Tag Archives: heaven

Narrator – mask of an idol


In the inverted world of Amsterdam I had received the appearance of an idol. Suddenly I was more than welcome everywhere; I was asked at performances and for parties. Everyone wanted to be seen with me or in my neighbourhood. For other people I seemed to carry a divine aureole. In my vicinity strangers felt to be included in a heavenly glow. They all dreamt that I owned the gateway to Heaven [1].

[2]

New lovers imagined themselves in an space travel with me, connected with the universe or included in dream-world more beautiful than life. I was for them the connection to an everlasting paradise.

[3]

In my wealth a Goddess appeared  – again a white [4] Citroën DS – wherein I accomplished the glory humming on the road [7], just like the charioteer Kṛṣṇa [5] in the Bhagavad Gita [6]. As Idol and centre I encouraged, I steered and I shaped the world around me; I was the eye of a cyclone – even empty, temporary and stilled inside.

Idolatry

 Transitory in one sigh

Seen in the Sunlight

Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Here the boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side. [8]  This citation from The Brothers Karamazov by Dostojewski described my volatile position as idol within the inverted world in Amsterdam. This quote was also the motto of Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima from which I derived to some extent an interpretation of my role as icon in the world where men love of men; for my lovers, I was not only their beloved, but I was also their competitor in their love for other men in the polygamous homosexual world in Amsterdam at that time.

[9]

In addition to an interpretation of my idle position in the inverted world in Holland, I was looking for insight in the development of my life. After reading the tetralogy Sea of Fertility [10] by Yukio Mishima, the fourfold reincarnation of the second main person gave some overview of my situation.

[11]

In line with this way of thinking, the first reincarnation in my life – under the name Kṛṣṇa – covered the period from my early childhood to my departure from Kenya. Now – as a temporary idol – I was at the height of my second incarnation in my life. I foresaw that my life as icon would soon implode; I decided to leave the inverted world of Holland for some time. After my share in a serious war crime during my first reincarnation in Kenya, I wished to guide the continuation of my life in a correct manner. It was also time for penance for this war crime.


[1] See the book Genesis 28:10-19 in the Old Testament for Jacob’s dream wherein Jacob takes a ladder with descending and ascending angels for the gate to Heaven. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob’s_Ladder

[2] Painting: Jacob’s dream of a ladder of angels, c. 1690, by Michael Willmann. Source image:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream

[3] The Dream by Henri Rousseau, 1910. Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droom

[4] The name Arjuna means amongst others “wit, clear, silver”; one may recognise also “arh” in the name meaning “worthy, capable of”. Arjuna is one of the main characters in the Mahābhārata. He is one of the five brothers who live together with one wife Draupadi – the most beautiful and influential wife of her time – in polyandry. The five brother fight for their rightful share of the kingdom, for the honour of Draupadi and for maintenance of the world order

[5] In Sanskrit Kṛṣṇa means amongst others “black”, “blue black”, “the dark period of the moon-cycle” Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[6] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_gita

[7] See also: Katz, Ruth Cecily, Arjuna in the Mahābhārata: Where Krishna is, there is victory. Delhi: Molital Banarsidass Publishers, 1990

[8] Source: Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The Karamazov Brothers. Ware: Wordsworth Edition Limited, 2007, p. 114

[9] Source image: Frontside of the cover of Mishima, Yukio. Confessions of a Mask. New York: A New Directions Book, 1958 (Eleventh printing)

[10] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sea_of_Fertility

[11] Source image: Hatsuhana doing penance under the Tonosawa waterfall van Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). This image is used as cover for the French edition of the Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima.

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Narrator – On foot through France 3


Via the GR 5 in France I walked from the Jura to the Vosges. This area was more populated and I found less easily a place to sleep. On a rainy evening at twilight I was only welcome when I paid for my overnight stay. My stories and my kindness were not enough. I had no more money and after a few kilometres walk I found a place to sleep in the open air. Covered in plastic I spent the night vigilant. The next morning I was clammy and benumbed. After an hour walk I was warm again.

In the Vosges there were sufficient opportunities to spent the night in the wild. It was beautiful weather. At night the moon and the starry sky gave me comfort. During the day I enjoyed the beautiful view. At a few places I could almost oversee my whole way from the snowy Alps.

