Just Keep Streaming

   Anytime I write, it's usually to no 'end' except that of my stream of thoughts. I see or experience something out in the world: a good book, a song, a conversation, looking out on the ocean, my own internal thoughts, just living, and it snowballs into.. this writing. I couldn't be writing to convince anyone of anything because I'm not an authority on any one subject. This affords me the opportunity to just observe, experience, and wonder about whatever it is that's happening in front of me. .

   Apart from a scientist, whose end is to know after a series of hypotheses, I'm satisfied enough through expression of experience itself. In other words, a scientist looking at something harder and harder, more and more precise, smaller and smaller, ultimately goes nowhere and sees nothing except the forever elusive future-to-be-known. There are actual theories to support this, saying that the universe expands and contracts in relation to our exploration and observation of it; the farther we look, the farther it expands on micro and macro levels (i.e. https://goo.gl/1jxheI). This is to say, looking through a microscope you see a new world of forms, and if you were to increase magnification you would see a further world, and if you increased magnification yet again, more forms and more worlds ad infinitum. In the same way, looking through a telescope, or sending telescopes out into space, causes forms and literal worlds to appear out of void space, the edge always expanding just past our field of vision. If we were to see the edge of space, a horizon, it would imply an inside and an outside. Since we came from the inside, found the horizon and plunged to the out, we would then be on the inside of whatever other universe contained the horizon we just passed. That search will never end. In both macro and micro cases, a dissatisfaction with what we have in front of us causes a feverish search for more — which as demonstrated does lead to more, but forever, and needing more forever would get awfully tiring.

   Writing is an extraordinary way of being present, not searching for more than what you are thinking at now. Even if you get distracted in the process, you are again engulfed in the surprises and distractions of the same Eternal Now. Though you may call it a distraction from something "serious" or purposeful, you can't escape it! Call it serious or playful, it's all a streaming now. Go with it, or splash your arms in vain, the stream will take you regardless.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.  Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching

   It's really a blast letting reality be reality. What is supposedly better than the dance in front of you? You could say, "Well, tragedy! There must be better than that", and I'd ask what you mean by "better." If "better" equates to simply life going on, the eradication of tragedy, that is first to say that this universe is measured in meaning by how much linear time is used. That seems unlikely, and yet this is not nihilistic in that death 'doesn't matter', only that death is not out of the natural order of things. There is a certain stigma around death in at least "popular America" where it's an awful awful thing avoided at all costs, with radioactivity and all sorts of chemical concoctions, and if you don't do these things to try to avoid it you're weak or stupid. How does that work out for them? Them who focus all their conscious intention on this instinct to survive; only one aspect of their humanity. Obviously, everybody who lives must die, and it is perfectly natural to miss the person and mourn them in whatever way, but again, death is not out of order. You would not know death if you hadn't first been born; and so dying is the final experience of being alive. Also, by acting always to extend your life, all your time is consumed by looking forward, not presently enjoying the life you so desperately want to extend. Surely we have been advised against that..

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Photo by Izzy

   This "going with it" entails real faith. Faith is a word that has been overused to the point of becoming a mere religious platitude. That's unfortunate because in the process it's been swapped, or at least made synonymous, with Belief. Belief, on the one hand, is a flailing of the arms in the stream of life, a trying to hold on to something infinitely in a finite, ever-changing world. Faith is, on the other hand, a letting go of — of clinging to belief. Saying this is tricky because people take offense like I'm actually attacking their beliefs and telling them to stop believing whatever they do — I'm not. "Faith is letting go of belief." That statement could be simplified to "enlightenment" just as well. Enlightenment is glimpsing faith, transcending for a moment the shrouding beliefs of man and never being able to see them in the same way again, usually for better but as with all things, also for worse. Any "anointed or enlightened one", which is to say any Christ or Buddha, saw for a moment this world drawn through pure faith. After such a shocking sight — "you need not worry for the morrow!" — they are allowed again to fall back into and immerse themselves in the material world with all it's messy conflicts, attachments, emotions, and beliefs therein, with new eyes. You see, having faith and letting things go as they naturally would isn't meant to be a literally constant state. There is a yin to the yang; a dark side to the light that must be embraced. Taking the advice of going with it at surface-level would imply total passivity towards all tragedy that befalls our good earth — letting people starve and die while doing nothing and pitying no one. However, going with it includes also the natural and inevitable responses of anger, grief, and violence to those things. People are poisoning your water? Get angry! Needlessly losing a loved one to violence? Grieve, then get angry! Someone taking advantage of the disenfranchised or vulnerable? Fight back! To refuse these responses in whatever way they come is to deaden your gift of emotional senses; go with them! If something tragic happens to you, for instance, and instead of releasing your boiling anger you try to feign serenity — you are then still trying to swim against this stream of life.

