever knowing where it comes from…; then of course the assumption that what vanishes and what appears in its place are one and the same thing, which has experienced only a slight change, a renewal of the form of its existence, and consequently that death is for the species what sleep is for the individual…’  [Schopenhauer, The World As Will and Representation, Supplements to the Fourth Book, Chapter XLI: On Death and Its Relation to the Indestructability of Our Inner nature]

strange familiarity 1.

DSC00234 Wairakei Geothermal Power

‘…(it) is not an effort to achieve something. It is a state of effortlessness. It is a state of no-action. It is a state of tremendous passivity, receptivity. You are not doing anything, you are not thinking anything, you are not planning for anything, you are not doing yoga exercises, and you are not doing any technique, any method — you are simply existing, just existing. And in that very moment… the sudden realization that all is as it should be…’ Osho

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New Delhi: Emerging from these long dark tunnels of constructed thought, blinking in the bright light of the present moment – it’s always the present moment, no matter what you call it; today, yesterday, tomorrow – it’s just knowing it is, that’s all. And even if you’re living in a dream where it’s always tomorrow, the present moment catches up with it and becomes now again – then it’s gone: ‘…now we are in the concept of now’ [Moojie]. Thinking about ‘now’ in the darkness of 05.00 hours at my desk; laptop feels hot and it’s a slow internet connection… just this large white open space where the page should be. In the tab it says, untitled and in the toolbar it says, about:blank, unstated presence. I have to wait for it, balanced on the edge… anticipation of it filling my vision with colour…. unfulfilled. Yet there’s something that I actually like about this, an emptiness that triggers the letting-go thing. I used to get caught up in that stressed feeling but today there’s a great easefulness spreading through the neck, shoulders and facial muscles. If I’m not feeling totally tensed up, waiting for something that I feel ‘should be’ loading faster than it is, there’s just this sense of letting things be as they are. It’s like a deep inbreath, filling the chest cavity from top to bottom, and the long outbreath becoming a ribbon of road in a landscape, reaching out there to a vanishing point on the horizon.

Some time after that, the page loads but I don’t notice it because I’ve wandered through to the kitchen and standing there considering the cavities and space above and all around and this strange familiarity (?) of the body/mind conscious state present here, in itself, since birth. Jiab comes through, says quietly: what you doing in here? And we talk for a bit about this thing called existence, connectedness with everything and all living beings… sharing it with others – like sharing a meal with guests, a basic sense we all have, just the feel of the air and the experience itself…. Jiab says: let’s make the breakfast then, shall we? And it changes to something else, another episode, and a different story… cessation, THE END, no layers or filters. Just trying to understand what that sort of thing might possibly be, is enough to begin to know it; to know that all that’s left are events and situations immediately associated with mind states as they arise – the result of kamma created in earlier times. The mindfulness (and whatever it takes) to allow it all to unfold, to be here and to pass away, annican, no holding….

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‘Thus everything lingers only for a moment, and hurries on to death. The plant and the insect die at the end of the summer, the animal and man after a few years; death reaps unweariedly. But despite all this, in fact as if this were not the case at all, everything is always there and in its place, just as if everything were imperishable. The plant always flourishes and blooms, the insect hums, animal and man are there in evergreen youth, and every summer we again have before us the cherries that have already been a thousand times enjoyed. Nations also exist as immortal individuals, though sometimes they change their names. Even their actions, what they do and suffer, are always the same, though history always pretends to relate something different; for it is like the kaleidoscope, that shows us a new configuration at every turn, whereas really we always have the same thing before our eyes.’ [The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer]

Photo: Steam clouds at a Power Plant in NZ, by  Louk Vreeswijk
This post is inspired by: LIFE AS IMPROV.COM what is meant by now and the Moojie video at the end. Also: AWAKE AND FINDING PURPOSE.WORDPRESS.COM The spiritual path. And the fisherman and the businessman.