[1]

During my walk on the mountain peaks of the Vosges I met new ghosts. A century ago this chain of peaks formed the border between Alsace in Germany and Lorraine in France. The road – Route des Crêtes – was built by the French army during the First World War [2]. The road is situated on the French side of the chain, so the road was less vulnerable for the German guns. The ghosts of the victims during these many wars between France and Germany accompanied me to the Luxembourg border. On this part they were my companions. I promised that my breath would be their breath as long as I lived just as my breath was already the breath of the villagers. Once I hoped to arrive home together with them all.

[3]

The path on the mountain peaks was congested; I got help and support of many people. In the valleys I felt less at home. By cover in the valleys I could not see the road; I felt trapped. I wanted to keep an eye on the road. Without sight on the heaven and earth, the ghosts of the villagers and of the fallen soldiers came before my eyes [4]. Only much later could I could unite heaven and earth; afterwards I had no more difficulty to fall asleep anywhere – even within walls and in valleys.

[5]

With a companion in the North of France I made a small detour to the Maginot line [6]. We saw the remnants at Michelsberg [7] and Hackenberg [8]. We were surprised how a society could feel safe and sheltered behind this dark burrows in the ground filled with terror for the society on the other side. With my eyes on the road, unity had many faces, and two had no duality. The Maginot line – as part of the many wars between France and Germany – fell beyond my comprehension.

[9]

At Schengen I illegally entered the other world of Luxembourg. Later the treaty for free movement of people in a part of Europe was agreed upon at this place. After such a huge detour with so much suffering and madness of everyday life, unity could finally be restored. It remains curious that a Treaty on paper is needed for a unit that is for my mother as natural as breathing, moving eyes, hands, and moving legs for walking; unity with many faces and two without duality.

[10]

Much later – on the 12th of October 2012 – the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union, because the European Union and its predecessors had contributed to peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe for more than sixty years. So much effort for a contribution that is as natural as breathing.

In Luxembourg, I entered a fairy-tale troll country.


[1] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Col_du_Grand_Ballon.jpg

[2] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_des_Cr%C3%AAtes

[3] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rothenbachkopf_nord.jpg

[4] See also: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 70.

[5] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Vosges_val_munster.jpg

[6] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maginotlinie

[7] See also: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouvrage_du_Michelsberg

[8] See also: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouvrage_du_Hackenberg

[9] Source image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ouvrage_du_Michelsberg

[10] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_(Luxemburg)

Narrator – Away from Rome


In Rome I had recovered the heaven on earth from my childhood. That autumn and winter I was totally absorbed in this city. However, the following spring I left this heaven on earth. Looking back on my life, it would have been better if I had stayed in Rome.

Much later in books I read an explanation for my departure: “When the light doesn’t  penetrate completely, there are two kinds of sickness. One sickness is when not everything is clear and there is still something in front of you to achieve. The second sickness is when you live in heaven and your clinging to heaven is not forgotten. Even completely in heaven, the question remains: “What breath is there?” – this too is sickness [1]”.

Although I was perfectly happy in Rome, I still suffered on both forms of sickness. I imagined myself in heaven, but my existence was still not clear. Also the command of my mother to start a new life in the city of Amsterdam was looming in my heart. And my craving for happiness subsisted in Rome. The healing of the sickness caused by the question “What breath is there?” began during our Odyssey “Who are you”.

[2]

In early spring, I gave substance to the command of my mother to start a new life in the city of Amsterdam where men may love men. I left my heaven on earth.

I started my foot trip from Rome to Amsterdam with a small backpack and some money for food. In Italy, I visited the cities of Siena [3] and Florence [4] where I enjoyed the museums and the beautiful buildings. In both cities, I stayed a short time with lovers; my exotic appearance wafted through these cities. After more than two months walking, I reached Northern Italy. Here I left behind the golden glow of my half year in Italy.

At my arrival in Aosta, the weather was inclement and the mountains were threatening in the distance. I could find no place to sleep. I watched the whole night under a cloudy sky with lots of rain.

[5]

The next day the weather brightened and I dried myself in the sun. I walked through the Aosta Valley via Courmayeur [6] to the entrance of the Mont Blanc tunnel. For the first time I saw a white snowy mountain range. I had never seen such a wonderful bright world. This enchanting world was the antitype of my origin and my existence until now.

[7]

By truck I was smuggled via the Mont Blanc tunnel to France; this caused no problems. I dared not to cross the border with my travel documents, because my visa was only valid for the Netherlands.

In Chamonix just over the French border, the tops of the mountains looked like the teeth of a monster. This was not my world. With the train I left the Valley of Chamonix.

[8]

In France I followed the GR 5 hiking trail to the North.


