An insightful and mostly irreverent poke at books I have read and loved or hated. This may become an ongoing blog antic.
The first shall derive from papers I submitted to the interminably patient faculty at the Valencia Campus of UNM. Sometimes I just need to cheer myself up this way.
To paraphrase my Mother (and her Mother) , If you can't say anything nice, for God's sakes at least make it funny.
HOW TO BECOME A HOLY MAN
WHAT SIDDHARTHA DISCOVERED ALONG THE ROAD TO NOWHERE
as inspired by
HERMANN HESSE'S NOVEL "SIDDHARTHA"
By Robin DesJardins
Instructions: Read this thoroughly then throw it away and forget it.
If you are born into wealth and comfort, walk away from it. If you are born with nothing, spend half of your life struggling to get wealth and comfort and then walk away from it.
Learn to live on nothing. Hang out on the side of the road until you resemble a starving dog. Starve until you can see through yourself.
“ Find a girl, settle down. If you want you can marry. Look at me; I am old but I'm happy”, (Cat Stephens, Father and Son).
Go into town and find a rich woman. Let her give you a nice suit, a job connection and a son.
Learn how to be the life of the party. Be generous and hang out , get drunk with gamblers, phonies and bums. Wake up one morning and notice the crow's feet on her face. Notice the pot belly and flabby mind you have acquired. Notice how you have turned into the opposite of what you left home to become. Tell yourself it's all for nothing and ........walk away from it all. (What?)
Go to the river. Wash the self loathing from yourself, if you can. Suffer , suffer, and suffer yourself until you would rather die. Ah...now you're getting somewhere! You are still on the road to Nowhere. Since you cannot even kill yourself, you just surrender to simply Being.
Are we there yet? No, but it's not far now. You still have attachments to loose: Your son will die, his mother too. Finally, your mentor tells you to make friends with something and then wanders off into to the woods, never to be seen again. Is there no end to this suffering? “ Maybe yes....maybe no” Say this out loud while holding your nose. ( Rocky Rococo, Nick Danger Third Eye by Firesign Theater, 1969 )
Finally, you stop thinking. After all, this has been the source of most of your problems all along. Try making friends with a stone. Try listening to the river that would not kill you. Notice the stone needs nothing, does nothing and yet it succeeds at being what it is. Notice the river does not need to apologize or explain itself. It is as the stream of life, bringing everything to you, if you wait long enough. Notice how the river is everywhere else, even while it seems to be right in front of you, as you have been everywhere and yet only moving in place.
You have been every kind of man by now, and found the thing you wanted to know. All of the roles and costumes can be cast off. What remains is Being, and connectedness is not attachment. As your friend the stone waited a million years to become itself, and will wait longer to become sand again, so too will you become and un-become. The stone does not care...and neither do you.
In case you've never read or heard of this book before: