Sunday, June 6, 2010

Your Daily Thing to Ponder

"What does the worshiper do? He cleans the temple. How? By asking all who have been sitting there forever to leave so he can sweep, throw fresh water drawn from the river on the stones, scatter rose petals. Very quickly, the worshiper takes count of those sitting in his consciousness who refuse to leave the temple. Why? Because, like us, they are afraid. It is because of fear that the consciousness remains cluttered. Not the little fears, easy to define, not the fear of this or that, but the great fundamental fear, which is the fragile terrain on which we construct all our dreams, and which, one day or another, paralyzes us and destroys what we have constructed with so much care.

"The day to act arrives. You purify yourself by bathing in the sacred river. You feel alive and full of determination. You draw fresh water, take a broom, gather a basket of rose petals, and enter the temple of consciousness. That is meditation: to enter fresh, the mind alive and alert in the temple of consciousness. You see them, all seated, immobile, anchored in the ground, fossilized. They have been there for such a long time. They have loved you so much, given you so much, spared you so much. Since you were very young, their voices have guided you. Even now, at this moment, as they watch you enter, ready to clean, freshen, and scent, they talk to you and you listen: 'Listen, this is what we think of you. Since you were young, we've been trying to keep you from danger, to warn you of life's pitfalls. We punish you when you make a mistake, but when you listen to us, when you are a good boy, we reward you, we sing your praises, and, thanks to us, you haven't come out too badly. Now then, don't chase us away. Keep listening to our voices, following our advice. We only want what's best for you. Freedom? It's chaos. Listen to us closely, follow the way we show you, and all will go well.'

"But in this instant, you know that you have listened too much, that these stone-colored men are there only to keep you from scattering the roses and fresh water. That all is not going so well. You are like two fears face-to-face. Like two fears finding themselves nose-to-nose in a dark forest, full of creaking and cracking and other frightening sounds. One fear says to itself, 'Let's hope he doesn't do anything to eject us from the temple!' The other fear says to itself, 'Let's hope they don't get up to go out! What would become of me without them!' And like that, day after day, one compromises with the consciousness, receives blame and encouragement, falls into line, and becomes someone for whom grayness is acceptable. All of society adores the monochrome of gray. Gray is the most widespread color. There are millions of varieties. Gray is the ideal color for social camouflage. It is thanks to our gray that we manage to exist socially, to merge into the immense cauldron of suffering and ordinary violence."

-from Tantric Quest by Daniel Odier

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