Enough part 6

I’m a Buddhist.
From time to time, I sit quietly and close my eyes.
I focus on my breathing, the sounds around, the noise inside my head. All I need to do is become aware of what is happening. That is all…
I’m nothing but a bit of mind-dust floating in my space of consciousness.
This consciousness tells me that I have a special person hulled deep within my cranium. Inside, lies an identity, a true self. It needs to be protected from outside forces who are a threat to our being. Therefore we must put protective walls around our inner narrative, in order to protect us from these dangerous memes.
When they do penetrate our defenses, we must fight with all our mindful power. We must hold onto our beliefs and never let go. They will take you a dark place where nobody is anybody.
Your greatest fear is becoming nothing…
But it’s in this nothingness where we find ourselves. It’s this nothing we must embrace in order to understand life.
Sometimes we let ourselves be torn apart by demons if it means not being saved by angels.

Maybe I enjoy the ascetics of being a Buddhist instead of being a true follower.
Certainly I’m a modernized, secularized version of a Buddhist. I’m completely detached from the religious climate of Siddartha Gautama’s day. I don’t believe in Karma. I don’t believe my spirit hops into another creature after I die.
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe we should be wary of religious Buddhists, as we should be aware of any religious person instead of a spiritual person. But maybe I’m missing out on a certain blissful state of mind by not giving up my ‘self’ completely in its dogma.

But tell you the truth I don’t believe in enlightenment either.
There are times when I let go, and I look at the woman I love and she’s so beautiful.
There are times when I let go, and I feel a certain peace within me. If someone else becomes irrational or angry, I merely listen and try to help. I don’t judge. For a moment I’ve escaped the humanity’s imaginary orders.

Then I’m back believing in my rotten self again. I live in the modern world and we have constructed all these apparatus with too much noise, and we’ve made ourselves addicted to them.
I know I won’t give up this lifestyle; all of these gadgets are just too precious.
How many times did I check for new messages on my new phone? How many genocides have I committed playing my computer games? Do I really expect myself to write with pen and paper again?

It was much easier to find enlightenment in a world that was as silent as Buddha’s.
But in this world, we cannot sit still, the silence is too uncomfortable. It’s too much work finding a quiet spot, it’s much better to merge with the noise and disappear into it.
There will come fleeting moments when you will find that silent space.

And then you’re back. You’re home.

foto van Chris van Dijk.


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