Beginner’s Mind

Exploring a theme

Wabi Sabi
The Small Dark Light

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Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

A creative group I’m in recently gave us the prompt “Beginnings”. This was my contribution.

There is only beginning. Perpetual beginning. Generative beginning. Everlasting beginning.

The past never existed, and the future is unimaginable. What Has Been is nothing more than accusatory and exculpatory stories we tell ourselves about isolated incidents that might have happened once if you narrow your vision down to the eye of a needle. What Will Be is nothing more than comforting fictions and destabilizing ghost stories we tell ourselves about things that might happen to some people some day, speaking to nothing more than baseless assumptions and the anxieties of the moment.

There is no world but the one that surrounds me right now, this very instant. I can do with it whatever is in my power to do. And I haven’t even begun to explore my power yet.

There is no time, only the instant that exists now. There is no middle or end to my story, only that which tells me I can start anew now, that I can rewrite the narrative now, that the past is no guide to the future because there is no past or future, only now. It’s all been done already. Everything is accomplished. All is forgiven.

Not that I know what I’m talking about, because I don’t know anything, because it’s not a good idea to know things, because ‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.’ If I say I can’t do it, I can’t do it because I say I can’t do it. If I can do it, I can do it because I say I can do it.

There is no me anyway — only an infinite luminous presence manacled to an ever-shifting collection of excitable neurons, a chaotic sea of potentiality, a chorus of unborn selves fighting to make their voices heard, to come out into the light. I am who I say I am, and then I say I’m something else, because ‘I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes’.

There is no God but the one I make in my image, and there is no me but the god He makes in His. Moment by moment we create each other. In trying to conceive of Him I instantly define That which cannot be defined, in addressing Him I address my own pain, in following Him I follow the heart He put in me. Every day He breathes life into me all over again. I pursue Him because I can do no other. And on the dance goes.

There is no everything and there is no nothing; everything is and is not; everything is full to overflowing and so empty you can see right through it. The universe and everything in it have only just begun to manifest, this instant; nothing has had the time to find its feet yet; it’s all just stumbling around and blinking at the sun. Everything is malleable. Nothing is fixed. It could all change at any instant, and this instant is any instant. Look around you. See it changing.

You think this has all been pretty weird so far? Well, I’m only getting started.

And that’s the point.

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Wabi Sabi
The Small Dark Light

Writer, composer and filmmaker, into soul music and Chinese philosophy. Editor @ The Small Dark Light