Posted in rantings and ravings on August 26th, 2016 by skeeter
It’s easy to come back to the place of your youth and fall into a nostalgic reverie, long flashbacks to the good old days. You know, if they were actually good, not mostly memories of hard struggles and forlorn winter glooms. But looking back from these years future, though bittersweet, reveals a winding road you might not care to travel again, still, you wouldn’t want to have missed that detour.
Old age, so they say, brings wisdom. Youth, I say from experience, was a frenzied search for some kind of meaning, maybe any kind. The monks, and the zen masters, they removed themselves from the distractions of the world to contemplate, to synchronize with the OM, to hear the one hand clapping. When they had reached satori, when their breathing was one with the cosmos, when the koan of a tree falling in the forest without them there to hear was solved, they emerged back into the world, exemplars of purity of thought.
I wonder if they wished they had stayed. I wonder if what they learned in solitude and meditation was that they were one with what they had left, that the sound of the one hand was the same sound as the tree falling as the same sound as the OM as the same sound of their breathing which is the same exact sound of everyone’s breathing and that the journey we take is the journey they took without our distractions but the distractions are actually the one hand clapping after all.
Maybe they know the answer to that and I don’t. But … what I think, looking back from the road I started on, is the answer to that is that the road is never the same. We are never the same. The sound of the one hand clapping, don’t kid yourself, it sounds different the next time. Be glad to be IN the world, don’t try to BE your own hermetically sealed world. And that one hand clap, by the way, it won’t be the sound of applause, more like a sigh of relief.