25 October 2006

in which time speeds up and truth becomes irrelevant

This week time speeds up, truth becomes less relevant, and the washing machine in our block of flats packs up. I promise more excitement next week when I will go to Sweden for the weekend and work a lot less, I hope.

I've been discussing the idea of personality recently - we are certainly made up of stories, of images of ourself. These seek out new stories and roll along time like a runaway snow ball. But what if we let go of these stories? Onion-like, our stories are layered, intertwined and living creatures. Even history in this world is a painting repainted by later tales. Memory becomes fuzzy, and truth lies subservient to the clarity of images. Is every truth really a story - more truthful is just a stronger story. But still, the question of truth beyond stories begs an answer. Two tales might reply...

In one, everything is an image, a dream gently passing, a thousand mirrors reflecting each other. Stories are as good as they relate to each other. Nothing more than images. Absolute truth becomes meaningless it is all an image. But even here some images are more powerful than others. What we must learn to understand is the nature of image.

In the other tale, the images end at the lake of experience. Some relative truth pervades, stories are only as good as capture experience. Experience is a spring from which stories can spiral, but stories are subservient to experience. Personality then becomes what is natural beyond the force of an animation. We must learn to swim in the sea of experience and this way we can escape images prison.

Either way, the force of images are strong, the only question is do we have only images to fight with, or can we find something deeper?

I always felt that Buhdism, most clearly but other religions also, could be talked about in these two ways: they are either a strong image with which people might be happier, or they hint at a process from which to find some absolute and from which people might escape images altogether.

I hope they fix my washing machine soon.

2 comments:

A tiny green pumpkin seed said...

Why do images have to be something you fight against? If one is aware of other images they can choose from, are they still trapped?

Lucas Dixon said...

Dear and lovely pumpkin seed! Indeed, I should clarify: it is not images that I think we should fight, but the tendency to let them steal our sense of life. This sensation of stuck is what we should look to understand and escape from, only for the reason that it feels horrible, and to possess a stronger sense of self feels good.

To sense the self beyond the images of our ego feels somehow solid and beautiful and refreshing. Now I've told a story about this sense I intend to run out and lead beyond even this very story.