Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Habits Of

The habits of the fucked are all fucked up.

What is habit but a fixed state of mind? The habits we embody either work in our favor or work against us and all are the product of decisions made - fully aware or not - about what we expect out of life. It is here, at the point where expectation meets reality, that the fucked find their fucking.

* * *

Love yourself and watch -
Today, tomorrow, always.

First establish yourself in the way,
Then teach,
And so defeat sorrow.

To straighten the crooked
You must first do a harder thing -
Straighten yourself.

You are your only master.
Who else?
Subdue yourself,
And discover your master.

Willfully you have fed
Your own mischief.
Soon it will crush you
As the diamond crushes stone.

By your own folly
You will be brought low
As your worst enemy wishes.
So the creeper takes the tree.

How hard it is to serve yourself,
How easy to lose yourself
In mischief and folly.

The kashta reed dies when it bears fruit,
So the fool,
Scorning the teachings of the awakened,
Spurning those who follow the law,
Perishes when his folly flowers.

Mischief is yours.
Sorrow is yours
But virtue also is yours,
And purity.

You are the source
Of all purity and impurity.

No one purifies another.

Never neglect your work
For another's,
However great his need.

Your work is to discover your work
And then with all your heart
Give yourself to it.

The Dhammapada


* * *

I'm hardly original here. This is the very stuff of all religion, all philosophy: How are we to live?

Is it crazy to connect Siddhartha Gautama and Epictetus and Viktor Frankl? No. They are all saying the same thing. They are all leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that matched the times they lived in, but also because their words touched on the elemental processes of being human, they extend beyond time and echo and reinforce and harmonize with each other.

There is but one life. Being fucked out of fear, out of habit, out of a response to the world of things beyond your control is to waste the few days we get to live. Challenge yourself. Challenge your assumptions. Question your habits. Ask why your mind is fixed instead of fluid. Remember, the fucked life is a stuck life. If you are stuck it is because you will not change your mind.

The Buddha talks about each of us being the source of purity and impurity. Don't think of it in terms of Western morality or what is proper - those are external judgments. He is pointing inward at what affirms life and what shits on it - you, your thoughts and your actions.

Your work is to discover your work, my friends. No one can do it for you. And once you find it, once you give yourself to it (and these are no small feats, especially for the fucked) there is one more thing to do: give it all away.

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