“In your diary, you quoted old Jiko saying something about not-knowing, how not-knowing is the most intimate way, or did I just dream that? Anyway, I've been thinking about this a lot, and I think maybe it's true, even though I don't really like uncertainty. I'd much rather 'know', but then again, not-knowing keeps all the possibilities open. It keeps all the worlds alive.”
― Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being
I'm in a reflective mood, not so much with a hue of existentialism but more about my message.
Don't worry, this isn't a pitch!
In short, I want to simplify it (and my writing).
I want to focus on the essence of true self, which has sustained and enveloped me these past 10 years.
I think it can be expressed in two words:
I realise, no I truly do, that that's not going to make it into the top 10 listings on Livejournal, lest still, if I were to package up my prattlings into a book, a (timely) bestseller. But it's the truth.
You see, I can use lofty words, pray in aid a few select guru-types but that's not where I'm coming from — not in the slightest.
We can dress it up all you like, but trying to define, let alone express, the ineffable nature of all this (see my recent post), including us, is beyond words.
If anyone was to reach out to me for help, apart from being extremely flattered, not to say a little reticent about their expectations, I know that I'd demur, almost instantaneously, from offering advice.
Because that's not my shtick — really it's not.
Don't worry, I do realise that that is contradictory some of my posts but it's where I'm at. Instead, my first port of call — perhaps my only port of call — would be to ask the person what's the question that they're trying to answer? The few times I've tried this, I'm always amazed at the befuddlement that ensues.
Sorry, that's a bit tendentious. What I mean is, before you can consider your putative solution to the (supposed) problem, surely, and not because I say so, you need to flesh out and consider a decent question, one that can't be annihilated in one or two goes. In fact, if it's a question wrought at the deepest, most profound level of your soul, it's unlikely you'll ever come up with an answer — at least not a complete one.
In many ways, I think of this a bit like the process between student and Zen master where s/he is set a koan* to answer. Compare this to the more traditional approach where the best-selling author, TED speaker, guru or expert is expected to, and in fact does, provide a slew of (I'd say) suspect, not to say flimsy answers and/or solutions to a whole series of life's perceived problems — e.g. lifelong happiness, well-being or financial security.
As well the portent of the question/answer exchange, the other important aspect of what I want to convey is that you need to apply your own reasoning to the question (if you're so inclined), and not, as is so often the case, rely on something you've read elsewhere or what you think you should be saying.
Again, the question that I tend to offer up to deal with this point is:
Yes, but what do you think?
For now, as cryptic as it might appear, I'm happy to leave it at that. Like I said, I want to simplify my message and that means, for a while at least, I'm likely to move away from these vanilla-esque posts and more in the direction of aphorisms, poetry or even a recorded piece on YouTube.
Who knows but I think there's only so many times I can keep saying the same thing🤣.
Anyhow, it's pi**ing down with rain and I need to get all my wet-weather gear on to do the morning walk with Mr Alfie. I suspect he's fast asleep on the sofa but he'll be quick to start jumping up for his lead once I utter the immortal words — "walkies".
Have a good day.
*a paradoxical anecdote or riddle without a solution, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and provoke enlightenment
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