Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Temporary Nuisances

     Here in my house, it is relatively quiet, but I am almost deafened by the noise. Roomba's* bumping hum is accompanied by the smooth whir of the dehumidifier and the yawns and sighs of my sleeping dogs, juxtaposed against the perpetually buzzing, unidentifiable background of near silence. I'm feeling sad for some reason, let down, tired, and frustrated. My thoughts are troublesome and chaotic, aggravated by this ambient cacophony. Last night, I dreamed that I was writing checks to specific members of my family for $300.00 each. Every time I made out one check, I felt compelled to write another, knowing there would be complaints that I wasn't being fair to everyone, regardless of whether those who protested really needed the money or not. My spontaneous gift of generosity quickly eroded into a tug of war, defiled by jealousy and old resentments. The dream's mood was sickening, an unpalatable decoction of perceived imbalances in the satisfaction of wants and needs, sticky and tenacious as fly paper. I awoke feeling emotionally drained, wondering how and when we made our lives so complicated, and why, oh why can't we all just let go of the petty grievances that are suffocating us?
     I've chosen to disengage from battle, to allow others to have their opinions with the recently-gained awareness that opinions, including my own, are really quite meaningless. My happiness and contentment in life are not contingent upon anyone else's approval. I've come to value what others think of me with the same regard I reserve for my own fingernail clippings: non-essential and easily disposed of. The only way I've found to successfully overcome resentments is to let go of them completely. Forgive, forget, and move on. While it's true that we can't forget the actions which prompted us to forgive, we are more than capable of forgetting any lingering resentments; otherwise, the forgiveness is incomplete. Resentments aren't productive or worthwhile. They create an endless source of suffering, both for the grudge-holder and the begrudged, and are the unfortunate by-products of an unreceptive, rigid mind. Clinging to resentments actively prevents the acquisition of new insight.  Under such circumstances, unconditional love becomes stifled, the capacity for empathy and compassion is diminished, and real growth is not possible.
     Words have no inherent power. We assign weight and meaning to them, as well as to the opinions they help form. This is why opinions are of little importance. Ego-trippers, as well as those whose sense of self-worth is derived from the approval of others, have a great deal of difficulty accepting this. We use words to label people, things, and feelings, but something is always lost in translation. That something is experience. While words hint at an experience, they are not the experience itself; they are the map, not the territory. Likewise, we are not who we think we are. Our thoughts are as inconsequential as gnats in the summertime, our egos as relevant to our true selves as a fleeting glimpse, caught in a plate-glass window. A finger points at the moon, but to see the moon, one must look beyond the finger. Words aren't necessary in conveying experience or truth; these are qualities that defy definition. Our true selves lie beyond the distractions, ever-present and undefinable, intimately connected with all that is, ever was, or will be. The map may change, but the territory endures; the roadblocks we encounter are only temporary nuisances. In looking past them, we're free to arrive.
*Roomba=robotic vacuum cleaner

13 comments:

  1. Interesting take on life, people, personalities, emotions, and dreams---

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  2. Seems as tho this dream has other connections. Maybe your mind's way of working out the details for you to sort later. I did like the fingernails comparison, its very true.

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    1. Most definitely, Steven...I think this is why I pay attention to my dreams.

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  4. Kris, I do think the problem lies with how seriously people take themselves. Our words and thoughts and ambitions are symptoms of this dis-ease. This constant preoccupation with self which destroys our peace of mind. In the grand scheme of things, what real difference is there between us and those summertime gnats you mentioned? Life would be so much simpler if we just resigned ourselves to that. Incidentally, the aphorism I just posted, this week's, is on this very theme.

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    1. funny how you mentioned the gnats,NP...i pondered that sentence quite a long time, and couldn't figure out how to make a metaphor for something insignificant. it's difficult to rid oneself of "us and them" comparisons, especially when you're trying to convey that there is no us and them :-)

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  5. Well, Kris, I was going to tell you what I think of your post but it obviously doesn't matter. :) Seriously, interesting thoughts. How funny that they were conveyed with words. I guess they have some use!

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    1. Janene, that is precisely what made writing this so difficult. Argh! ;-)

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  6. I agree, Kris, words and opinions are insufficient, incomplete descriptors of experience. They are best used gently :)

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    1. What you've said here is so true, Ananya.

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  7. Another great post Kris! It's wonderful to see how we keep touching on the same subjects from slightly different angles.

    It looks like your awareness is deepening very quickly. Just be alert that your mind now doesn't start to blame all these "nasty egos." :-)

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