the fool

IMG_0872bPOSTCARD#64: Chiang Mai: I hear a sound outside, a voice, a single-syllable, shouted utterance… somebody’s name maybe. I pay no attention, all kinds of noises of building construction out there; clatter-crash-bang; screaming drills and power tools. Then I hear it again, go to the window and take a look over at the new building rising above the treetops. There’s a man up there on the highest level of the structure calling on somebody. I watch him for a while and take a photo. Enlarge the image as far as it’ll go; he looks like a desperado, an urban guerrilla fighter, but I think it’s the same guy who was wearing the red shirt in another post I wrote [light-headedness]. Something about the posture, he’s just standing there, face covered because of the fierce heat of the sun – incognito, a masked identity, a mystical storyteller, the Fool card in the tarot pack, all his worldly possessions in a bag on his shoulder and so busy with what he’s thinking about, doesn’t know he’s about to fall over. A small dog is barking at his heel – trying to get him to see the danger. Will he tumble to his death from this high place or will he prevail? The presence of the Fool is part of the fiction he creates, it insists on the performance. Please tell us a story – it has to be started before it begins… a story about a story, a song about a song?

Childlike and forever taking things as far as they’ll go, I am a make-believe being acting a part I believe to be ‘me’. Subject to astonishing karma because I’m holding on and mortgaged to the point beyond which mortgages really cannot reach, living on air, out on a limb… what I do is often done under duress: WORK, a sense of urgency, stress and getting kids to/from school with traffic congestion, food buying and one problem after another means I seek gratification in purchasing things: clutter and stuff/stutter and cluff, and the-urge-to-get-rid-of-it-all. A new problem always seems to arrive to take the place of the problem that was there before it, and the endless lack of a solution is tacked on to that… and to the one that comes after that… and after that, until I realise it’s the searching for a solution that causes the problem to arise…

When was it not ever thus?… and all of a sudden I’m free of it, thinking of emptiness, nothingness (as opposed to somethingness) and we’re all of a oneness … everybody’s brother and son, I’m no different than anyone. It ain’t no use a-talking to me, it’s just the same as talking to you [I Shall Be Free – No. 10]. Play the guitar riff from Purple Haze, do the best MoonWalk ever, acting the part so well, the ‘truth’ is revealed completely. There is no difference between the ‘self’ construct and my part in the story – even so, the spectator wants to believe I am the character, not the actor just being myself and simultaneously not myself. The ‘act’ of being alive. It’s just there, a total act, ‘theatre’, illusion, maya and we’re immersed in the story of it all…

‘Our lives suffer from a lack of meaning that disguises itself as consumerism and a host of other addictions. Having lost our spiritual grounding […] we experience our groundlessness as an unbearable lightness of being. The tragic dialectic between security and freedom reasserts itself: having attained some measure of self-determination and confronted the lack at its core, we now crave the grounding that would connect our own aspirations with something greater than ourselves.’ [David Loy, A Buddhist History of the West – source:]


Post includes parts of an earlier post: Acting the Part