PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Nothing


I want to be nothing. I seem to hear the call of the monastery, perched on a mountaintop, "far from the madding crowd.” It’s not the desire to end it all by harakiri but to end my being in the madness called the rat race and the oppressive concept of ‘making it in life’.

All I want to do is pray, pray, pray, plant, plant, plant, till the soil is coaxed into bringing food I could subsist on, to return to earth, to the simple life. Remember this lazy guy who waited for the ripe fruit to drop straight into his mouth? Hyperbolic, yes, but it must be somewhat paradisiacal to live off the land just like that.

I want to taste the liberation of being nothing even if it would mean submitting myself to a rigorous routine of sweeping the floor as per instructions from my chief abbot. I want to lose myself to orders from my superior as long as it would mean having most of the time set to meet my God in meditation, in awful silence.

I want to read, read, read, I want to read all the things I missed while I was busy.
I want to be free from all worldly cares - cumbersome credit cards, loan amortization, the constant dilemma of what clothes to wear and what food to eat, the constant pressure to beat the grace period, the need to work hard to prove myself. I want to rid myself of my burdens, the responsibility of being somebody to someone, the tremendous pressure - to earn and to earn my keep, the pressure to find someone and settle down and raise kids, the pressure to lead a life as normal as others can, the pressure to do everything all at the same time. These are duties I can happily do without; they are all a yoke too much for me to bear.

I want to wrap myself in a monk’s unglamorous robe and wear nothing on my feet but leather sandals and work the fields. I want no underwear, no ties, no shoelaces that restrict the bloodflow. I want no personal idiosyncrasies to deal with, no problem with rent, commuting, traffic, phone, water and electric bills, groceries, and the folly of local and national politics, the crime rate, the inadequate health coverage, the insurance policy that I am short in cash to pay for, the dollar exchange rate. I want no TV, no radio, no papers, no movies. I’m tired of CDs, MTV, talk shows, loud, irreverent people cursing, gossiping, dropping malicious innuendoes and insults.

I want to get away from it all. I want to sever my ties to lucre, recognition, education, fame, family, friends, and community. I want to be a total stranger, completely dependent on the kindness of foreigners like me, completely bereft of bias, bigotry, baggage. I want to believe that the world is beautiful and peaceful and pleasing, no thieves, no drug lords and murderers, no military, no terrorists, no angry young men like me, on demonstrationsstreet , no squatter shanty demolitions, plane crashes, shipwrecks, arson and hotels as firetraps. No wars after the collapse of peace talks, no poverty coexisting with greed, no leftists crying human rights violations, no endangered species competing with endangered human trades.

I want to be left alone. I want to be live with a minimum of choices. I want to be freed from the tyranny of having to choose from more than I could take. I don’t want anymore to be paralyzed. Especially every morning when I run into the dilemma of what clothes to wear and what food to eat, twin preludes to the greater dilemmas ahead.

I want to live a pure life. I want to live as though I am alive. I want to love as though it's easy. I want to be nothing - because I want to be something.

8.28.2001


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