As I walked the dog today, I thought about what to write in this, my blog. What inspiring thoughts did I have to share? Well, none, really, was the answer. My thoughts aren’t inspiring. They’re the thoughts of one who is searching, untangling, drifting and coming back to the beginning, wondering.
Here is a gorgeous and poetic documentary called The Buddha which I watched over and over and over and over during a time of terrible suffering when I could do nothing else but take it as an offering hand to hold to get me through, one eternal moment to another.
One of the many quotes that I often contemplate from this documentary is from poet Jane Hirschfield. She was describing the story of Gautama Buddha’s journey to enlightenment:
“And he was shocked. And he realized, this is my fate too. I will also become old. I will also become ill. I will also die. How do I deal with these things? These are universal questions in any human being’s life. What it’s like to be in a body inside of time. And our fate. And how do we navigate that? It really is a tale of the transformation from a certain naive innocent relationship to your own life to wanting to know the full story. Wanting to know the full truth.”
I listen to this and am struck. Other people feel this? I’m not alone? We know so little about each other, and each one of our searches is so very personal, who do we have really to discuss it with who will understand? If I were to pick a random person in my life and try to explain myself, chances are good I’d get a blank look and a “there there” sort of pat on my shoulder. Yet isn’t that why religion exists at all? Mankind’s need to have an answer to “what are we doing here?” “where are we going?” “why?”