Saturday, March 20, 2010

Let's Get Metaphysical

...too caught up, generally, trying to find life before death to worry that much about what’s likely to happen after...or before...though reincarnation seems like a fascinating metaphor...if difficult to say what precisely it’s supposed to represent...then, as with all the good ones, that’s exactly what makes it interesting...


...if you can clearly understand a metaphor, it’s probably not a very good one...
Yoga Cynic Sutra 504:91

...perhaps better if imagined in a less linear way...a wheel more stationary than mobile...actors exchanging parts on an infinite grid rather than moving forward or back...progressing or regressing...so that everybody gets...or has...to be everybody...experiences everything possible to be experienced...me becoming you, you becoming me...and those people over there...rock stars and supermodels...junkies and prostitutes...emperors and slaves...abstainers and addicts...victims and perpetrators...ultimately, everybody...and everybody, ultimately, you and me...receiving, for every kiss or kick that’s given, not some vague moral equivalent, but that very kiss or kick itself...ignoring another’s pain impossible, since, sooner or later, it’s mine, and yours...love held back never received...all hatred, self-hatred...all murder, suicide...all violence, self-inflicted...all sex, masturbation...no point to envy, or to take pride in possessions, because everything, eventually, is mine and yours, and, eventually, lost to us...not in a moral, mystical, or karmic order, but an impossibly elaborate yet unfathomably simple dance...and looking at one another no different than gazing blindly into a mirror...


...never underestimate the potential of liars and fools...
Yoga Cynic Sutra 446:87

...like most people, I’m often afraid to say I don’t know...usually out of a fear of being thought ignorant...the irony of which, of course, is that it may be the one of the few truly intelligent things I’ve ever said...

13 comments:

Bob Weisenberg said...

I don't know if this will please you, upset you, be obvious to you or baffle you, but your prose poem would be right at home in the Upanishads. No, it could BE an Upanishad.

At the risk of violating Yoga Cynic Sutra 504:91, here's a metaphor:

Think about how we identify with our families--whatever happens to our family happens to us.

Now think about how some patriotically minded people identify so strongly with their country that whatever happens to their country happens to them, so much so that they will willingly die for their country because the whole is more important than their individual body, which is just a temporary manifestation of that country.

Now extend this idea to the entire universe, so that all of your molecules are intimately intertwined with all the other molecules in the universe, just as you describe so profoundly as it relates to people.

That's the ultimate point of Yoga, of the Upanishads, and of your prose poem. It's the ultimate Yogic truth:

"I am That"

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

earthtoholly said...

Wow...if the here and now were "in a less linear way" the world would be ideal, or much closer to it.

I like your last paragraph there, drjay. I remember once someone with whom I worked said that the words most often heard from me were, "I don't know." Out of fear of being wrong, I think, which is kinda ironic as W says I'm a know-it-all. I see myself more as a supposer...just like to take a stab at things and put in my 2 cents...sometimes. Okay, rambling now...

By the way, I love what (I think) you've done with your pics. See? Just supposin'.

Brooks Hall said...

I like this extended 'I don't know' post. It makes 'I don't know' a very beautiful thing, I think. And it is.

"Art is the lie that tells the truth." 
-Pablo Picasso
(There is some reason I wanted to share this here... I d__'_ k___...) 

Thank you, Jay!!

RB said...

I've always thought we only really love the things we don't understand; understanding is boring..and dare I say impossible.

Plus, if there is real unity/union, we shouldn't have to put into words what we know...it should be indescribable...

Bob Weisenberg said...

rb.

Yep, the ancient Yoga texts agree with you completely. They take ambitious metaphorical shots, just like YogaforCynics does above, and then say, "But that's just a mere glimpse, the truth of the universe is really too amazing for mere words. We can only describe around the edges."

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Lydia said...

This is a mind-blowing, yet comforting, post and Bob Weisenberg's compliment is deserved.
Something has deepened in you since your last yoga retreat. I don't know this, of course, but I think I feel it.

Lana Gramlich said...

I've often said, "The only thing I know is that I know nothing." That only gets truer as time goes on.

the walking man said...

I don't know but I know I am I glad that there are yet doors left to be opened.

ZenYenta said...

There's a certain not necessarily yogic truth to what you say about not knowing. There was that study that showed that competent people were less certain of their competence than incompetent ones. It makes sense that the same thing would apply to knowledge. You need to be aware of a lot of things to begin to understand how little you know. I know less and less each year.

Your prose poem was wonderful. I'm sorry I didn't mention it earlier. I first saw it on the weekend but there wasn't really time to digest it.

Bob Weisenberg said...

ZenYenta,

Confirming what you wrote, there was fascinating study of sales performance done years ago by Xerox.

New sales people were incompetent because they knew nothing. As they started to learn they became effective very quickly.
But then, after a year and a half the performance of many started to decline dramatically.

After much study and analysis, Xerox determined that those whose performance declined were those who after a year and a half thought they knew everything. They started walking into customers' offices telling them what to do instead of asking questions, like they were forced to do when they knew less.

The high performing sales people were those who kept asking questions because they knew how much they didn't know and always kept asking questions, even when they thought they might know the answer!

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Melinda said...

Interesting post (as usual), My own life has been such that I feel like I am on borrowed time anyway--so I really try to work hard to simply enjoy the second chance I was given at life. Because I have come so close to death on so many different occasions--and I have also seen so many of my friends die--I lost a lot of my fear of the unknown.

Interestingly, I had a dream just last night that I was dying. And I was choosing to die (although it wasn't suicide). I think it was a case of active euthanasia because I had an illness. In my dream, it was really lovely--Les and my family were there and I felt a lot of love right as I drifted off into my cocoon of the unknown. And when I overdosed, I felt nothing but peace--so this helped to alleviate my wondering what the heck happens afterward.

Enjoy life! It's a gift (isn't my optimism annoying sometimes?). :-)

Melinda

Laura Hegfield said...

"I don't know" was an often cited answer for me as a child, (not as a teen or young adult-then I thought I knew EVERYTHING or was searching to find all the answers from others if I wasn't completely sure)...as a teacher it was often my best response to students (it prompted them to ask and search for answers on their own and even better...more Questions)...and now...I find it/life/re-birth?/pre-birth? is ALL about the questions...the not knowing in my mind, but KNOWING in my heart...more a feeling, a sensation...but not an intellectual knowing...an embracing and acceptance of the mystery...and really being cool with that...THAT is what I KNOW...that there is mystery...and the mystery, the not knowing, is really ok....perhaps even good.

I LOVE your photos Dr. Jay...they are so beautiful!

It's A Yoga Thang said...

Beautiful and this,"ignoring another’s pain impossible, since, sooner or later, it’s mine, and yours", I wish more people understood this truth.