Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kaleidoscope World

Do you ever ponder infinity, or do you just think, why bother, it is impossible to comprehend. Human beings like to measure. They create units for everything. Time and space is broken down into discernable increments in order that we may manage our environment. Society is based on common assumptions of the physical world. When we make an appointment, we are agreed when the both of us will arrive. When we figure how far to drive from here to there, we can gather how long it will take.
I am not entirely comfortable living within these man-made articles. Rather, I like to lose boundaries and flow in the infinite.

The other day, my girlfriend and I had a deep conversation about our relationship and she confided that she worried that in my traveling I could forget her. I know what she means because I have confided that when I go on trips, I like to “disappear into the matrix”. I lose a sense of self, flowing and melding with my immediate universe. It is difficult to describe the freedom and élan I sense. Barriers fall so that I am not “the other”, but have become “disappeared”. Then, I am not of a particular race, creed, economic position, nationality, or anything separate, but more like a pulse from the sun or moon or from the middle of the earth. It is a meditation of sorts and a forgetting of past, and an exquisite openness to the miraculous present, while trusting that the future will take care of itself. Heidi of the Mountains demands that I always remember her and not lose track for even a minute. The closer we become, the more I realize my wandering days might become circumscribed. Fortunately, she is as adventurous as me, so we can explore together. Yet, the wind has no partner, and I like to be the wind over the earth; unconstrained and even capricious. I like surprise to the extent that I am a surprise to myself.

When I observe fashion, style, business, the structures of society, I can see the inventive usefulness that is purported, and yet I do not want to be embroiled in temporal intrigues. I can appreciate the adventures, and understand that I take my part, but my philosophy is that it is all part of what I call THE DREAM. Civilization and the external cosmos are like a grand kaleidoscope. A kaleidoscope is a circle of mirrors containing loose, colored objects such as beads or pebbles and bits of glass. As the viewer looks into one end, light entering the other end creates a colorful pattern, due to the reflection off the mirrors. Turning the object mixes the ingredients and causes an almost endless display of effects. It is a bit of a dream. And this is how I see the events of life unfolding. Endless, surprising pictures unfold from the bits of life colliding, shaping, destroying and reformulating to become new phenomenon. And do you think there is an observer? In a sense, we are all observers, but can see so little of the miraculous, breathtaking pictures that unfold. We partake of an infinitesimal fraction of the spectrum. Of course, the less we think of the infinite, the bigger even small things become, and people can have heated arguments over mundane trivia.

The kaleidoscope turns moment by moment, always changing, producing new arrangements for us to ponder and explore. This earthly consciousness and viewing  is what Buddhist’s call Saṃsāra. The word has its origin in ancient India, to refer to the physical world, or family, or the universe. In modern parlance, saṃsāra refers to a place, set of objects and possessions, but originally, the word referred to a process of continuous pursuit or flow of life. In accordance with the literal meaning, the word should either refer to a continuous stream of consciousness, or the continuous but random drift of passions, desires, emotions, and experiences. This turning of a wheel, producing new and different effects, is like the kaleidoscope. I see it as dream. The great unchanging reality is the core, the axis upon which everything revolves. The axis is reality; everything else is but a dream.

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