If I had nine lives, like a cat, I would hold
more pens and placards, be a bit less bothered
with hemlines and hats, people’s different thresholds.
Give silence its due too, be less awed by words.
Though I’d look at the hollow made by your head
in the cushion, I’d still want to write sonnets
starting and ending with you whether you read
them or not. And I’d almost never forget
passwords. Maybe try being an accountant
in some life midway – if it suited better
I’d stay in it for the rest, I’m reluctant
to change for the sake of it. Write more letters
by hand, use them more mindfully in all nine
and each time, I’d still want yours to hold in mine.
Last November I wrote a series of nine poems in which I explored the theme of love and posted a couple of those at the time. I'll be putting some of the others up here through out this month as I celebrate the same in all its myriad shapes and sizes. And mid-month we are starting off with the first Write...Edit...Publish...Challenge, a new look site and prompts based on movie magic, what's not to love, right?
In the Hindu belief system - and I might as well tell you at the outset, I am no expert on it, it is held that death doesn't part the souls of a wedded pair, their union is said to persist for seven lifetimes. The whole system is predicated - not on a single life and then eternal rest but reincarnations through many births and many deaths and some bonds lasting for more than one cycle. I'm quite happy with that part. Personally, I'll take the same pairing for the next however many lives I have to go through, no issues with that.
Whether a soul gets reborn or not depends on the weight of the sins, its karma, accumulated in a previous life. If it leads a sin free life, then it gets free of the eternal cycle of birth and death and unites with the cosmic soul and is absorbed into an Absolute Bliss. It doesn't have to come back to earth to suffer any pain. Earth is referred to as Martaloka or the domain of death while where the soul goes once it is freed is called Amritaloka and Anandaloka - the space of deathlessness/ecstasy. All material things are an illusion, earthly bonds hold the soul back, the smart thing in this given system is naturally to detach pronto and hurry to that blissful cosmic union asap.
In short, the belief is that life on earth is generally a pain in the neck and the sooner one can escape it the better, the greater the part of eternity the soul can spend in perfect communion with the One, in perfect bliss. That first part I'm not so cool with - earth seems a good enough space to me, and being in a human body does not feel as horrible as it's made out to be - death, attachment, grief, suffering, all the nonsense and violence going on in the world notwithstanding. I mean, I'm not knocking absolute bliss, moksha, detachment or anything, they may well be as super awesome as the sacred texts promise. Only that I don't think this entire earthly existence needs to be so thoroughly trashed, that's all. It can be mildly enjoyable here too, at times, no harm in admitting that. The planet's breath taking, being human can be quite alright too, there's love and kindness and inspiration and all kinds of other goodies, so c'mon, ditch the nonstop negativity already.... Just saying.
Here's to a mildly enjoyable week and life on earth in general. To your February and mine. May all conflicts be gobbled up by the forces of love everywhere.
Actually, shruti does not advocate 'hurrying off'; it is (as with most religious doctrines) something that has been built up and mystified by men who like to wield a little power over others.
What is written teaches only how to live this very life, on this very planet, to the very best and highest part of ourselves. Our struggles come when we hold the external too much in reverence and attaching ourselves too strongly. We identify too much with the material of life, rather than seeing it simply a part of our greater journey. Forgive this aachaarya! But it is true, there is much to admire about this planet and our time upon it - as long as we understand our true nature and make the most of what it offers us. YAM xx
Thank you, Yamini, for that detailed explanation. From my lived experience, without any special insights into the teachings, what is practised on the ground is very different from what you're saying is the actual sense of the texts. And right now we are so bothered by the externals - the colours worn, the food eaten, the movies watched or not, whether someone is 'pure' enough to enter the temple, uff! - the less said the better. In my view, hate has no place in any religion, whether it is directed towards other faiths or the other sex. There's a lot of misogyny, discrimination and mystification and all one can hear in the noise is the focus on the rituals and the afterlife.Delete
The vast majority, like me, is uneducated in the texts and there's a whole heap of 'detachment porn' about. Everything is illusory, everything will pass, all of it moh and maya.
My (totally unversed) take on all of it, is - I'm here right now, I've been given a body and its senses, placed plonk on a beautiful planet, for all of which I'm eminently grateful. Don't know for how long I'll be here, might as well make the best job I can of the whole thing, without stressing too much about how illusory it is and whether my karma will be enough to free me from the endless cycle of rebirth. If it does well and good, if it doesn't that is also not too bad - to be born again in this beautiful earth. Totally win-win. :)
Thank you for so often increasing my enjoyment of the day/the moment.ReplyDelete
And here's to love, in all its myriad faces.
Glad you enjoyed the post, EC. The older I get the easier everything sits - both living in the moment and enjoying it guilt free and stress free re the future. Thank you as always for being here.Delete
Your poem - so silly - "try being an accountant". Snore city!ReplyDelete
Lovely poem and yes, let's let February and the concept of love in all facets try to win. (it is a "short" month, so perhaps it is doable).
An accountant seemed to me diametrically opposite of a poetic type :) Here's to love winning!Delete
Hi Nila - really interesting ... thank you for your thoughts here - I've learnt, and love the way you set your thoughts out. Your: 'May all conflicts be gobbled up by the forces of love everywhere.' ,,, February's gone now - March doesn't look too helpful ... but individually or together with family - we can live fully within our ability. Thanks for this - I'm just late reading ... cheers HilaryReplyDelete