Better maps

File:Calligraphic Dao..pngSpirituality is the territory- relating with Self, Other, and Higher Being; religion is the map. Everyone who says “I am spiritual and not religious” is evidence our maps are inadequate.

Marcel jumps out of the way of a car, and steps on a pavement precisely as uneven as one he stepped on in Venice; and his memory of that experience in Venice erupts into his consciousness uncalled-for. In that moment, the memory is as beautiful as an unqualified, unmediated experience: it just is, without ego getting in the way; I escape myself. The world in a grain of sand, says not a map but a fragment of one: one kind of moment, that I recognise remember and often experience, without for me, now, any road to other experiences or actions.

Then I am talking to S, and the thought crosses my mind that this is indeed one of those worldgrainsand moments, I am with her- and immediately I am with the thought, not the experience of the person. Perhaps more breath-counting will get me there in the end: I kneel and count my breaths, and other thoughts File:Ideograma del Tao (Dao)..jpgcross my mind uninhibited, and vanish because I do not hold them there. Perhaps my memory of that conversation, which I dredge up for the purpose of writing, is not immediate, but soiled by my judgment of it.

I noticed the scratches on the wood, and this seemed a different worldgrainsand moment than previous such moments with that bench: before, I had noticed the grain of the wood, or the knot. Scratch and solidity: it bears its scratches, marked but not weakened by them. Experience, image, memory: all these are different, and the judgment “not weakened” comes somewhere.

I want to move through the World in Love, and this would mean: observing the beauty and abundance of it; taking what I need, without harming the whole, and without fear; uniting without grasping; allowing it and those unknowable creatures within it to be, as they are, without the need for them to be other- creatures including myself;

and everything would be alright. Because everything is alright.

Then something does not fit this cosy image, and it bursts, like a bubble: a tiny soapy drip falls and marks my shirt.

Or- even if it feels otherwise, even if I feel uncomfortable, this is what is happening, as best I can-

Tao called tao is not tao. Do it, don’t describe it, you cannot describe it, you might allude to it- “Am I doing it?” Yes, and no; no, and yes.

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