The Kaleidoscope (ten stanzas on samsara)

The Kaleidoscope

1.
What we perceive and thereby conceive as physical reality, represents only our own human experience according to the limitations and conditioning of our cognitive capacities — since these capacities are not ultimate or transcendental, the full or complete picture of physical reality remains hidden from our minds.

2.
Already with the help of technology, we keep discovering both objects and processes of reality that we were in the past unable to perceive due to their materialization on a super micro or macro scales, or occurrence over extremely high or low speeds. Some such subtle or super realities are conceivable to us only on an abstractly imaginative and counter-intuitive levels.

3.
Now if one attempts to take a fresh look at physical reality, bearing in mind the limitations of human cognition, and imaginatively, as if from without these limitations, from an abstract point of view that is independent from such limitations — one will behold a scenery of reality in which every single atom and particle is in constant flux and transformation – a reality in which objects cannot be grasped or held in any kind of fixation; processes of transformation occurring at different or identical locations in utter contradictoriness and refutation of the concept of linearness or regularity of time. One will see the effect of a kaleidoscope, through which neither extension nor cohesion, nor location nor situationality, remain for one second as they were in the preceding one, or will be in the following. Time itself expands here and contracts there, melts down here and freezes there – time, becomes ‘elastic’!

4.
Not only everything we humans consider as stable, fixed, under-control, graspable, and cognizable, vanishes altogether as we look from this supramundane point-of-view, but also, the human being himself, as we used to know him ‘from below’, vanishes also! He too, just like everything else, appears only to be another conditioned and swept-away mass of particles that do not cease to be flung here and there, mingling, transforming, and getting lost in the midst of all the universe of infinite tossed particles in the whirling fall-and-rise of the Kaleidoscope.

5.
What of that picture and what of that human? There arises humility. There arises the profound realisation that we are utterly ‘conditioned’ beings, down to the smallest atom and force that sustains our life and brings about our decay – we are conditioned to such a ‘humiliating’ extent, by forces that we cannot even begin to recognize, for reasons that we cannot even aspire to ascertain.

6.
And what does that tell us? That we are in control of ‘nothing’ whatsoever. That we are even devoid of the capacity to control anything. That all that we hold on to, all that we yearn for, all that we even hate, is nothing but delusion, just as one’s very “self” is also a delusion! That this “mind” and “will” that we call “self” which arises in this world, which looks, seeks, searches, investigates and ponders, comes here and goes there, that hopes and lives, that suffers, endures, and dies – that whole mass of being and of presence, is not-mind, not-will, and not-self, but only a flicker of conditioned, forced, and coerced consciousness that has been cut loose from an unknown root, flowing now deterministically _there has never been a choice, there is no such thing as choice_ like a piece of stone, or even grain of sand, swept-away along with the torrential stream of the Kaleidoscope.

7.
But where one arises to this truth, one ceases from existence! The emancipating light of transcendence descends upon the consciousness that thus looks, thus sees, and thus knows. Transcendent mind says there is nothing here but the sorrowful delusion of impermanent manifestations. Transcendent self gets ready, accumulates great energy, for its own extinction. Transcendent will, now desires nothing other than to cease from desire itself, to cease from this world of form and appearance, rather than to yearn for it and plunge in its emptiness.

8.
It is said that we were once more than gods! That we were living ever blissfully in the Beyond. But some of us, out of desire for the colors, shapes, smells, tastes, and textures of the snare of the Kaleidoscope, descended here and developed the eyes, nose, ears, tongues, and bodies, to seek pleasure in the fluctuating forms. A long time passed on the once-more-than-gods, during which they grew grosser and grosser, forgetting in the process of servitude to their own pleasure, the presence of their own transcendental consciousness. At last, they ended up harbouring cruelty and aggression toward one another, as they unconsciously whirl about along with the Kaleidoscope. It is said, that we are the descendants of those once, more-than-gods.

9.
Adoration to the Buddha, who awakened to the Truth, who taught that this world is empty of inherent meaning or substantial reality, who proclaimed birth and desire as the origin of all suffering and delusion. Adoration to the Buddha, who taught that ‘alienation’ from this body, this mind, this will, this life, this entire world, and all forms of conditioned existence, is itself enlightenment and liberation, from the whirl of the Kaleidoscope, from the great, piercing claw of samsara.

10.
Neither form nor formlessness is the Middle Way.
Neither desire for being nor desire for the extinction of being is the Middle Way.
Neither animal nor god is the Middle Way.
The human being is the very gate to the Middle Way.

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