Friday, September 17, 2010

Peering Under the Sheet of Civility

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;

I've always been attracted to this opening of Merchant of Venice - somehow it speaks to me. It reminds me also of Henry Thoreau's quote:

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

In Buddhist philosophy it is called Duhkha or dissatisfaction, a condition that exists perennially at the base of every action we make.

What we usually call "fun" is most often only a temporary cessation of Duhkha. I get hungry, I feel wonderful while I eat, then I get hungry. Those who read my blog will know that every night these days I get hungry, so I have plenty of opportunities to study Duhkha.

These last two wistful days I spent wandering around my Osaka studio, pretending to be intent and focused, were all the time tinged with this delicate desperation. Hanging back at the wings was a sadness, not clearly defined but ever present when I let it.

So where does "will" fit in with this? I practiced my daily quantum accelerator (good boy that I am) and chose enthusiasm as the antidote for this lingering malady, but knew moment to moment that I needed choices that took me away from the inclinations that drove me. Sometimes I did, but after lunch collapse set in, and I supplicated to it.

The focal drive of this object called me is an endless source of fascination! I have many an analysis for the moods that try to possess me—fatigue, missing my little girls and wife, hearing of distrust some staff hold of, the schizophrenia of trying to get a start-up going in Sydney while overseeing an emotional shakeup in the Japan. Seeing it all written down here, the last two days are making more sense.

"Will" has its place, but acceptance is a beaut little tool too. It just is. I continue my disciplined life, my meso practise, my precepts, my self promises and say to myself "What I did today is what I did today." Part of the skill in managing myself is knowing what is kinder of all the choices that face me, providing each choice has a functioning role in the greater vision that possesses me.

I am writing in an odd way tonight, I am not my fingers! It is this mysteriousness of living that attracts me in the Venice quote. That there is the unexplained, that there is still a mystery to manage. If we really knew it all—where's the fun in that?

Tonight I have no answers, I feel some disappointment with myself, I am lonely but not desperate, I am tired but still thrilled to write, I am hopeful while overwhelmed by a multitude of necessities. All these contradictions, and I am sure something sits deeper under that. I have enlisted the support of a coach soon, and look forward to peering underneath the sheet of my civility.

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