   While on that stream of life analogy; you cannot stay in a state of enlightenment or even notice what that state of mind is without gaps of earthbound delight. Streaming. Flowing. Up and down, black and white, yin and yang. My saying that faith is necessary to be "in accord with life" isn't meant to be taken as a command for constant faith. I say it because I myself at different points in my life have trusted the way of faith and discovered, "This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed," (Terence McKenna). If someone were to intellectually understand this necessity for faith; that is, understand it without feeling, all they need now is that seed, and I had a lot of dormant seeds from years of reading and the environment I grew up in. Some distant day they might experience the water-nature of life, and that seed of faith will grow into a deep feeling. That should be the goal behind all efforts to help humankind. Plant seeds, but don't sit there and scream at them to grow. You could maybe, by shock and force, make a seed prematurely fruit, but with a fraction the yield or beauty in the final product had it been instead nurtured. Nurtured by giving it the freedom to fail or succeed in growth!

   Life as we know it is inescapably dual. For all the energy spent resisting the flow, there is correlatively an equal sense of release and rest when you let the flow carry you. The strain and the relief are mutually arising. "Woke" and "Sleep", in young folk slang, are mutually arising. Faith and Unfaith are mutually arising. So keep faith in mind and let it grow to an inner feeling. However don't expect to turn faith — which is inherently letting go — into the next thing you cling to for comfort and safety. Take for instance that wave there, in the ocean wherever, is it safe? Well that's obviously the wrong question. It's similarly the wrong question for us humans, for we are rippling waves of energy in the form: human. We are rippling peoples on the far reaches — though might as well be the center — of this particular universe, galaxy, earth. Peoples; waves — ever rising and falling. It's nothing that needs to be fixed necessarily, because it's not wrong; it isn't out of place for what rises to fall. It's all right where it is …

"Sitting quietly, doing nothing. Spring comes, and the grass grows of itself." Basho


"The morning glory which blooms for an hour differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years." Alan Watts

   One could talk about this principle of mutually arising, hsiang sheng in Chinese, in as many metaphors as there are things in the world; life itself. It might be better for you to ponder these things in action, not as symbolic words here or elsewhere but as the actual happening of arising mutually (not even this video). Hiking in the woods, you see life using death to grow yet further: bugs foraging, trees growing roots in their termite ridden comrades, a woodpecker mining for food. As you walk towards the ocean: silent from afar, the crashing and roaring power emerges clearer with each step. With the clouds close on the surrounding horizon, you can see the depth of your view. Looking down at the sand.. how do they reign in the mighty waters of Earth? Watching the ocean breathe, you hear pulsing, pulsing, pulsingpulsing, pulsing, pulsing; looking down, your chest beats with the same tune.

   What tune is that but the music of God? Who are you but a note in the symphony? Let the music play you, enjoy it! For if your presence wasn't needed, the whole note structure would collapse. You play the music in just the same way it plays you. You breathe your lungs in the same way they breathe you. The universe grows you in the same way you grow the universe, by perceiving it. "Letting it happen", is not fatalism in this way because you, too, are making it happen. 

   Hsiang sheng.