It is not wise to criticize another's Way. There are reasons for each man to have his own. Ask someone a question and get an answer. Ask the same question to another and get another. There is no need to examine the doctrines of another school of thought, come to terms with the doctrines you are studying. After seeking a teacher, you may come to understand the realities of what it is you are studying. When you feel that something is missing or in stasis, you must of your own volition seek the next level of instruction. There is no such thing as Yin-Yang, not to say that Yin-Yang does not exist.(Installment 8 of the autobiographical series, "Liters to the Black Bone.")
So ends the Book of Wind.
Everyone we know is a projection of the self. The attachments of the self are how we define and relate to others, and it also influences how much we give a damn. This is how we cope with engineered privation and wars beyond our doors. We often remember others not so much how they experienced reality, but how we have always perceived their experiences through our own perceptions. This is not to say that sentimental attachments or illusions are wrong.
Mickey said something half-wise to me once, ‘sometimes you do your best and your best just isn’t good enough.’ You can fail even with your best effort. This makes sense and its easy to misread as fatalism or resignation if you don’t keep in mind the reality, there is no real failure but for lack of trying. To attempt something and not derive the outcome one expects is a failure if you are keeping track of that sort of thing like Colonel Cathcart. My metric of failure is to have questions and dreams rather than outcomes. A coin unflipped is a worse outcome than one that comes down on heads.
A bonfire of vanities has left me devoid of introspection. I’ve cleaned out the virtual detritus of my past 10 years. Old vacation photos, half written scraps, games, art, and so on. In the computer, this has meant deleting a few thousand files. In the real world, I’ve burned several paintings, broke some shingles to fix some steps, two boxes of chess cards, torn apart some unsatisfactory canvases and so on. None of this was an effigy of regret or anger, quite the opposite, it had the empowering feeling of coming to some conclusions and making a few new moves. All at once, many of these things that had a glow of nostalgia took on the character of a growing cynicism and cheapness.
Our consciousness is the realm of symbolic meaning, it is the framework of meaning we overlay reality. Artifacts within our physical field take on symbolic weight. I think we become so inured to this weight that we stop noticing its presence. This symbolic weight is real and tends to keep us in stasis, with the feeling that we are unable to change our circumstances or our thinking about those circumstances. Eliminate objects that carry personal meaning or divest them from your presence and we will begin to see everything in a new contextual space. Get rid of Grandma’s cumbersome, over-sized curio cabinet that seems so incredibly important by dint of that historical trivia of ownership lineage and suddenly that old rug really ties the room together, does it not?
We are creatures of fluidity and stasis, movement and stability. After my latest round of giveaways and triage, I am down to a few possessions. Almost every one of them is a valued piece because of its functional utility now. Nostalgic value has long since become an expensive commodity by choice. What this has meant as an effectively homeless person for the past year and a half, living in the homes of relatives and friends, is that I am in an extremely fluid state, probably as fluid as I will ever be. My archetype may be Saturn, but I’m become Mercury for these few moments in time as I slide around.
There are times when it feels like the entire past is a dream, right up until today. Dreams are interesting to live by because they can mean anything. I’ll only concede failure when I stop breathing. Right or wrong's got nothing to do with it. Let the dreamers rest in peace, warmly.