Monday, February 6, 2017

The writings that change your life, that help you see things clearly, are not literary;  they must be spiritual.  They are not about a story, nor dialog, finer points of accuracy and evocation, but rather about the deeper story of life, as we might find, obviously, in the great texts of spirituality and even the lesser ones found in the spirituality section of a good local bookstore, contemporary as we in our own age deserve to express them as much as in any.   Each reader, each person, must react in his or her own way, to bring together what one's own readership has shown to be valuable, true, to the point, something to hold on to, something that speaks.

I have made the common mistake myself, attempting to tell a story, working on a craft, and I find ultimately that the story I must tell is my own, which is a cause for great humility.  Flaws, mistakes, weaknesses, all the things of the problems flesh is heir to, self-caused.  These are essentially the problems caused by thinking, thinking as opposed to the more meditative mode of being, mind and body in touch, as one, enabled to find then the healthy patterns for the conscious being of body and mind.  Thinking itself is the literary mode, too often, and a writer should sit back and let the deeper consciousness, perhaps even the unconscious, shine through the verbiage surfaced on the pool of the mind.  That is, to let the light shine outward, more so than the attempt to shine a mental light inward.

Awakening, I feel shame and humility.  Unworthy of grace, sad that for the immediate time being I must continue for the near future with the flawed roles the mistaken being fell into, ways prone to mistake.  But yet I am more armed against them, through yoga, through things that bring a better chemistry to the mind's body and the neurochemistry, through meditation, through peace and quiet and walks in nature, observation with a freshness to the day.  Am I deserving, a wretch like me?  Buddha tempted by Mara, sitting in lotus position under the Bodhi Tree reaches his hand down to touch the earth.  Jesus rebukes Satan's promptings.  Both are rooted here in the present, rather than being stuck in the past nor in the misguided behaviors that come of social life in a market society.

There is Alan Watts, and Thich Nhat Hanh, and Thomas Merton, any number of yoga books, Gospel stories of Jonah and Job, the Psalms, tales of Buddha, of how Mohammed went up on the mountain to get the prophetic stuff.

These are the things that lighten our flaws, to make them less of a personal burden.  Conventional literature is in contrast by detailing the myriad of the mistakes the imperfect mortal being will make, and eventually one might want to move past them, as it does little good to obsess over the particular causes, the particular actions, the particular mindset as if provoked, as such things might boil down, by the light of meditation, into false ways of viewing reality and the deeper reality beyond.

Yes, that's what literature must ultimately do, put an eye toward deeper reality itself.  This too is a human effort, but perhaps, hopefully, an informed one, mistaken things cleared away.

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