“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” – Rabindranath Tagore
I spend a lot of my time thinking about that quote. I don’t mean I like the thought of it, I don’t mean it is pretty words, I mean I spend a FUCKING LOT OF TIME thinking on that quote. I am not going to metaphor y’all to death today. I am too tired and I am going to cut straight to it so, sit back and read or leave, it’s all good either way.
It is a simple three-part play. The dream of Utopia, the realization of Dystopia, the acceptance and incorporation of Infinite Compassion. Yup, that is the direction this is taking. I am not a Bengali Nobel Prize winner, like the man quoted above. I am not going to pretend to understand what HE meant when he wrote this passage that etched itself into me the first time I read it. I am going to relate what I understand of that quote to what is going on in the world of filth we see today and, hopefully, maybe shed light where all there was before was a lack thereof.
COVID-19 is a terrifying thing for me as a parent. I have panic attacks when I go out, yet I go and do the things because that is what parents do. I am horrified that something might happen to me, leaving the children I adore to the whims of the court system, or worse, family. So I go out and do the grocery shopping, I go out and get the prescriptions and I even try as hard as I can to bring a little laughter with me as I do it, if you aren’t laughing now, then I can help.
We all have Perfect in our brain. That little slice of reality that we want to be just a certain way at a certain time in a certain place with certain somebodies. That is the dream of joy. We see those gone, those that got away, and all of the other things that would bring us to the brink of happiness overwhelming. We float in this dream and feeds our soul during times like this where all you see is the avarice and horrors of the classes that rule and the betrayed shock of the classes that are made to serve them. We dream of the times WE have the money, WE have the Car, WE have the, well you get the point I am sure.
There is no wrong in wanting the preciousness of perfection. It is the goal of the mind to obtain for the body that which it needs.
Which is where we hit the brick wall.
What we need and what we desire are so very often at nearly opposite sides of the spectrum. I am not saying we are all the greedy savages wanting for us, and us alone. It is just that sometimes even the simplest of the Want is so very far away from the easiest to obtain Need.
So we wake up, and we see that Life is Service.
We see that love is what we need more than anything. Love for ourselves, the loving of others. Learning to love, to foster love in others, to help others. When you love, truly love, you no longer “desire” it int he common use of the word. When you truly have a love for anything, be it a person or even a thing, the physical need of possessing it is infinitesimally small. When you learn to love, you simply love. You do not need to own the sun to love the sunrise, do you? The flowers in a field? The rising full moon in the clear night? You are not so arrogant as to think you have the power to own any of those things, so why would you be so arrogant as to think you can own the love of another? Love is a heartbeat. It pounds through each and every one of us every second of every day and when we focus on it, focus on it and let the world pass away and let the heart fulfill its purpose.
You act, and you behold that Service is Joy.
The ever-present struggle to keep you connected to those things you love. That, in and of itself, is an act of intense love.
I speak to a list of people every day. Every day I send them a text, a message, an email, a phone call. Every day I do this because I want them to know that I care for them, love them and want all the things in life that they love to love them just as strongly as can be felt.
So, that is this. This is me trying to say in overly complicated terms from a guru dead eighty years now. This is me saying that I love you, that I will always love you and that no matter how broken the world may seem, no matter how dark the corners of it may feel, there is never a time without light. Even if it is one person in the depths of our minds walking as freely as a faerie in a forest, there is always light.
Do not ignore the wrongs of the world, no. No instead focus on what YOU can do to make the world the best place it can be. Right now, you know that the best thing most of us can do is? Absolutely nothing. If we stay home, if we do what we need to do to stay safe and sane, then that is the change we can make in the world and let the practitioners of medicine do their nearly thankless jobs as best as they can.
I words good sometimes, I know that. A dragon I know told me I can never fully take off the rose-tinted glasses affixed to my heart, and maybe that is so, but it does not make me wrong.
So much for me not hammering you over the head with metaphors.
Love each other. It isn’t so bad a thought, is it?