Tuesday, March 3, 2015

dream world

pencil and ink on paper
March came in like a tired old polar bear. Maybe it will go out like a spring chicken. Meanwhile, the record cold winter drags on. It takes a toll on the body and mind. Lohbado, like many people, became drowsy. Even to put on his heavy parka and boots became a chore. At the beginning of the winter, he was cheerful about it. He felt glad to have warm gear for the cold. But then he didn't expect it to last so long. So that's the story.

On an introspective level, growing up in a land of cold winters was a factor in leading Lohbado to view life as a spiritual experience. Life itself lies on numerous mysteries and paradoxes. The most obvious mystery is the mystery of time or impermanence. What happened to the previous moment? What happened to yesterday, or last year or ten years ago? What is happening now will also be mostly forgotten. Even in the here and now, one connects to a small fragment of the totality of what is happening. One only perceives what falls within the range of one's perception. If one's mind is distracted or preoccupied, one might not even notice what's in front of the eye.

After contemplating the mysteries of existence for decades, Lohbado came to a common sense conclusion. Things happen because they appear to be happening. Fire is hot. Water is cold. There's a lot of thoughts and voices in the head, a sense of self, that's how it seems to be.

Stating this in a glib tone of voice is not the answer to the riddle of the universe. One could take refuge in blissful ignorance and just not notice much of anything. Stumble forward, neither looking to the right nor the left. Just follow the narrow trail of survival. Lohbado couldn't accept that survival was the only purpose of existence, because existence involved so much suffering. If survival is all that matters, then existence is not worth the effort, concluded Lohbado. Sometimes, especially on a cold winter morning, life feels about as much fun as a tooth ache. Pain stopped Lohbado in his tracks. It made him pause, reflect, ask questions and finally to sit down and contemplate the situation. In doing so, his mental horizon opened. He set off on the spiritual path. The spiritual path is hard on the ego. It's not easy... that's another story...

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