[1] This is a shortened and very free rendering of the koan: “Yunmen’s two sicknesses”. See: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 46 – 50. See also: Maezumi, Hakuyu Taizan, The hazy moon of enlightenment. Somersville: Wisdom Publications, 2007 p. 21 – 27

[2] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_(stad)

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siena

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence

[5] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aosta

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courmayeur

[7] Source image: Photo by Matthieu Riegler via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mont_Blanc_depuis_Valmorel.jpg

[8] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Narrator – from heaven to hell


In my youth I lived in heaven. At that time I had five obstacles in my life: my clothes got dirty, my body changed, my armpits sweated , my body smelled and life was sometimes uncomfortable [1]. My mother took care that my clothes, my armpits and my body were washed when we had enough water in the dry land. This was a feast. Changes of our body belong to human life; when the changes are over and the pains are forgotten, the situation is back to normal. And a sober, simple life does not always include comfort.

[2]

During my school time I sometimes adorned as warrior, more for fun and vanity than to prepare for battle. As student I was not interested in fighting.

[3]

At the end of my school time I moved from my motherland. I craved for the adventures as told in the stories of my ancestors and I felt an urge for comfort, money, fame and power. Or in the language of my ancestors: I wished to change from Nara [4] to Rājan [5].

While everyone was asleep, I left my mother; I left a note behind with the message that everything would be all right and that she could be proud of me.

After a few days wandering, I encountered a militia. I jointed them. I received an uniform with a weapon and I was trained to military just as the heroes from the Kṣhatriya [6] or warriors/rulers caste in the Mahābhārata.

[7]

I was not a strong soldier, but I was smart and fast and I immediately saw what was needed. The leaders of the militia saw this too: I was driver of the leader of the militia. Like Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad Gita [8] I was charioteer and advisor.

Similar to a charioteer on the chariot I was cook, I gave advise in battle, I encouraged, I offered protection in emergency, I rescued from difficult situations and afterwards I told the heroics of the fighters.

By the transition to the militia, I left heaven and I entered the world of hungry ghosts and the extremely painful world of hell. My life went from peace to war, from love and care to violence.

At the end of one night we set the forest surrounding a village on fire. The God of fire and the wind spread the flames. Our militia shot with joy at everyone and everything that came out of the forest and we were happy [9].

In daylight the disillusionment followed. We saw that we had killed everything and everyone from new-born to the elderly. Hereafter I left the world of hungry ghosts and hell.


[1] From: Cleary Thomas, The Undying Lamp of Zen – The testament of Zen Master Torei. Boston: Shambhala, 2010. Voetnoot 3 op p. 23

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people

[3] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people

[4] In Sanskrit “nara” literally means “someone who does not rejoice”. This word is used for an ordinary man.

[5] “Rājan” means in Sanskrit “rejoice in birth/origin”. This word is used for someone from royal or military caste. Source: elektronische versie van het woordenboek Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

[6] For the caste system in India see amongst others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_India

[7] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_use_of_children

[8] For an introduction of the Bhagavad Gita that is a small part of the Mahābhārata: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita. A good introduction for a translation Sanskrit – English: Sargeant, Winthrop, The Bhagavad Gȋtâ. Albany: State New York University Press, 1994. An introduction of a religious – yoga – background: Yogananda, Paramahansa, The Bhagavad Gȋtâ. Los Angelas: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2001

[9] See the last part of book 1 of the Mahābhārata where  at the fire in the Khandava forest, Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa shoot arrows with joy to all that leaves the forest. Sources: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/index.htm boek 1 Section CCXXVII and further; Katz, Ruth Cecily, Arjuna in the Mahābhārata: Where Krishna is, there is victory. Delhi: Molital Banarsidass Publishers, 1990, p. 71 – 84

Carla Drift – Years of Dawn


My first communion was a big feast. By my baptism I was already initiated in the Church when I was a few days old. Some boys in our village are registered to the civic guard at birth: they remain member their whole life. Of my baptism I can not remember anything. However, I still wear with me my Christian name with the baptismal names of my godmother and godfather as remembrance.

Later I understood that baptism is the only sacrament that is recognised by the entire Christianity [1]. The children’s baptism is given to children when they are a few days old in order to let the children be in God’s grace as soon as possible. This is important in times of a huge infant mortality. Maybe it is also a relic of the patriarchal Roman law, where the life of a new-born is determined by recognition by the father. In the reformed church near the end of the second world war in 1944, there was a schism about the question whether a child will be in God’s grace through baptism or whether baptism is a vocation to live as God’s child [2]. Our village was not concerned with this kind of questions; our village lived within the rich Catholic life with all its habits and defects.

