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things falling apart


when things start falling apart, hold on to your seat. albert camus puts it this way: there is no love of life without despair of life. but pain, sadness, grief and and despair are at odds with our deep-rooted belief in a life free from them, a life of permanent bliss and happiness. there is nothing wrong with us wanting this but an honest relationship with life soon makes us understand love and despair, happiness and pain, light and dark are not only inseparable but comprise one reality we could ultimately call the facts of life. outside of those facts we have the world of our fantasies, projections and delusions. the whole point of awakening is to see just this, and the emphasis here is on the word just. thathata; seeing things just as they are, that is being a buddha in this world. sparse words, camus', but how profound in conveying the bottomless ambiguity of the human condition where our glory and misery hang from the same balance. this bench has passed the state of pretending to be anything else than what it is: bankrupt. bankrupt is the latin word for broken bench. this bench is beyond fixing and reparing, nothing can embellish it, but that is fine as it doesn't really need to be embellished, it is not interested in hidding the marks of time that we find outrageous. it has done with the time of pretense. this bench is not an expression of what time has done to it, this bench is itself the expression of time. this is an essential point we miss when looking at time, we place ourselves outside of time as we place ourselves outside of space. as with this bench, so with me. it struck me, looking with some attention at it again that if i were an object i would be looking very much like this bench; worn out, splintered, broken at the seams, falling into pieces, yet still upright. it is becoming increasingly clear to me, as the years pass by, that what we really need, that all we actually need, is to fully accept ourselves as we rather than try to change. to accept ourselves, yes, but to accept ourselves in a way that we hold ourselves dearly. all other projects including spiritual realization, reaching higher states of consciousness and becoming a better this or a better that are mere fantasies that aim at avoiding our deeper pain and wounding. they are escape strategies devised to bypass the messy side of us and of life. the humility of this bench, it has nothing to show but it has nothing to hide. no other bench would out of vanity want to look like it. as for the latin: novus ordo seclorum (new order of ages or, new world order) written at the bottom of the bench, it is the moto that appears on the reverse side of the great seal of the united states. observe how a rock is preventing it from collapsing right at that point. what a metaphor! no comment! photo credit Jennifer Stretton


#zen #zazen #meditation #sesshin #dharma #faro #algarve #bankrupt #albertcamus #tathata

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