07-09 - Recovery from the War Zone

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    This late report has just arrived from our War Correspondent. For security reasons, the exact names of places and the speakers have been removed.

    I had escaped. Although memories of the War Zone were still sharp in my memory, I had fled. It wasn't supposed to happen, of course, but it was always a risk in my line of work; journalists are seen as spies, and spies have a very short unpleasant lifespan if they are caught. And I had been caught. But I had escaped. And that wasn't supposed to happen either.

    I found myself somewhere unknown. It could have been a completely different world. Perhaps it was. Except that, curiously, the names seemed familiar. Whole tracts of land were named after the Korean letters. I began to think I was still trapped. But the Hangeul welcome I got made me think twice. Perhaps I was a desultory refugee but it seemed I was in a land of refugees.

    I set out, on my own, under cover of darkness in the short single-hour night. I headed north. To my left I saw a bronze statue rising 20m into the air above a waterfall. I took comfort from the sight of that good lady, but opted to veer right towards a small wooded area. There I found a deserted white pavilion, its pergolas outstretched like welcoming arms. Crows and a single hawk crowded its rafters. I needed to rest, so I climbed onto its roof, out of sight and care of the local denizens. I slept.

    How long I was there, I don't know. It could have been days, recovering there, high above a fountain pool, a fever gripping my bones, with only the birds for company. Time seemed to work differently there. Slowly my appetite returned and I munched slowly through my meagre supplies. The sun and moon must have passed overhead twenty times before I eventually regained my strength and went on my way.

    But what dreams I had while sleeping on that roof. Every now and then I seemed surrounded by murmurs, a ghostly conversation. In my delirium it felt like someone was dropping pearls of peace on my brow, soothing words spoken in a friendly atmosphere. No... more than soothing. These were honest words, heartfelt, even when discordant. To their utterers and their listeners, they probably meant more than they meant to me. They must have had context. But after the shock of battle, only snatches stayed in my mind...
    a kaleidoscope... a tapestry...

    "I think my frustration hangs on this point. What USE to me is the idea that time doesn't exist on some plane of theory?     I can definitely see the use of non-attachment, and of compassion etc etc. I suppose I am attached to 'applicability'"

    "And similarly, when you fall into reality (at least as overwhelming as falling in love) your first reaction is to focus on the uniqueness of your own path. And of course the leaders have everything to gain from fanning the flames; they would lose their status if people wouldn't be bound to them."

    "Is space really the final frontier, or will it be the mind that is the last thing to yield its mysteries?"

    "Man, what does he put in his gumbo. Same base as the dirty rice but garlic and a major mix of seafood. Oh, and tons of okra. Well, garlic goes in everything."    

    "I thought one of the interesting things was the fear that all this contemplation and compassionate view/behavior can 'take the edge' from our human experience."

    "...Please don't stab me..."

    I awoke with a start. Those words brought a fear to me. Was the nightmare returning? No. Instead I felt a cosiness seep around me, as though I were lying in a summer's meadow amid the warm long grass, where no one would ever find me...


    "Can you look at the world in a more radical way, without even the possibility for 'change'; taking the bottom out, the ground or the carpet; pulling the carpet out from under 'change'; staying only with the arising of what appears in the eternal now?"

    "...an example of timeless, a single utterly perfect kiss that I had once. It might have been ten seconds or twenty minutes, I truly can't say."

    "Well, the act of painting is wondrous. and people seem to like what I do. I tried a few years ago doing cartoons where the characters said very wise things, like to took some sections of plato and some of Confucius and did them as cartoon strips. But I never learned to type well :)"

    "You could appear here tomorrow as a gorilla and we would accept you in the same way we do now :)"

    "Motivation is an interesting angle. How to have even more of it, while in timeless appreciation and fullness? We don't have to give up our enthusiasm just because we sense a timeless fullness."

    "I am a baby in a crib, my arm moves. I have a sensation--a pure quality--related to that movement different from when I see the mobile over my crib move. That sensation is real, before any concepts intervene."

    Ah... that is how I feel now. The war is receding from my consciousness. I feel as though I am being reborn. Coddled in a crib. Perhaps I should stay here? Or at least perhaps I should think about how to get back to this gentle place. I listen as the waves of words wash over me once again...

    "Yes, time has flown and I need my breakfast:)"
    "Ah, but how do you know that you haven't already had it?"
    "You only think you haven't eaten yet."
    "mmm, I have no memory of having eaten yet:)"
    "a dilemma... perhaps you should eat, just in case ..."

    "We use the term 'fullness' [of truth] to mean that there are points of disagreement and that we believe we are correct and he is wrong."

    "I found that just shutting down some of my lateral thinkings went a long way to finding calm"

    "... similar to spiritual benefits of a good hot curry :0"

    "don't eat chocolate before dinner..."

    "I'm thinking about 'applying timelessness to everything', and wondering how that works."

    "...pain frozen in time, like a specific trauma which seems to linger, or to become more than the timespan of its occurrence"

    "For long I have been struggling with placing time in dimensional context. We are not looking at time as a one dimensional aspect. Yet, if I look deeply at my time-line, and see it is not your time-line (but we are close - this evening we overlap), I think we weave a blanket of threads. If 12 of us overlapping here, we make a small scarf. With you in your blue period and my black thoughts, we make a colorful mat."

    "The problem is that we tend to overlook our real core, what we really are, where our real strength is . . . . and yes, we keep on adding stuff, material stuff, mental stuff . . ."

    "I have stood on top of hills in pouring rain and just wanted to shout in a long howl, 'Come get me!'"

    "Blissful. Empty form. Now what?"

    Those words seemed to shake me from my reverie. I had become blissful here. But now what? File this report, and then what? I knew I must return. But to where? The War Zone? Or to another war zone of the many that pepper the world like ulcers?

    I thought. There will always be another war. And another pay cheque if I escape. But lying here, above the water, I've found something else. There must be something else, surely? Perhaps being here has shown me where to return.

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