[3]

At the beginning of the primary school we were prepared for our first communion. We learned the first principles of the Catholic faith. In the middle of the spring I did my first communion. I went dressed in a beautiful white dress in a procession to the Church. The first hosting sticked to my palate; this was my only special reminder of this High mass. Then we had a big family celebration. The entire family of my mother and my father were present. I was overwhelmed with gifts. My parents were proud that their first daughter was included in the community and in the Church. I felt myself in the center of attention.

[4]

With my faith I played half hide and seek. Invisibly the guardian angel was always present, I foresaw if something might go wrong. I made sure that it did end well. But at my right shoulder, I did not feel the guardian angel. It seemed to me unwise to show my doubt. Nobody did that. Nobody in our village doubted on the next breath, except if one was very old or if there was anyone in the family dying and afterwards died. Then we went to Church to pray for the soul of the deceased and for themselves. I have thought a few years that in my mother’s village in Belgium the largest family was named Late; they always talked about this name. Around my sixth year I found out that the family Late lived half in Heaven and half on the cemetery: later I would also go to this family if I would live neatly. In our village you had to behave very bad to stay in purgatory for a long time. The older women prayed a lot and all families faithfully attended the year’s services and the cemetery on All Souls Day. For hell and purgatory, I was not afraid.

When I was eight years, I did the Holy confirmation [5]. The Holy Spirit would help me to strengthen my faith. The Bishop said at my confirmation: “Signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti” (Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit). Out of boredom I had learned some Latin from the Missal of my father during many long Masses. The gift of the Holy Spirit did not help me with my faith. I saw increasing evidence that the father God was created to the likeness of his believers and not the other way around as the Catholic Church reminded us. Around that time the “rich Catholic Life” started to diminish in South Limburg; we only went to church at important Christian days.

Our master in the fifth and sixth class had finished an internship at De Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap – The Workshop Childrens’ Communion – of Kees and Betty Boeke in Bilthoven. He was since one year at our school and I have learned a lot during these two years. He encouraged me to read together with my father many books from the library and we made many essays and presentation on what we have read. My father and I have read Kees Boeke’s “We in the universe, a universe inourself” [6] from cover to cover. My father and I bought a microscope and a telescope. Together we read books on astronomy and microscopy. For school we made at least four essays and presentations on these topics.

[7]

We did the same for world history and for other religions. We read books on Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

At the national final test in primary school, I did not play hide and seek. The master proudly told that our class had an excellent outcome. The entire class was well above the national average. I had only one error on a specific question we could not know, because we did not live in Holland. The master ensured that everyone entered an appropriate further education. I went to the gymnasium in the city.


[1] Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doop_(sacrament)

[2] Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vrijmaking

[3] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Child_baptism_with_water.jpg

[4] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Bundesarchiv_Bild_194-0552-30,_Prozession_der_Kommunionkinder.jpg

[5] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vormsel

[6] See: Boeke, Kees, Wij in het heelal, een heelal in ons – Twee tochten: door macrokosmos en microkosmos. Amsterdam: J.M. Meulenhoff, 1959. This book has been published as Cosmic Viewthe Universe in 40 Jumps in English

[7] Source image: http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/cosmicview/ . The English version of this book can be read by this hyperlink.

Man Leben – Oriental wisdom 2


Alles gelebt was man leben kann?

Lived everything what you can live?

You continue with the story of your life:

“In the previous post I told how I explored Oriental wisdom. I have mentioned my preference for mavericks. The meaning of the mavericks “ya, ra, la, va and ha” in the Devanāgarī alphabet express my experiences at that stage of my life. In examining the meaning of “la” – meaning in Sanskrit “of Indra”– and consulting several sources, I encountered the meanings of Indra. Indra means “God of heaven” or “Svargaloka” [1]. Indra is often depicted seating on a multi-headed elephant.

[2]

Now I explain the underlying meanings of svargaloka, because this gives light on the developments in my life around the death of my aunt and my godmother.

Svargaloka is composed of the words “svarga” meaning in Sanskit amongst others: heaven, the residence of light and of the gods, heavenly bliss, Indra’s heaven (where the souls of virtuous mortals go before they return in earthly bodies) and “loka” which means: free or open space, the universe, of number 7 – which we encounter later on our Odyssey. The world has three loka’s: the sky/heaven, the earth and the underworld.

