Saturday, July 16, 2016

These four walls

It's just me here. Me, the earth and sky, and these here four walls. I have grown to know them all very well. To know every scratch and dent of their features. It brings me a great deal of pleasure to know them so intimately. Ever present they are – through the dark night, the morning light, the sun so bright, the evening twilight and again the dark night. The sun, the moon and stars in the sky - and these four walls, which I take wherever I go. Boundaries to my world, limits beyond which I rarely go. Stepping beyond the known, I will fall off the edge and into the abyss. So it might seem.

When moving the walls become thinner. As they become thinner one might take the opportunity to look through them. Look out and beyond our own cosy little circle of familiarity. Looking beyond our area of activity and out into the world and its endless multitude of things. But we must be be quick, for as we slow our movement and stop, those four walls will appear once again. They appear around us and grow dense so that nothing else can be seen. Nothing but this life reflected as all things around us. A reflection of a reflection of a reflection of life. Reflected onto these four walls.

We could tilt our head back and see the everyday Fatima sun. Look at the world beyond our own petty concerns. But alas there are not many who would make the effort to look that way, or even think of it. Instead it is so easy to let the head sag and see only the ground directly in front of the feet. With diminishing effort taking in a view of the stomach, the gravelly ground, the feet and everything that happens to be directly ahead. The small bit of path before us. That and the great earth that holds us up and catches us when we fall.

Those who didn't feel the calling to see the twirling Fatima sun might just hold their heads level of their own accord. Eyes horizontal and nose vertical – that alone is adequate and quite enough for the truest of true views. The clear face of life before us. Eyes horizontal and the back straight. As straight as straight can be. It will suffice and is in fact preferable. To be precise it is the recommended way for the clearest view of life. The wholly recommended way. The turning sun will shine out from all and any things. Even from these four walls.

If it is not the case already, one might consider ways of lessening the impact of the appearance of these four walls. Lessening the belief that they are solid and unyielding.

Lessening the belief of their being complete and unchanging. An investigation, of sorts, to  reveal our response to them and any beneficial or deleterious effects that they might have on us.

These four walls, this magic circle, this ball and chain. To notice how they become lighter, more transparent, more clear as we move the most, but also when most still. To notice that there are other ways of making them transparent. Noticing how habitual patterns make them thick and dense and impenetrable. So too the how habitual moments make life less comfortable than it seems.

The observed life becomes lighter than the lighest hour of the day, and darker than the darkest hour of the night. One might let the mind withdraw its daily pattern for a minute. To fill the eyes with novel things, and to forget for a while ones cares and concerns. To look at so many of the other things that can be seen in life. Things that we might usually not notice. To take our usual way of not noticing things and hurl it far into the churning sea of life. To look and see everything even if it has been hidden by one wall or four.

When that is done, wandering without aim for a while and letting the walls languish. Wandering to and fro and filling onesself with the simple beauty of life. Letting life speak with no interference. The ponds and the weeds and the ducks and the sky. All quietly playing their part in the drama of life. When one has had enough of wandering then stopping. Gathering at a single unified point. The four walls might buckle and melt away at any time. With only the most gentle of coaxing. Indeed without being acted upon in any way.

Adding to this life a few ingredients as if a magical recipe. Mixed together like a stew, or any of the ingredients on their own will suffice. They appear as the stage on which life appears to play itself out, in its many scenes. Go and visit the blue dragons cave. Spend a season or two there. Get to know it well. After doing that, go and visit hell. Have a good look around while you are there. Meet its residents and watch how they operate and what motivates them. Look from outside and spend some time considering why it has always been so popular. You might even see your own shadow there. Catch it, hold it close and get to know it well. Meet its friends and enemies, for everybody is represented there, and usually they arrive together. Have pity on their ways and your own ways and mine. Meet the intent of life. Ride it life a horse and get to know your part. Then go out and meet time. Not merely the tales from the past or fables from the future. Meet the speed of life. The speed of lifes many players. The speed of the grass growing and the wind blowing and the stars that wander across the sky. Most of all, meet time as it is happening now. In everything encountered in the field of life at any given moment. If that is not enough, step outside of the flow of time. Find a spot beyond times domain. Or create a situation where you can grab a big lump of it, and let it pass by as slowly as you like.

While doing that listen for the voice of truth calling out from within. The voice of truth and all the other voices whose imperative is to call out their case. Brace yourself and, of the many voices calling out, start with the loudest. Let it call out as much as it likes. Give it as much time as is necessary to exhaust itself. One day it will fade, and when it fades follow it. Don't lose sight of it because it will lead you to a place that is not hell. Take a good look so that you know what it is like. It is not hell and there there are no four walls to be found anywhere. Follow the others as they arise and follow those that seem to come from someone else. Follow them until there are none left. Follow them and notice the ease with which you might stride across the universe and the equal ease with which you might stride back.