Ah, Friends, Hearts of Faith — a moment, please:
We have been checked into these drab motels of restlessness and discontent for so long that we have begun to think of them as our actual forwarding address. We are driven hither and thither by a little imaginary machine percolating beneath our skin, so that we never can sit down, relax and rest.
In the fervor of our archaeology, we gather up pieces of colored glass and hold them high above our heads, crowing about our latest treasures, yet in solitary moods of desperation, there lurks a secret craving for that of which we’ve long despaired – some taste of blessed certainty.
At this virtual Ghost Festival, I have spirit money to burn. Still, the Law of Balance allows for no exceptions. Luck and misfortune are invariably intertwined, and although I’ve been playing with these dice my whole life, they seem useless to me now, as does any empty certainty.
I’ve heard it said that those who don’t make flowers makes thorns.
“If we’re not building a home where love and wisdom can thrive, we’re only building a prison.”
Truly, the slightest hint of arrogance and conceit can pull us unawares inside those prison gates, where only the most heart-felt humility can finally release us. All strategy and effort are merely artificial contrivance, all willfulness only sinks one further into quicksand. Perhaps this is why the King of Masks remarked:
“The dragon in the shallows is toyed with by the shrimp.”
In this trickster carnival of chameleons, you ask, what is it that really matters, why am I here, for what purpose?
Certainly, this world can seem to be a cold place, and yet somehow we can bring comfort to it. What nobler purpose can there be in life, but to lighten another’s burden? What greater enjoyment is there, than for hearts to pour warmth into each other?
A drop of compassion can bring wellsprings of gratitude. Claim personal credit for it, however, and it’s no longer true compassion, but merely crafty self-promotion in the earnest guise of mercy.
“Is there fate or free will; is the mind in the body, or the body in the mind; do we live on after death, or is that the end?”
When such questions are posed, my eyes now drift wearily skyward. I came to this street party to drink the wine and disappear, not to champion any provisional position.
Now I stagger, nearly blinded, from The Tavern of the Drunken Idiots, but the gods it seems take pity on fools like me. I hold this tattered heart of mine in the space where it gently opens and blends with eternity, where something very quiet lets me hear the whole world deeply sigh in relief.
They say that the heart acts as a translator between mystery and intelligence; that it has its own ancient dwellers who do not speak with those who are merely passing through, but today the darling Beloved of Infinite Qualities arrives on a flower-laden float of Kindness, and all along the crowded festive avenues intoxicating perfumes of Jasmine and Honeysuckle run giddy riot through the senses.
Spring’s first Buttercups are enough to quiet all dispute, just as Autumn reveals the destiny of our own dreamy appearance. Right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or ugly – in this festival of immortal souls, what use are such empty distinctions? What makes any of them more than mere words inscribed on water but our preconditioned thoughts?
Is it this or is it that, is it so or is it not – all just traps where mind is caught! When we finally see things clearly, we find the seeker is the sought.
Realizing that every life is precious and dear, we can discard our cynical charades. After our death, we may remember what we really are, and tenderly forgive the fading dream with all its poignant masquerades.
Not until we stumble and fall, it seems, can we know where we truly stand. In the grace of this free falling, there is really no place to land.
Not chasing after things, not running away from them either – that’s what it means to let life be. The less we dwell on what appears, the happier and more at peace are we.
Whatever arises in mind, body, or emotions now, I just observe and let it go, like an old man watching children at play in lightly falling snow.
One after another, each will cross over in their own time, and these words I’ve spoken will be like forgotten toys, scattered over the playgrounds in crumbled towns abandoned long ago.
Here, I have emptied out my pockets, there is nothing in them worth a care. If you throw your arms around me, you’ll only be embracing air.
Just so, this story has rambled on long enough, while sharing nothing really new. Please forgive my indulgence here, my sand has now poured through.