ancient human ritual and the fear of death Nov 9, 2023
i am down in the mud
and others are here with me
some eyes frenzied, terrified
others pacific, others inscrutable
and a voice comes at a distance
through the columns
"we come from the mud, just as the plants do"
in the firelight, we are many
some for the first time and others keep coming back
someone laughs and someone sobs
"and we return to the mud, what is this spirit
that is inside of me? that i am? what is it?"
and i am gripped by adrenaline
at a sudden awareness of the thin cord of my life
of my blood and my breath and my nerves
"the molecules of the world are seeking always,
and they found life from nonlife,
and life seeks always to understand,
just as the world does, in its simple way."
my heart is beating, my lungs are heaving,
my mind is receiving and generating
"where is the boundary between two objects?
can you not see the one in the other?
can you not see the molecules,
and the fabric of spacetime,
and the inelastic flow of information,
in which nothing is lost?"
my hand is your hand. your eyes are my eyes.
i am lost and yet i am here.
i do not understand, i have lost all my senses,
i am overcome
and yet i am here.
"the spirit that is in you is in everything,
according to its nature. this spirit is the Motion.
it is the Life. it is the Way. it is nameless.
it is small, and it is large.
it is momentary, and it is forever."
shadows and light on the walls.
mud on our hands and bodies.
eyes in the dark.
"i am here now. i am there then.
it seems impossible that one experience can be in two places at once.
and yet here we are, all spread out
across this great dusty world,
across this starry expanse.
flickering. moving. changing.
one and many. different and the same."
on the way home we sing songs in the dark
a cool open dark (not warm and suffocating like the temple)
which doesn't echo, nor does it stick between my fingers
and on the horizons i don't see eyes
before today i thought that death
was something that was forever
like a tv which isn't receiving a picture
but now i think that
life is forever
like a tv which is flipping through every channel
that can possibly exist
ancient human ritual and the fear of death