Saturday, September 24, 2011

The First Noble Truth, Again

My life
Day by day the depression has retreated, like a dark smog going out to sea.  I am not so bad this morning, but left with the realities of illness in both mind and body.  This mind has resumed an active ability to be depressed that I haven't had in many years, just the way my body has revealed weaknesses now that I have the energy to use it more.  (Back story: kidney transplant 11 months ago; age 68).  When Sleeping Beauty wakes up, it is to a mess.

This morning an image came to my mind, of life as a hooded Torturer who says to me, "This is the way it's going to be from now on - always some new disability or loss, some new pain.  Maybe several things at a time.  You will never know what it's going to be or when, sometimes it will be very hard.  And the only way out of here is death."

I say, "But I didn't do anything to deserve this."

He shrugs.  "You were born."

"I didn't ask to be born."  The adolescent cry, meaning, I wouldn't have bought a ticket if I thought the ride was going to be like this.  (Manic-depression has something in common with adolescence, heightened emotions connected with internal, maybe hormonal, changes. Also, an adolescent is being born out of childhood into a different less-fun world, new ways of seeing.)

So the question becomes, How do you live in prison for life under these lousy circumstances, knowing the torturer can visit anytime?

First, get with the reality; cultivate awareness of the reality, the kind of food you can expect here.  This was the Buddha's First Noble Truth - Life sucks. If you don't like this reality, you'll have no trouble finding people who want to feed you sugary pap.  That's their approach. 


  1. Life is. I tend to think it's a fill-in-the-blank contest and then get out-of-sorts because what I fill in the blank is not Life is.

    Glad the smog's rolling out the harbour!

  2. I think radical acceptance is most difficult at times like these. I also think it is the way to freedom from suffering. Sending you love and blessings.