And after two days off, some perspective. The body rests, cleaning itself out from the lively battles, returning to relative peace.
And then, yes, it's all about the compassion. The things that brought us sorrow and pains of various sorts, eventually, in the right mindset, they become the things that awaken us, awakening us to suffering, and therefore the plight of other beings. The Four Noble Truths come. The concept of non-duality, removing the dualistic thinking we impose upon experience... What is pleasure, what is pain?
It feels radical, but then, remember the importance of compassion and the basic contentment of teaching that to a seeking self and pleasure, habitual thinking.
With pleasure, of course, there is suffering too, the knowledge that all things are changing, mortal. The beauty of an aging parent...
In the night I felt the pangs of all my mistakes, so I saw them. How hurt my psyche was, the message in my mind tells me; look what it did to your life. But then, do not such things become signposts, in a way, a strange comfort of having empathy with all beings, who must endure the same kind of things. In order to teach that which is worth learning. The infantile quality of desire... The very thing is now a primordial cause of the most real happiness you've ever found...
Suffering, the world over...
That is the Cross, I suppose, and how it meets perfectly with Buddhist truth.
The forty days in the desert. He could read the hearts of the Pharisees because he understood the root of suffering. He saw in their reaction to him the desire to be better, self-righteous, accusing him of this and that, to show themselves off as something better, purer, more in keeping with the laws, justly compensated, judgmental.
And so he would turn to those who could listen, humbly enough, to tell them not seek to be better before others, prominent in the foremost places. That would only lead to suffering, temptation. Beware of what they preach. He could clearly see it, reading the psychology, that of one in the act of seeking something pleasurable.
And that's not the point of life. Better off to go seek sorrowful things, if you need to relax.
Not much is written of the forty days. Satan offers him the various pleasures of the world. And that is perfectly sufficient. Here he now sees, brought home to him, the complications that arise, the suffering... In one sense how to look beyond dualistic understanding, pleasure, pain, good, bad, self, not-self. In the desert he has gone beyond the temptations. Not the least, perhaps even primarily, the desire felt by city-dwellers, to be proudly first and foremost, abiding in the laws, the most upstanding of citizens.
Coming from the desert, Jesus would rather suffer the complication, the unhappiness, the confusion of the sinful whose mix is clearly that of the sorrow and suffering pains of their pleasure seeking. And he has come to the sick to heal them. And sometimes it is good for them for him to point out examples, lessons, the temptations.
People are interconnected. Should one derive pleasure in the face of the sorrow and want of others? The creatures of the planet are all part of this. And look how nature works, the lilies, the sparrows...
In the desert, a Buddhist place to be, looking for the way to express the knowledge within that comes of life experience...
There's almost a shyness on his part. What he says is reaction to events, a response. No, here I am, an active laying down of the new law. Questionings. He's calm about it all, confident.
Surely thou wilt say, physician, heal thyself. By which is meant, get a job, belong to society. Do the normal things. Get along, like we all do. (More notes based on The Rejection at Nazareth, and who would want to touch that one with a ten foot pole...)
But he's too left-brained for that. His mind is always ticking.
Run out of wine, more or less, needs to get out of the house, goes down to a bar on the avenue, the one friendly one open reeks of stale beer, redolent like cat pee, but they have an okay glass, Le Clos, and out of the house, even amidst the criminal cheesiness of televised over-sell of the worst kind of drugging, now in high definition, to make it more real and bright than the rest of reality... The Daytona Five Hundred. The modern bar, with TV sets flashing in the eyes, fascinating.
Here, in this setting, the late night people of the avenue, he's found another Starbuck's, a place to be creative, to think, to let the wheels spin. Space, even such as it is. Left brain. Composing what it all means, from the ancient perspective, felt when he gets away from the avenue up the clean street where the smells of tree and root, dirt, flowers, leaves, replace the commercial blend of agrarian civilization. Here, the sky again, the moon, trees rising up. The refreshment of the living plants drinking of the earth's water, as if each were maintaining a balance, so that the rocks below were happy for fulfilling their living mineral organic purpose, the supportive crust.
It took getting out, going down to see people as they are, Russia House, thankfully, closed, even though a target for having a decent Cahors and a good Cotes du Rhone by the glass, but there in the bar, no one you'd particularly want to talk to, the bartender a nice guy, experienced at his trade... That refreshment a bartender needed, just to sit on the other side, inconspicuously, even alone, but, the mind running as it is trained to.