Have you listened to the silence within the sound? That silence which hums merrily along with all that is audible. It feels like an immense presence bearing down on everything. And with such silence the mind is astounded, quite rightly, since that silence is like a block that does not move under any pressure. It is all-pervasive, as if it is the very constituent of reality.
The bugs that speak during a hot summer day do not care for the many tomorrows. It is the very first and the very last song of existence. With such abandonment nature goes into the unknown, carefree and unbridled, and with such force and power, how could one not face nature with utter humility?
Silence is nature. What isn’t silently rejoicing the mere fact of existence? The song of joy isn’t sung from a particular point of view. It is rather a quiet acknowledgement of what already is. It is like a serene lake. The lake doesn’t need any accomplishments. It is content in merely being. And in this total absence of ambition, beauty is astounding, yet profoundly peaceful. Such peace seems undesirable to the mind, since the mind might be too conditioned to be free. What’s strange, however, is that there is no guarantee to the mind that such peace is desirable. It is rather outside of what it can imagine. But when the mind has had a taste of this peace, of its depth and ineffable beauty, then it might see how little and insignificant its struggle has been.
We like metaphors because it conceals the bloodiness of truth. It is also called a euphemism, to protect ourselves from seeing the actual gore. We treat our children the way we treat ourselves. Hide them from the realities of life, so when they finally have to face life, they are ill-prepared. Why do we not like exposure? What are we afraid of? Have we gotten so used to hide and seek that we do not know how to face life as it is?
There is much talk of courage, but when it comes to letting go, there is little. A mother might presume to love the teenage daughter, and becomes what one might call a “helicopter parent”. A husband might presume to love the wife, and becomes possessive and controlling, with ensuing violence. Much has been done in the name of love, such as domestic abuse, rape, and even genocide. It is quite important to understand what love actually is. One faces many teachers, either religious or secular, that talk about love and define love. One must bear in mind that any definition of love only excludes, as definition is exclusive by nature. Love is, to the naked heart, not exclusive at all. Love is like water, which serves all, but is not attached to anything. Such are the peculiar qualities of love, that it is not control at all. Possessiveness, either from parent to child, or lover to lover, is only the expression of fear, namely the fear of loss. It is the fear of losing the other, of losing what one thinks the other should be like, that nurtures possessiveness in human relationships.
Words are like a screen. They shade the already innocent reality. Shadows are created by words, in the forms of speeches and ideologies. There is no ideology that isn't violent. The ultimate aim of ideology is to change the world into its image. Ideology is very violent in its incessant demand to occupy every being. The anti-ideology is the same, just ideology deceiving itself to be its opposite. There is no opposite.
In a distant land, there existed a population without any experience of the mirror. One day, a mirror suddenly appeared. Why it appeared was not known. A person, walking along the field, saw it and picked it up. He was mesmerized by it, because he saw a perfect reflection of himself in it. He had never had such detailed, precise perception of himself. So he took it with him and looked at it often, each time mesmerized by it, and yet each time the effect worn down. Eventually, he was not satisfied by this image, and wanted more. What he wanted, he did not know, so he thought, at least he could introduce this thing to others.
The valley sometimes smelt sweet, with the wind carrying scents of flowers low in the ground. Blue, white, and yellow covered some of the ground with the vitality only spring knows. Walking among the great mountains, austere, immovable, one is almost non-existent. Such is the bliss of the absence of oneself. The howls of the wind were almost alive, carrying timeless waves of music through this path carved out by man. Rarely anyone was around, and the joy of silence danced on every leaf, every blade of grass, every moving cloud. The clouds, what tremendous depth. They carried a great deal with them, protruding into heavy grey, and one almost suspected that the rain might be coming soon. In the distance, bright sunlight and voluminous clouds throw the blue sky into sharp relief. It felt like the door to infinite wonders had been opened just there.
Why do we pledge? The politicians promise a future to the people, and that is not only politicians in a democracy, but also politicians in any kind of ideological system. With that promise, a politician gains popular support, and hence power. The corporations and governments pledge for future action, of what they will do to ensure the safety and security of people and the earth. This has become so common in the field of climate change. But this habit of pledging isn't limited to only the so-called “macro” worlds of politics and policy, but takes place also in the private and personal worlds, such as our friendships and familial relationships. We promise each other so many things. It could be the promise of marriage, of staying together forevermore. It could be the promise of doing something in return, so as to get something from each other now. We might have all been through this habit of pledging, and I think it is quite important to ask ourselves, why do we pledge? Because, by pledging, by promising to do something in the future, we have definitely delayed our action to the future, so that we don't have to do anything now. So it seems, pledging serves one important purpose: preventing immediate action.
The world is dominated by a theory of perpetual economic growth. World economies are measured by its growth in GDP, among other metrics, to determine whether the economy is healthy or functioning. We might ask, what does it mean to be healthy? Does perpetual growth mean health, or does it mean excess, like a tumor? What is really driving our desire for perpetual growth in our economy, and what exactly is growing?
These questions are quite important if we consider them in the context of our lives, and the many crises we face as humanity: war, hunger, human-caused climate and natural disasters. These are real dangers that face human beings in the world, and what is their relationship to growth? Obviously, if we observe our life, things grow, and then they wither. Like any living organisms or inorganic forms, they exist, flourish, multiply, decrease, and die. This is something no one and nothing can escape, but is the idea of perpetual economic growth trying to escape that fact?