To get the feeling that I have accomplished something today, and in the vein of embracing my imperfection, I begin this piece at 12:50 am. Where I write, in Seoul, Tuesday has already begun. For most of the people who potentially read this, Tuesday is still hours away. For them it is squarely Monday. Before I reflect further on the nothingness that underlies all our efforts, I would strongly advise against reading any further.
There is so much to say, and yet, it can all be said with a simple sound, like Om, or not even that. Freedom means occupation of the space in your mind that was formerly occupied by your masters. It is an art form to live freely, or, as my friend Tenzin Tharpa calls it, skillfully. Once we free that mental space from oppressors like authoritarian figures, every meaning-generating vibration we can identify will rush in, and the first time, this race is won by the most addictive ones.
The quality of our freedom is a consequence of the quality of our master’s freedom. I sense some recursion, a hierarchy of freedom (freedom as a metaphysical fantasy), in the case where the consecutive masters are all wise people. If they are cigarettes, alcohol or the blackjack table, this recursion is cut short. Your master is one dimensional. Higher freedom demands better masters, and we find the best master in ourselves – or Dewey?
The hour is late, such thoughts on freedom are boring and unoriginal, although there is some insight. My mind is not working properly right now, and yes, I embrace that too. The simplicity of these sentences, the limited vocabulary, the slow pace at which thoughts travel from my mind to the computer screen. I embrace it all, I am not afraid that I am a failure.
Expectation and accumulation. I have simpleton thoughts like in late adolescence, reiterated in the limp mind of a forty-year-old. I work hard everyday, I arrived at this age with a basket of dreams, and there is still so much fruit of my creativity left uneaten. I mastered freedom-to but not freedom-from. The fear of irrelevance, triviality, unworthiness plays me and cripples me. The quality of being-here is missing. I am not writing in the present.
We went on a wonderful picknick yesterday, in a national park. Seeing my daughter playing on a large rock was uplifting. And it was enough. Strictly enough. No more words of wisdom. Yes there are many, many other smarter people. Their existence is beautiful too. But I’m so afraid I lose all my own value because of them. It’s the way I was programmed. Understand you can reprogram your mind, but it will take a long time. Use meditation, create healthy neural pathways in your brain. Think about Matthieu Ricard.
I am bombarded with too much information. Normally, a sentence like the previous one has the subject ‘we’. I cannot speak for this ‘we’, but so many people pretend they can. ‘We’ are destroying the planet, ‘we’ are more depressed, obese, less violent, happier. Semantics! Yes, but it’s not innocent. Because I say ‘we’ so easily, I forget this group identity is dynamic and requires work. Doing the work to be part of a group canalized energy that otherwise accumulates and finds an outlet in extreme ‘egoistic’ behavior.
Bullshittin’ is what I am good at. Philosophy in my understanding is friendship anyway, but in scatophobic times, why sees my bullshit as fertilizer rather than filth.
I could go on. The clock, about thirty centimeters to the right of this ‘s’ at the time of writing, says 1:41 AM. There is poetry in everything. Tomorrow I hope to write again with a fresh brain giving rise to a fresh mind.