Desperate in duality
The past few months have been agonizingly painful. Lower back, butt and inner thighs had already been battered for years. In the past few months, severe ache inside both legs, spreading up to and all over my feet, also added to the misery.
Some days ago, I took a muscle relaxant and ended up with a reeling head as well as a sickening migraine. I could not sleep for a good part of that painful night.
I tried focusing on my breath but was a miserable loser. On and off, it kept flashing in me that though the pain was real, suffering was my own choice. Suffering is caused by ignorance. Ignorance is mixing up the true with the untrue. As long as I think that I am the body and the mind, I continue to suffer the afflictions of the body/mind duo. In such a desperate state of duality as where the ‘SELF’ gets veiled by ignorance (i.e., by a false sense body and mind), like embers getting covered in ashes, the only hope of redemption is focusing on breath and resting in that state of awareness. It is, as it were, a state of wakeful sleep — wakeful to our self and asleep to the sense of body/mind.
I called out to my muse (my dream Goddess), which I do in such moments. I feel more comforted imagining and visualizing a female half of me (The Yin, as she were) than a bearded Master who could actually be of much more practical value, by the way ;-).
Looking at everyone around, blissfully sleeping with their own ignorance, I suddenly felt very lonely. I, for a moment, felt deeply that I belonged nowhere and only my angel, my twin self could save me from the despair of duality.
Random emotions surged through my mind and I felt like writing down what went through. It may sound childish from the highest standards of poetry, but still with deep respect for the great poets of the past, I set out to pen down these outpourings.
Lying I was, single on the bed,
In silent sufferance of gnawing pangs!
Reaping, perhaps, the seeds of sin;
Savage as the vermin fangs!
I coiled unto my own self
In vain efforts to escape my mind
The vigilant, wicked, capricious elf
Kept resetting me into the painful grind
Looked around at slumbering kins
Gloating in their selfish dreams
They shall partake of all my wins
But never, ever of my losing schemes
I pined for my passionate half
My muse, my dreamworld mate
To caress me, like a surrendered calf
And free my spirit from its fate
Will no one carry my heart’s plaint
To my Goddess, my silent Yin
So, she would rush to wipe the taint
That shrouds my soul as a veil of sin
Succumb with a futile whine, I shall not
Shall keep the battle up and raging
To lose a war without being fought
Set against death, is more damaging
The celebrated moment shall arrive
When She’ll beckon me into her arms
Freeing me from the grip of five
Shall enslave me into Her timeless charms
1. The title and the mood were inspired by ‘The Solitary Reaper’
2. The words ‘vermin fangs’ were adopted from ‘The Conqueror Worm’ by ‘Edgar Allen Poe’. The words were so apt to the context, that I did not want to change them.
3. The poem is an acknowledgement of a soul’s alone-ness in its life and none other than the damsel of one’s own consciousness can be one’s true consort, master and emancipator. I went through insufferable pain. Looking around at people in deep slumber, dwelling in their respective dreams, I also at once experienced a stark ‘ALONENESS’ in the dreary, long journey of my life. I struggled to overcome both the physical and the mental trauma by focusing on my breath. But the mind being an incorrigible beast of habit, kept pulling my awareness away from breath back into the misery. The first three stanzas reflect this desperation.
4. I introduced the metaphor of my muse to describe my guiding angel, my Goddess who will release me from the bondage of ignorance and seat me firmly on the saddle of self-awareness. While the body and mind are the vehicles of pain and misery, the causes of pain are the abominable five — viz.,
a) The idea of ‘me’ (Ego)
b) The idea of ‘my’ (Possessiveness)
c) Craving (a state of being unfulfilled and incomplete within oneself)
d) Aversion (a sense of hatred)
5. In the line ‘Freeing myself from the grip of five’, the phrase ‘grip of five’ refers to the stranglehold of our five senses, which hijack us away from our awareness. The last stanza celebrates the moment, when my muse takes me over wholly, riveting me into perennial self-awareness, thus freeing me from the stranglehold of these dreaded five demons.