Saturday, December 26, 2009

enlightenment, the red herring

you can chase it as much as you want, but the moment of glory comes and goes. the brilliant sunset transforms into night, and you have to accept the milky way. the unifying sun divides into a thousand thousand stars. your choices become harder, given the potentials. the poet william everson says americans driven crazy by the endless possibilities.

once i compared studies of zen and therapy. they led to the same conclusion. once you've accepted your own authority, you've a freedom you haven't known before. you bowed at the zen master's (the therapist's feet) until you say, 'fuck you, i'm seeing things for myself and going my own way.'

of course, this can lead to terrible misadventures and mistakes. so be it. the flute teacher made the disciple play the same tune over and over again, until he really got disgusted. so he escaped into the world, accumulated a fortune and lost it, found love and destroyed it, decayed in his body. when he returned to the village and played the tune the master had taught him, people said, 'we have never heard anything so beautiful,' and they wept.

let's face if, enlightenment comes and goes.

suddenly, i'm bored with photography. i can't bear this particular relationship to the world, being the fly on the wall. yet i recognize it has been a way to ecstasy: 'everyone is enlightened but me.'

i look back and think, 'i've been so lucky, never to stay in one state so long.'

i've always loved utopias, fairs and festivals. leaving them, a great shock. do we only grow through loss?