Upon discovering Genjo’s dead body in the creek, Tanha stomps in objection. The crows dissipate along with the mist, but Genjo continues to be dead. Tanha spins thirty seven times, recites several botanical names of flora surrounding her, and embraces an emperor’s poise. Genjo remains dead. Tanha climbs a Salix matsudana willow, strips to her chills, and discovers Buddha in a cloud. Below, Genjo is dead. Tanha tumbles into amnesia and then… Genjo is still dead. A hundred li west, a child blows a marble along a Dalbergia latifolia rosewood dresser, but Genjo is still dead.
The stiff corpse was physically killed dead and deprived of living animately.
Man appears to be inherently selfish. Even altruistic desires appear selfish. If bestowal bared no personal benefit, then it seems nothing would happen. What makes bestowal unique is that it benefits more than just one person (oneself plus another/others). Though, acting in a way that benefits both one’s ego and another takes a great deal of integrative imagination. What I find puts a big hamper in this process, though, is making enemies of one’s ego.
Fighting the ego appears counter-intuitive. I feel the ego is an active participant in the game of personal fulfillment as a human being. The ego is not the enemy, but the associate. Honestly, if one really wanted to get rid of the ego, one could just jump off a tall bridge. Not what many spiritualists had in mind I am sure. The trick I feel is to negotiate with this individual and various facets of him/her that come in the form of demons/repressions/shadows. One can meet this entity half way by listening deeper to oneself or constantly asking oneself what the highest excitement entails. The ego is the bull to be tamed gently, not abused. Once tamed, one can ride one’s ego to many exciting places.
That being said, beautiful integrations with one’s ego is what I call the great negotiation. One can negotiate with the ego in undergoing actions that simultaneously benefit others. Bestowal only seems genuine when one is pleasing one’s ego. I must, though, make an important distinction. A mature self-love does not mean an over-inflated ego. An over-inflated ego is like a repression that has blown itself up superficially and gives off the illusion of not being repressed, but it’s all a sham. It appears that when one truly loves oneself and is not overcompensating, then the love for other individuals and the environment in general naturally falls into place.
Now, I am going to draw an odd picture on how central this ego figure is in our lives and coexistence with others. There is, for instance, a double standard that occurs with tragedies. The closer in proximity a tragedy hits, the worse it is felt. Why? Aren’t all human lives valuable? The answer may be that the closer a tragedy hits reminds the individual of his or her own mortality, hence one’s own ego at stake.
What we appear to boil down to as human beings is our own ego. Why be so preoccupied with looking up at Mount Olympus? Does a water lily or beetle worry itself over how much “more” it can be than that which it is? We all appear to share this universe like these varying words here share the background of this note. We can drop everything and worship the background all day, erase these words, erase dance, erase art, erase distinction. We can just leave individuality and remain in an abstract space at one with nothing and mu like turning one’s head from the movie script and blinding one’s eyes from the film projector light. I, though, personally choose samsara. I choose the divine comedy. I choose to negotiate with the temporary artist that is my ego.
a collapsed seesaw in the chest, a baby rattle at the throat, a stork dragging a body bag, a monkey bar of bone, a hearse selling ice cream, a baby bottle of ashes, a casket full of eggs, a merry-go-round no longer spinning time