(boring my way to god)
by Sw Deva Sarlo
ylotomous: boring into or cutting wood, describing certain insects, may be a dumb way to start off an article that you would want to read, but Hey! a chance to use a drop cap x doesnt grow on trees.
So here we are.
Realizing that my last article would be a difficult act to follow i mean, what do you do after declaring enlightenment? Die or get some disciples and start dispensing wisdom, right? Too scary for me i have taken the comfortable way out and decided to share some more about My Life on the Path Thus Far.
So there we were.
Osho talked to me when i took sannyas about boredom as a path. In Zen monasteries, he said, the art of using boredom as a device has been raised to its peak. You go through exactly the same routine every day: up at a certain time, meditate, have tea, do the same boring repetitive task, have the same breakfast, meditate some more, walk in a special Zen garden which is designed, with rocks and sand and nothing living, to be as boring as possible, meditate, work, tea, etc. He told me, Those little enjoyments that you go on having by the side keep your mechan-icalness alive, keep your mechanicalness interesting to you. The utterly boring routine of the Zen monastery forces you to confront your mechanicalness with no diversions.
Well, i didnt jump on the next plane to Japan. But i did get to deal with these issues in the Zazen and Vipassana groups he gave me. Especially the Vipassana, ten days of being alone with my mind, the most boring thing in the universe. How can i know that? Okay, its true, i havent seen into the depths of your mind. But after a few days i was in major misery at the hopelessness of it all. I wish i could illuminate the process by which i got out of this wallow, but the details seem, well, boring, and are probably not all that useful in any case. Lets just say there was insight, jump-started by a suggestion from Gopal, the group leader, that it was the same mind that was sending the message that i would never escape this endless and shallow mental gridlock; and there was Oshos grace, via Gopal and more mysteriously. I dont like to talk about grace because it has the air of religion, but there it was. The master teaches us responsibility, but also helps us more than we can possibly deserve. [Koan alert!]
Inasmuch as i identify with this small, most boring thing in all creation, i am in misery. But it is possible to just play with it. This playful distancing came in handy one day when a lively, attractive co-worker who was leaving Pune shortly announced that her flight had been put back a few days. Great, i said, we can get to know each other a little better. She stiffened visibly, her body language clearly indicating that we knew each other well enough already, thank you very much. Ah well, i said, actually, im pretty boring. Relief spread over her face as she gratefully acknowledged the truth of this with, Yknow, most people are.
So thats the distant past. All very well, but what have you done lately, Sarlo? Remember the good old here-and-now? Ah, yes. In fact, i was going to get to that. Not the exact precise this very moment here-and-now, which is either too boring or too ineffable or both [koan alert #2] to translate from my typing now to your reading now light-years away, but the approximate what-are-you-up-to-these-days here-and-now.
So where we will be?
These days, i am learning how to set up Web Pages, with a view to getting, among other things, these very words a place on the WWW, the worlds ultimate vanity press. The tutorial that is purporting to teach me the skills i will need for this is providing me with a magnificent 14-inch screen on which to project my frustrations. It is showing me useless things, and calling them one thing here and another there, and telling me to choose blahblah in the dialog box but there is no dialog box or any indication of how to make one appear. It is simply unbelievable.
And it is unbelievably boring.
Aha! More boring than my own mind? Now were getting somewhere. Yes. I see it now. Computers, for all their tricks and capabilities and supposed user-friendliness, are escapism machinified. The more virtual you get, the less real. But according to Karlo Marxs Das Lower-Case, an exposition of dialectical spiritualism too complex to get into here, the farther you get from where you started, the sooner you must eventually reach the farthest point and start returning, perhaps by a different route. For example, in the traditional political spectrum, the wild-eyed anarchist extremists, left or right, resemble each other more than anyone in between. The spectrum is not linear, but circular.
Similarly, i believe we have reached as far as we can go in our escapism into the mind. The world of the virtual is so manifestly unreal, the mind at its utmost, represented by irreducibly small, Aristotelian components of ones and zeros. We have nowhere to go but back to the more natural states of being, although our route back may be a bit circular, not the same way we came. The geeks and nerds of the computer world may be the Zen monks of the 90's, watching the inadequacies of the mind unfold on the screen. Can Macrosoft® No-Mind be far away?
Then again, who knows?
At least the test pattern of the 90's, the screen saver, doesnt just sit there like a lump. On mine, there is colourful rain falling, blip, blip, a globe spinning and bouncing, a forest growing and mutating through the seasons, birds migrating... Ah, this.
Will the watcher be boring? Do you think that I am bored? I am not even bored with you. Every morning, evening, I come with such joy to see you. I never remember that you are the same people I have seen the night before.
Osho, Satyam Shivam Sundram
Boring II: The Sequel
ou laughed! You cried! You yawned! Now read the gently soporific second installment of this intraordinary saga! Dont wait for them to turn it into a movie!
We last saw our hero lost in virtual virtual reality. Unable to make the leap into true pseudohood, he moped and languished until, like the great quitter that he is, he saw epiphany, cue the hosannas what he needed to do: nothing. Fuck it all. Ablaze with contentment, he floated for two months in the lukewarm waters of existence, which carried him Nowhere. He read. He doodled. He played with his noodle. He took out the garbage. All this time, energy was pooling for a creative breakthrough, and one day...
His beloveds nagging told him that the time was right. And so it came to pass. He got on his butt, and hyperlinks which had thumbed their noses at his nano-comprehension now danced to his tune. URLs and .gifs revealed their hidden splendours. And it was sweet.
What had happened in those two months? Daily repetition of empty, meaningless rituals and it was important that they be meaningless, for meaning, supplied by the cacaphonous mind, would have contaminated the outcome transformed the very neuronic structure of his brain. His sputtering synapses, diddling dendrites and malnourished melatonin, the physical manifestation of the random noise generator that was his mind, took a Club Veg vacation and came back tanned and rested. Uncluttered and spacious, his crystallized consciousness could now channel the software of existence.
But this is no sappy Hollywood ending. Because its not an ending, only an intermission. He realized that he had to take his discovery out into a world desperately in need of neuronic convergence. So stay tuned for the stupefying conclusion, Bored to Tears: from Bedroom to Boardroom.
Boring III: The End