The Taxidermist

Is it a gift or a curse, self-awareness! The endless expanse of this Self is at times terrible and frightening to look at. At times I cannot take up its infinitude. I am more comfortable when the Self breastfeeds me the mundane, and I am more at ease when placed among the herd and in the swamp of everydayness. But there is an irresistible impulse to look up and cut loose, to turn to the life of solitude. Alas, even there, even in the seemingly serene solitude where the gods are supposed to dwell, even there I fall into another swamp, of a filth of another kind, into the dark chambers of the mind.   

The naked divinity is a terrible sight and a source of extreme uneasiness. It is not meant for the human to encounter the divine alone. What is of practical use with the divinity lies in its temporal manifestation, in its embodiment in the mundane human life, in the embrace of a woman, of caring for a child, in the middle of the spice bazaar.

You tell me! Does transcendence mean anything except in relation to immanence! Perhaps the original sin, the cause of our disconnection from the pole of reality was giving it a special place, placing it above and beyond the natural flow of life; or to speak even clearer, the fall began when god died by an act of conceptualization; it evaporated when it entered thought, perhaps in the same way that our childhood ends when we become acutely aware of our mortality, when we begin to conceptualize ourselves as “things” among others.

To conceptualize reality is to cut its head, it is to murder the real and replace it with a stuffed version. Man is in fact that master taxidermist of the Real.

Perhaps nothing removes man from his god except prayer, whereas nothing brings him closer to god but action. God manifests most in the doing rather than in our reflections and meditations. Enough of the dead god; let’s return to ourselves.  

Our fate too seems to obey the uncertainty principle: the highest waves ride the deepest waters. The destiny of a thinker is to experience the suffering of his own making. The dweller of the land, on the other hand, suffers only natural disasters.

One who dwells in a mansion has responsibilities that are as big. The thinker doesn’t decide on the fish he’ll catch. The shoppers, however, can buy whatever they want in the fish market. What nonsense!  

At last, let’s reiterate the obvious, that god is dead and we are left only with the living. The solitude has as much filth as the multitude. One must ride both to complete the journey. Going to the sun is not enough, one must return to the earth to share the warmth. My place in all this is neither be the saint nor the sinner, but a simple breadwinner, a mere mortal human, to be placed neither below nor above anyone else. This is true spirituality, to be a no-body. It is a known maxim that anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all traditions.

2 thoughts on “The Taxidermist

  1. Kuei-shan asked Yun-yen, “What is the seat of enlightenment?”

    Yun-yen said, “Freedom from artificiality.”

    – Kuei-shan (771-854)

    Liked by 1 person

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