Svarga is composed of the parts:

  • Sva: meaning “own, one’s self/Self, the human soul”.
  • Ra: meaning “give, love, desire, motion, brightness, splendour”,
  • Ga: meaning “abiding in, staying” [16]

On the basis of these parts, “svarga” is the residence of our/your own being in all its splendour. The svargaloka is heaven, earth and underworld – all, everywhere and one – in all its manifestations. Here and now, it shows its splendor.

Around 1993, I studied Jalâl al-Din who is better known as Rumi. He has been given the name Rumi in the Arab world, because he lived in Konia, south of Ankara in Turkey while writing his great works. This part of the Arab world was identified with Rome from the Roman Empire. That is the reason why Jalâl al-Din is better known after the name under which his whereabouts is named in the Arab/Persian world [3]. In Chapter 7 we meet Rumi on our Odyssey.

[4]

In a book about the life of Rumi I read: “Love for the dead is not lasting. Keep your love (fixed) on the Living One who increases spiritual life [5] . At that time this way of seeing was for me one half of the mirror. I lived completely in our/Your own being in all its splendour. I was in the svarga one with the wind, the light, my parents and foreparents; the entire universe was omnipresent.

The other half of the mirror was formed by a passage from the Diamond Sutra: “The past is ungraspable, the present is ungraspable and the future is ungraspable [6]“. The past is fixed in solidified glass; of course, our view on the past changes continuously, but a carefree life in Amsterdam with my father and mother as a five year old boy is no longer possible. Occasionally in dreams or with a particular taste – think of the madeleine biscuits in À la recherche du temp perdue of Marcel Proust – or with a particular smell, as a miracle the images and experiences of that lost world emerge in me. “Only in the present I can live, nowhere else I found shelter” [7]; sailing on the wind over the waves we experience the present: try to grab the “here and now” and it is gone. The future is ungraspable as the flower in the bud: the flower manifests itself in all its glory once and for all when circumstances permit – not earlier and not later. The flower arises from the void, flourishes in the void and passes away into the void. This elusiveness reminds me of the text that we encountered earlier in our Odyssey [8]: “Mysterium est magnum, quod nos procul dubio transcendit” [9]  or in English: “The mystery is great, without doubt it transcends us.”

In that time I experienced life fully, overwhelming and transparent. Or shown by a metaphor, both these images in the mirrors – which were placed at a 90-degree angle – were a reflection of my experiences. The mirrors were empty [10].

In the past I thought that if people or things had a name, they also got a place or a destination. On our Odyssey we will encounter this way of seeing a number of times.

In that time I also studied the Hua-yan school of Buddhism [11] and read texts about Indra’s net [12], that is a metaphor for the emptiness of all things and living beings. This void has two sides: it is “emptiness from” and “emptiness to” [13]. Both these sides are similar to “freedom from” and “freedom to” as explained “ Escape from Freedom [14]” from Erich Fromm.

[15]

By these insights I was freed from the latent feelings of guilt about my existence, mainly because my immediate family – with the exception of my aunt – had not survived the other government in Germany. Until then, there was always the question: “How did I deserve to be still alive”. At the same time, I evaded the question for the meaning and reason of this dark, dark, dark history. The religion of my parents offered me no interpretation: I could not say with conviction the verses of Kaddish including “Thou art the glory” and “The world is created according to His will”. For saying these texts I had to identify “You/His” with  “the wind” and “the water”.

This insight helped me organizing my aunt’s funeral. Her funeral was attended by many old acquaintances – as far as still alive. Also some distant relatives were present. I was the only immediate family. For her I have said a whole year with conviction the daily prayers according to the Jewish remembrance of the dead. May her memory be a blessing for here and for there.

I also attended the funeral and mourning services for my godmother. May her memory be a blessing for here and for there. It was a beautiful Catholic funeral in the tradition of South Limburg.

After these funerals I went to Auschwitz”, you say.

“I can follow your view of Oriental wisdom, but for the time I let my mind in the middle if I can agree with this view”, I say.

“Buddhism is the Middle Way; consent with my view of Oriental wisdom is not asked for. I look forward to what the continuation of our Odyssey will bring. It will be a homecoming for me”, you say.

The next post is about your visit to Auschwitz.


[1] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra

[2] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra

[3] Source: Lewis, Franklin D., Rumi, Past and Present, East and West. Oxford: Oneworld, 2003 p. 9

[4] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi

[5] Free rendering from: Iqbal, Afzal, The Life and Works of Jalaluddin – Rumi. London: The Octagon Press, 1983 p. 239.

