Those other lives–are they from the past or future?–hover about me, weaving themselves into my consciousness intermittently, reminding me of the true dimensions and the nonlinear nature of reality. At times they help me realize the choices I’ve made in this life are made of the same stuff as the roads not taken.
Fortunately, attention is not a commodity to be plundered like a vein of raw material. It’s a renewable resource whose value never diminishes. The domain of the inner commons is where precious resources may be buried but not tarnished.
But honestly, tell me you can look into the eyes of stranger or even someone you know intimately without having this experience. Maybe not all the time, but with rising frequency. What do you see? A desperate search for signposts or guidance or truth or any modicum of trust?
I have wandered off from the campfire. I’m roaming in the dark, placing myself at the mercy of beasts of the night, divorced from camaraderie, landmarks, scents, ancestors, teachers, children, the whirling firmament and the community of souls that brought me here.
Isn’t that the whole point of the mandala offering–to give up everything for the sake of realizing we never had anything in the first place?
We encountered no other passengers, no open businesses, no other airport employees other than uniformed medical or police personnel. Under normal circumstances, Suvarnabhumi airport is one of the busiest in the world. Now it’s mostly silent and desolate.
Sometimes they say the dharma is not pretty
which means that one day you will know
maybe many lives from now
that lock and load is not the road
to our survival.
The extremes to which which Qatar must go to create or procure the basic requirements of life combined with the rising risks of the entire Q22 effort are reminiscent of an off-world simulation, the illusion of abundance surrounded by an unforgiving landscape.
If there were a single place, a petri dish of the fatally hedonistic culture of extraction, consumption, and the gaping wound of interrupted reciprocity, sustained by an illusion of abundance, it might be found among the Gulf States of the Middle East. Qatar is one of these.
Covid is a warning shot, a harbinger of things to come. If we imagine our response to the pandemic as a practice run for future crises, we are doing rather poorly.