“What is real and what is not?” asked the old man to the passing child.
There ought to be a nagging need within each one of us to question what we see, feel and sense in every aspect of our relationship to this world. It is not enough to fly away from the nest with only the tools one has been provided. A man needs to be able to re-conceive and reshape his understanding of every tangible element he can get his hands on. There are so many factors at play out here in the world of phenomenon, and our perception of how they work, and why they even exist, is limited by our perceptual postures. An even dimly wise chap will recognize that what he has before him is an assortment of antiques adopted from a past littered of dos and don’ts, be this way but not that way, smile at this and frown at that, and the vast tedium of social etiquettes which ultimately leaves little room for him to satisfy himself with a full breath of originality.
Whether anything can be changed is an interesting question. Whether something can be observed is far more practical and therefore far more significant. There is a rule that says a thing can only be discarded if it is first seen for what it is. There is an ancient saying that goes quite similar to this: you have power over something if you can discover its true name. If a man believes he knows what is going on, both as concerns himself and that of the outside world, then his possibilities are shut closed. It is one thing to carry all of these inner rules and regulations and be at their mercy. It is quite another when we adamantly believe in them, leaving no space available for doubt, curiosity or self-investigation. A man has to have the capacity to question himself and doubt the validity of what he knows, even just a little bit, to be able to move a single step further in a worthwhile direction.
The true name of the objects which fill your room, and yourself especially, are unfortunately written and read in a tongue and language which is beyond your mind. This engine of thought is designed for comparison, duality and categorization. It cannot, for instance, genuinely accept a paradox to be true. One thing is right and another is wrong; one thing is possible and another is not. True names can only be discovered when a man pauses his mind and allows a state of presence to unfold. And yet even then no divine light beams out from the particles within these objects, nor from the space which connects them, to reveal a new reality. One tries and grows bored all too soon, gladly given to distraction at the first invitation. The idea is that a man must first be content in stopping his thought altogether and allowing himself to grow strong by resisting everything that habitually yearns to be satisfied within him.
By denying ourselves full intoxication to our judgments, for example, towards people, who they are and why they do what they do, we are able to offer credit to the nature of circumstance. It becomes tangible by verification that everyone plays out a role based on what they have been programmed to think, say and do. And we ourselves are no exception. Circumstances are imbued with the gravity which pulls our strings up and down. Although there are a finite number of fundamental circumstances which are available to our immediate study, they can combine and mesh together in innumerable ways which can easily confuse us into disarray. It is in exactly this fashion that the idea that ‘history repeats itself’ sheds a more full-bodied meaning to us. For the devil is in the details, where from the true name of the root pattern we fall into the slumber of derivatives.
These root patterns or processes are what matter. Recognition of their role as symbols which repeat and reappear in varying forms, yet always with the same scent and essence, reveals the landscape. Men find themselves engrossed in thoughts and feelings by staring at the paint and lose sight of the brush, the strokes and the themes behind it all. They are more concerned with the immediate needs of their hunger for bread, wine, love and the coin that make them more abundant and available. It is a shame to live for the lust of the tree when a joy for the forest can bring about a far more fulfilling sense of satisfaction. It begins by resisting the names we have been taught and looking for the ones which cannot be named, in fact, at all; these living themes which allow us to console ourselves to the truth that life cannot be confined wholly by the mind.