Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fear and Desire

Early Christians and Buddhists tell the same story about a demiurge who created our world. Once he realized he existed and became self aware, he created fear that another was alive. Fear of that other would want to do him harm. Then when loneliness became too great to stand, he desired that another would exist. Even at the cost of losing his own life.

These are the two basic tenets that block us from our own Nirvana or Heaven on Earth. Just the desire for them creates the fear we will not attain that state. Fearful and lustful statues block the entrance to Buddhist temples. You need to overcome these two demons before you enter their sacred space.

I faced these statues in my own way one summer. 

On the way to Marblehead from Salem on the bicycle trail there are two bridges flanked by two poles on each side on each bridge. They created an anxiety in me which caused me to overthink their spacing. I was not sure if both of my handlebars would hit them as I passed through, but they didn't. Even after I passed the first of the four, I still hesitated at the remaining ones. I desired to go through, but I feared I would hit my hands. For a month I over thought going through them, then one day I just went right passed these Buddhist sentinels without thinking about them. I was just enjoying the journey.

It is good to dream. The Hindus actually believe the Brahmin is a dreamer that opens his eyes and creates a new universe and closes his eye to make a new one in the morning. Dream always and it will shape your actions in this world. A dream is different than a desire, one is unconscious thought the other is conscious. Also a dream tends to be less logical in its course and allows for serendipity where the logic of desire may be rigid like an oak and can crack. Dreams are flexible like a pine.

Desire is to follow a star, but how do you know it is yours to follow. If you are staring at the stars too long, you are cutting your dreams short.

Your true star will just pull you like our sun pulls the earth. Your own star will do the same.

Another analogy is that everyone has their own stream and current. For the most part, you only need a inner tube and the good knowledge not to fight your way up stream and life will bring you where you need to be. At times you might find yourself in still waters at a fork, just know either path would be good, but different. Who is to say which is the road less traveled.

Desire has forced many to swim upstream all the way to the top of the waterfall, but no one has enough strength to summit the fall or hang on forever. It's a great fall once we let go to ourselves which disorients the ego just enough to let go of desire. Fear kept us hanging on to the top of the fall, but when we release ourselves to a higher power we find ourselves.

So just let go and you will find your life. Let go of desire and fear and you just might find your happiness. Even if it was not the Nirvana or Heaven that you were looking for, but it will be yours you will find.

Salem House Press author