Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pendulum Swings

I'm imagining a little guy who sits on top of this beautiful bronze pendulum at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. He could have a wonderful life, swinging back and forth between the highs and lows of existence. Instead...
The hunter is hungry, walking miles in the woods looking for food. And he comes upon a fruit bearing tree. He starts ravishing all the fruit and falls into a deep sleep. When he awakes, he finds that someone has taken his shoes.

The little guy never wants to let go of the highs and interrupts the swing by grabbing on to anything he can. He could be enjoying the breeze through his hair as the pendulum swings from a to b, but instead is caught up in the three fires or defilements in Buddhism: greed, hate, and delusion. His life is dependent on the position of the pendulum rather than its motion. His delusion is believing that the pendulum will stop and provide him fruit whenever he wants it. "That's only fair," he says to himself. His hate is for those moments that don't provide him pleasure (and for life itself). And his greed drives him to try to stop the pendulum from swinging.

Good luck, mister.

P.S. Credit for this goes to William Blake who wrote:
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wing├Ęd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I shall try to learn from your message. H.