I detonated my old blog ‘Art and Life’ this morning. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/detonate/
The subscription was due in a few days and I didn’t want to renew it. I’d left posts saying I’d moved blogging addresses but people still kept following. The easiest thing to do was click the Delete button and detonate the whole thing. It’s gone now. Just like that. Years of work, aspirations, ambitions, musings, whining and creative outpourings gone in a moment. It was amazing how much energy I had tied up in that blog. Deleting it was liberating.
As for this one – well I’m not sure it’s going anywhere, or at least, not going where I intended it go. My last post was about the spiritual process of ascension. I’ve been writing about this process obliquely for at least 5 years but apparently no one noticed. When I wrote about it directly the author of the challenge prompt expressed amazement that I was even thinking about this subject. Not sure where that leaves me – am I that bad a writer that no one noticed I was interested in spiritual growth? While I ponder that and wonder whether in fact I should detonate all my blogs and go and meditate in cave I will post some haiga and haibun I have written that go some way towards mapping the spiritual journey I’ve been taking.
No one says much to me on this blog. Half the time I feel like I’m pissing in the wind. That detonation button and the inner cave are looking very appealing.
Some years ago I studied Indian Philosophy at university. It was a hard subject and I can’t remember much about it except for a strange debate we studied.
Sometime around 200BC a Hindu and Buddhist had an argument about the nature of the eternal soul. The Hindu said that the eternal soul is fixed and continues unchanged through time and space. The same soul stays with an individual through every incarnation. The Buddhist argued otherwise.
‘No,’ he said. ‘The soul changes and evolves as we do. Its nature is not fixed.’ He argued the soul is fluid and changes from moment to moment. What we do and think in the present impacts our soul. In every moment we are faced with a choice – to stay fixed in our current state or to grow and evolve.
In my essays I took the side of Buddhist. The lecturer favoured the Hindu point of view. ‘If my soul changes from moment to moment,’ she giggled, ‘I would wake up the morning as someone else. My husband wouldn’t recognise me.’ I found it hard to discuss the matter with her. She was convinced her view was the right one.
I find many people have hostile reactions to the idea. Maybe it is that, in this changing world, they like to think they are solid and dependable, fixed and reliable.
To me it seems they misunderstand what the Buddhist was getting at. I find it liberating to think that in every moment there is the possibility of redemption – of forward movement – of personal evolution.
Nothing is fixed
forever set in concrete
– healing can occur
One day I asked Google a question. ‘What was before the Big Bang?’
I received a number of answers. The one that intrigued me the most was the idea that the big bang emerged from a singularity. This singularity was the last remaining trace of a previous universe. The previous universe had gone through a period of expansion after being created in its own big bang, After eons of time the energy released during this big bang dissipated and the universe that preceded ours began to implode back in upon itself.
Eventually all that remained was a singularity.
This singularity exploded in a big bang which released the energy from which our universe is created. In time this energy will expend itself and our universe will implode. Eventually it too will become a singularity that will, at some point, explode in another big bang. A new universe will come into being.
This cyclic procession of universes reminds me of a story from Hindu cosmology. When the God Brahma breathes out, all life comes into being. When Brahma breathes in all life ceases to be until the God breathes out again. All existence is Brahma breathing in and out, in and out, in vast cycles of time and no time.
expanding and imploding
– no ending in sight.
In my early 20s I took a lot of acid (LSD) – a lot. My last acid trip took place in a National Park outside of Sydney. I had gone there with some friends to drop acid. While my friends tripped to some place where they giggled and cuddled, I went to a space where the world was made of paper – a place where the environment around me looked a painted backdrop and my friends looked like cartoon characters. I felt like the whole world could just blow away in the wind. It was a freaky feeling but what was even worse was the feeling that there was nothing, absolutely nothing behind the backdrop. Behind this world there was nothing but a vast empty void.
I tried to explain my freak-out to my friends but they were too busy laughing and cuddling to get it, ‘Of course the world is real. You’re just tripping out. You’ll come down,’ they said.
Back in Sydney the next day my friends straightened up and got on with life. I came down enough to know everyone else was no longer tripping but I also knew I still was. I stared out at Sydney harbour willing the paper yachts to become real. It was three days before they did.
The experience affected me deeply and I sought to understand it. Attracted to the Indian idea that all life is an illusion I began reading books on Hinduism and Buddhism. What I wanted to know was– if life is all illusion – what lies behind it? Is there really just nothing – an empty void?
‘Everything that arises and ends as a result of cause and effect is like the landscapes we see in dreams, the illusions, created by a magician, the bubbles on a fast-moving stream, and the unreality of shadows.’ from The Diamond Sutra
Whether or not this blog gets detonated remains to be seen. If it goes on – it will take a new direction – a more integrated one where I express myself more openly. A while ago I put a lot of my writing about spiritual matters onto a separate blog. I then decided I needed to make that blog private while I worked through some deep blocks that were affecting my spiritual growth. Now I’m thinking I either bring the content on that blog into this one or I detonate both of them and concentrate on my inner growth in private.