Thursday, October 23, 2008

Birds of Paradise

Blacks and whitesImage by YuvalH via Flickr

A recent blogger said she was tired of waking up to the litany of gloom and doom economic news but instead has been taking refuge in the simple recognition of migrating birds. I find this perspective refreshing. It’s so very easy to fall into a reactionary mind-set to what comes our way via the news. On the one hand who can deny the harsh result of billions (if not trillions) of dollars being drained away resulting from the current crisis? Lives are being destroyed. On the other hand, all is well. How is it possible that such polar opposite responses could co-exist? Without diminishing suffering which results from this crisis I would like to provide an insight.

Birds fly south when they deem a changing of season and north when it goes the other way. They do this without recognition of economics either good or bad. It’s the natural way. Every day the sun rises and sets without consulting our opinions, judgements or the news. And it’s a good thing. Think what would happen if this was not so...Maybe the sun would rise (or not) dependent upon our mood that day. Maybe birds would fly south (or not) dependent upon our economic news. If life depended, we’d all be in deep trouble since we never agree on anything. We are enslaved to our differences and the results of that enslavement. We are attached to the way things should be and ignore the way they are and that creates very big difficulties.

Where is it written that economies always move upward? Who says that goodness is inevitable? Where is it written that those we love will move in directions we think they should? That one vector continues without fail? These fixed ideas (and our attachment to them) is what creates euphoria and fear, which in turn creates the ups and downs. Life IS change. Birds know this and we don’t. There is a season for flying south and another for flying north. Seasons change and we need to adapt. Why don’t we?

The answer is attachment (to what we desire) and resistance (to what we repudiate). We go by way of what we see and ignore what we can’t see. Birds don’t do that but we do. What we see is either beautiful or ugly (on the surface) and we respond to such appearances. If we were wise we’d notice that even our own forms are in the process of decay but our true nature is eternal. The truth is that there was a time when I was a handsome fellow and now I’m just a decaying and wrinkled bag of bones. Does it matter? Not a whit! What can be seen will always fade but what is eternal never fades.
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