Saturday, October 28, 2006

Another year in this lifetime

Got another year older recently. Was wondering about the things that I’ve learned so far about this life in general. And whether I’d be able to write something like Paolo Coehlo’s Warrior of the Light soon. Or like this book by John Fowles, The Aristos, that I’ve recently acquired from a secondhand book shop here in Manila (have to remember to write something about it in the Lectiograph). Wrote down his views on existence in the form of these numbered aphorisms. Nietzsche did something similar with a few of his works. And I think Kafka too, in his obscure notes. Well, Doogie Howser’s diary entries and Bob Ong’s Stainless Longganisa could fall within the same league, except that their scope were quite limited to medical practice and writing respectively (don’t think they ever numbered their witty ideas). Better start my lists now.

Possessing and letting go

1. Sometimes, the best way to gain a hold or knowledge of something or someone would be to let the thought that you are bound to lose it or that person possess your entire being every waking day of your life. Only by fully realizing the impermanence of love and the loved one are you able to grasp the truly unchanging nature of these phenomena. As the old saying goes, if you love something or someone, set it or that person free. But sometimes, thinking like this is only a sure way to start feeling gloomy and thus torture yourself unnecessarily.

2. By letting go, you may lose something or someone invaluable. Or you may decide to drastically severe your attachments to an idea or feeling about it or that person. And this can be a really painful, gut-wrenching, life-changing experience. Whether you put an end to it or get to keep the relationship, you can get over the pain by thinking that freedom is also gained in the process of giving up. Pain, like all other states, is transient and can be willed to pass through your being without leaving heavy marks. Meanwhile, you can always wallow in your depression.

3. Possessing and letting go should be both acts of will if they are not to degenerate into unconscious desire and breed attachment. It is only by willing that you avoid being completely engrossed in either state and thus see that they are not mutually exclusive. It is by willing that you learn to possess the blossom’s beauty with your whole being while maintaining its integrity. Willing is the key to the Middle Path.

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