Saturday, November 13, 2010

an email from my archives

(note: in the previous email I mentioned a story from "Autobiography of a Yogi" where a guy climbed up a perilous mountain, which he had been exploring for a while, to meed the immortal yogi often known as "Baba-ji". Upon reaching Baba-ji, the man said, "accept me as your disciple or I have no reason to live and will jump off this cliff and kill myself right now. Baba-ji said, "then jump." And the man without hesitation jumped to his death, to the astonishment and perhaps fear, of Baba-ji's small group of followers (one of which told this story). Baba-ji then walked down to the bottom of the cliff and resurrected the guy on the spot, saying, "I could not accept you with the body you had, but now you are welcome to join us." And so he did. (this is from my memory of what I read.))

Subject line: Re: Man who jumps from cliff in Himalayas
-name withheld- June 17

Dear Isaac,

I just reread this email of yours. I think you should keep it and reread it after a while. It is really powerful and good.-rest of email deleted for relevancy-

-name withheld for blog-

On Jun 12, 2010, at 4:58 PM, Isaac ---- wrote:

you're processing this in an interesting way...
in any case, I had no intention of saying what dan was doing was the same as what that guy was doing, though frankly there are some definite similarities as far as I can see. thought there are also differences. Dan was trying to escape pain, I think, while this guy was... well, in whatever sense enlightenment is an escape, that's what he was trying to do as well. I would guess they were in much different places though. dan seemed to be in a place of stagnation, while this other guy was in a place of dynamic action.

my point was mainly just this: we have all these opinions about what is right and what is wrong, but you can never prove them beyond a shadow of a doubt, and lots of them you can easily disprove as not being universal truths, simply by looking to other cultures with opposing world views. one of the uses of being a citizen of the world, perhaps.

what doesn't make sense about suicide is the people it hurts who are alive and attached to you, and the belief I have that it's not, in most situations, an effective escape. once again, I say in most situations, because the world is too big for a totalitarian viewpoint. people who are old and have to choose between a life of being fed through tubes and doped up on drugs, or a quick death, are choosing to let themselves die. Rama's grandfather, in the Ramayana, chose to let himself die of starvation on the river bank, because he was so in grief about his wife dieing that he took the vow of not eating, so he could be with her.

for god's sake don't read into that the wrong thing and start worrying I'm going to off myself because dan died and I can't go on. I can. It's just a difficult time. and people worrying about that isn't really helpful to me at all. it's just kind of irritating. though I'm also just kind of irritable, among other things.

I think it's kind of funny, people come to me or talk to me, ostensibly to 'comfort' me, but what they are doing really seems rather selfish: they just want to be comforted themselves, to have the whole thing explained to them, because it scares them and they're not comfortable not knowing and they are afraid there kids are going to die and then they will be really unhappy.

(for the most part, as is part of my personality, as was/is part of dan's, I like to help people in whatever way I can, so I'm happy to help people who are having problems dealing. however, I'm also having problems dealing, so my ability to help is somewhat diminished.)

If someone is suffering a lot, and they want to end it, and you won't let them, because you'd miss them, how is that anything but utterly selfish? "no, you can't die, even though you hurt so much that you want to, despite how scary going into the unknown of death is. even despite that, I want you to stick around, going through extreme pain, just so I can enjoy having you around to talk to sometimes"

this is disregarding the belief I have that dieing doesn't give you a free pass on your emotional issues. that's a whole other point. however, that's not a big reason not to do it, it's just a lack of reason to do it. the positive reason not to do it is the sadness left behind.

in any case, this is just mental screaming at the wind; does nothing for me, maybe does something for you. the only thing that does anything for me with this process is getting in touch with my feelings and processing them, which is a very visceral and not very intellectual process. Still, my core understanding that the universe is a creation of flawless beauty and benevolence is unmoved. does not negate the ability to feel deep sorrow, get pissed of, or worry that I'm going to be a homeless bum because I never figure out a profession I want to do that's going to make money. Reality is big enough to hold all things within it, as is love. if enlightenment isn't, then enlightenment is too small for me and I don't care for it any more. (in my opinion it isn't too small, but my previous definitions of it were.)

i out

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