[6] Free rendering from: Red Pine (Bill Porter), The Diamond Sutra. New York: Counterpoint, 2001 pag.308

[7] Free rendering from the first two lines from the poem “Woninglooze – Homeless” from Jan Jacob Slauerhoff. See for the text of the poem: http://4umi.com/slauerhoff/woninglooze

[8] See the posts: “Three – Object in the middle – The Word” from 11 Juni 2011; and “A day without yesterday –a day without tomorrow?” from 3 Juli 2011.

[9] Source: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/special_features/ encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_20030417_ecclesia_ eucharistia_lt .html:  Ionnis Pauli PP. II Summi Pontificis, Litterae Encyclicae Ecclesia de  Eucharistia, Rome, 2003

[10] See: Wetering, Janwillem van de, De Lege Spiegel. Amsterdam: De Driehoek p. 118 – 120

[11] Sources: Cleary, Thomas, The Flower Ornament Scripture, a Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Boston: Shambhala, 1993; Cleary, Thomas, Entry Into the Inconceivable: An Introduction to Hua-yen Buddhism. Boston:  Shambhala, 2002 and : Cook, Francis, Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977

[12] See also the posts “One – Pantheism – Indra’s net” from 8 April 2011 and “One – “Powers of Ten”” from 10 April 2011

[13] See for “empty to”: Thich Nhat Hahn, The Heart of Understanding. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1988 p. 8, 9

[14] See page 91 in the Dutch version of “Fromm, Erich, Escape from Freedom. New York: Rinehart & Co, 1941” published by Bijleveld in Utrecht, 1973.

[15] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra’s_net

[16] Source: elektronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

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Introduction: Two – First order arises


“Your narrator takes you back to the days when earth and air are divided, everything is broken as crackle and then fell apart into small particles. After the complete collapse of “One” in an infinite number of particles, a beginning of order does arise. In the course of time more complex forms of life appear. Your narrator does not know the history of this organization because in his current form he was not present at these events. Also, the narrator does not know the complete manner of this order: the various manifestations of this absolute miracle can only be seen if the conditions allow us.

[0]

In today’s world we use hierarchies – according to the human dimension – to bring order in the infinite appearances. Some years ago, your narrator read in a book [1] a description of a hierarchy that is recognisable for people in Western society. This hierarchy does look something like this:

  • Non living organisms
  • Living organisms
  • People
    • Biology
    • Law and regulations
    • Science
    • Quality
  • Complex structures
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Villages with their own dynamics
    • Cities with its own dynamics

The author of this book [1] uses an ethical principle stating that every appearance has an equal right to exist. But if a choice between two forms is unavoidable, a more complex appearance – in this case the form on a higher place in the hierarchy – is preferable.

A second hierarchy, your narrator read a few thousand years ago. Nowadays this ranking is for people in Western society less easy to follow. This hierarchy has a ranking of the 31 ‘residences’ [2]:

  • Hells
  • Titans
  • Hungry ghosts
  • Animals
  • People
  • Gods in 22 categories
  • Five spheres of infinite space, awareness and emptiness.

In both hierarchies, mankind has a central place. Overestimation of humanity itself? We do not know. On next stage of our Odyssey we will look closer at these two hierarchies.

The Western world also has a dichotomy in heaven and hell. Are heaven and hell nearby or far away, or only reserved for an afterlife? Your narrator does not know. A few decades ago, a priest in Valkenburg explained the difference between heaven and hell hear during sermon.

This priest said: “In hell, people have a minor handicap: they can not bend their arms. They are in a room with most abundant food and drink. But unfortunately they remain forever hungry and thirsty. They can look at the food and drink, because eating is prevented due to their minor handicap.

[3]

In heaven, people have the same minor disability and they are in the same room with food and drink. But they have no hunger and thirst, because these people care for each other. One gives the other at arm’s length to drink and eat on needs and satisfaction.”

A nice explanation of one and the same – looked upon in two ways? Or two manifestations depending on different circumstances? Or two different worlds? Your narrator does not know.

The next post is about twins.


[0] Bron afbeelding: POVRAY – Indra’s net – JvL

[1] Pirsig, Robert M., Lila, an Inquiry in Morals. London: Bantam Press, 1991

[2] The Long Discourses of the Buddha. Massachusetts: Wisdom Publications, 1995 p. 38-39

[3] http://clubkoperwiek.blogspot.com/2010/12/club-weekend-club-koperwiek-kook-de.html