Most of you know I’m eternally-learning, still getting my bachelors for a decade now. This term I’m taking a philosophy class, where we’re studying different ways people in Southeast Asia view the world, existence and God. Fascinating. What you see below I posted on the Asian Thought discussion board, and as I did so, it struck me that this conversation continues today. In fact just the other day, me and that guy texted about a branch of this topic. This 2,000 year-old conversation continues. Or is it a 200,000 year-old conversation?
My instructor’s question followed by my answer:
Question: What is Shankara (Hindu guru, 868 A.D.) in his Crest-Jewel of Discrimination trying to tell us with “The Snake and the rope?”
Answer: “The metaphor of the rope and the snake seem important to Shankara, as he mentions it in various places within the text. So, an individual sees a snake and is understandably frightened, because the snake can do harm. Fear is necessary for survival in order to avoid harmful or potentially fatal elements. That works. Then the story continues. Later that same person comes across a rope, and sees it as a snake and has the same fear response. This is a problem, and one Shankara sees as a major obstacle to finding freedom and illumination and becoming one with Brahman, the Ultimate Reality: This superimposing of a memory (illusion) on the current reality. Shankara is giving a concrete, visual representation of a mind-state which causes the seeker to live in Maya, the chaotic illusion that is this world. Shankara seems to be inviting: “Come walk with me, but see that pile of rope for what it is–a pile of rope.”
A kombucha, wheat grass toast lovelies…to seeing what is…to shrugging off our misperceptions…to laughing at our fears, or at least not letting them coerce us into doing something stupid…or unkind.
A gift from my beautiful friend Heidi! A bountiful bouquet of delicious life affirming, health infusing goodness!
A toast beauties: to green gardens; to good friends; to warm summer evenings chatting at sunset; to gazing west, beyond the cows and chickens, to the rich golden pink sunset, tinged with the sooty smoke of a wildfire. Then, with a rich, zesty, satiny glass of Amarone red wine in hand, I smile into my friend’s blue eyes, satisfied at what my life has become.
What I tell myself: a mantra; an affirmation; a positive statement; my descriptive, emotional goal; my desire; a new frame; The Secret; the power of attraction;
How about this: What’s simply true.
Every day I choose. I commit all the way. I get up early and do my yoga. I write and check my stocks. I push past the small niggling pettiness of “just a little bit” or “just a little longer” our “it’s a special occasion” or “everybody eats this way” and move into my truer nature: Lean. Strong. Moving light and happy through this world.
Then: secure; at peace; …in love.
I tell the truth, the real deep down, for reals truth, about food, about money, about love…about everything and anything that matters. To me.
Just opening to the possibility. Smiling into the unfolding. Living. Choosing. Taking. Giving.
A toast beauties—to life affirming, peace-giving, creative whispers—that birth the desires of the soul.