I’m going to continue writing occasional pieces for my memoir of the sixties — even at the risk of sounding like one of those old guys that are sometimes encountered, especially in bars, who go on at length reminiscing about days gone by, endlessly recounting stories from their past.
At least such personal tales tend to be somewhat original. Writing in the form of a story is also likely to capture the reader’s imagination.
I keep thinking I should come up with something more meaningful, in the interest of posterity, like the “Meditation on Equanimity and Non-discrimination” that I’ve been wrestling with for longer than I care to admit.
Such metaphysical musings are relevant to only a few dedicated meditation practitioners. I’ve spent far too much time trying to discuss such arcane matters with folks (like my wife) who long ago settled things to their own satisfaction and are not particularly interested in my internal struggles with reality.
I’ve come to feel like a version of Cassandra, the character in Greek myth who was granted the gift of prophesy by the god Apollo in exchange for promising to have sex with him. When she reneged on her promise he laid a curse on her to the effect that while she’d still have the gift of prophesy, nobody would ever believe her. Anyone who has had an “enlightenment experience,” and tried in vain to explain it to the uninitiated will know the feeling.
To attempt to to put into words what is intrinsically beyond words can come out sounding like the blathering of an idiot.
Nonetheless, spiritual matters, and meditation in particular, have probably consumed more ink than any other subject, and there appears to be no end in sight. That most of it is repetitive and could be boiled down to a few simple statements has not diminished that ultimately futile urge.
When I do finally write something I imagine is groundbreaking and full of new insights into the human condition, I soon discover that someone else has come up with exactly the same thoughts, even in the same words. At first I’m flattered to think that they would bother to repeat something I wrote — until I discover that their thoughts on the subject actually predate my own ramblings.
I’m starting to suspect that anyone who seriously meditates eventually arrives at a place where there is only one mind at work and whatever thoughts are generated at that level are shared by all. It should be no surprise then that many of us end up saying the same things, often at the same time.
It’s comforting to realize that even when practicing meditation in solitude, we are still journeying in the company of others.