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Journal Excerpt [zen and the recycling bin]

{August, 1995}

Well the strange psychological symptoms continue, but at least they're something that leaves me feeling peaceful and affectionate, instead of weird stuff.

Today at lunch, at this temp job, I went and sat alone in this tiny conference room and closed the door, because I was sleepy. I left the light on just in case anybody should come in, but I took my shoes off and sat in a comfortable chair with my feet up. Setting my cola can down next to me, my attention was suddenly drawn to the object I set it upon: a metal recycling bin, which is basically a large locking trashcan.

I looked at it closely for about 30 seconds, and I could feel my whole body begin to change. A rush of affection for it grew in me, as if it were a warmth spreading through my chest, and I suddenly comprehended the... well, let's say the "alive-ness and identity of all things," and this thing in particular. I reached out and touched it, and fell into what I can only call a Zen merge. (Yeah, I know. Only I could accidentally merge with a metal recycling bin. Ha!)

A ton of information hit me, in the form of realizations. You wouldn't believe the consciousness available even in inanimate objects. He (I say only to give it warmth, gender doesn't apply) is an anchor of reality, a phenomenal type of purity compared to our ever changing identities, far more pure as a frequency than our huge conglomerate selves, and as it turns out, we interact with him and his species all the time without realizing that their metal structure is in fact the ultimate in this plane for physiological grounding, nor do we realize that this, combined with our perception of their solidity and unchangingness, is psychologically very centering and comforting for us. (They are not unchanging of course, but in this particular frame of perception seem to us to be.)

The bin, he actually has as much of a psychic awareness in some respects as I do, and I was kind of impressed when you get right down to it. I mean he isn't self aware in the way we are, but he "IS" in a literal Zen ISness sort of fashion, and with the addition of my consciousness he was able to communicate in almost words here and there.

After awhile of sharing, I began thinking intellectually a bit more; about how he's this grey color but if you look at it you realize that it's actually a combination of colors in order to create that color, like how it's done with pixels on computer screens, and his being-ness is aware and composed of all those, and it's only our particular perception that chooses the grey... and I wondered how it would look to a fly, or to any other frame of perception except mine, and then I realized that the dull color was in a way seeing into infinity, you could look into it and use it almost like a scrying stone in that the "nothing" was actually an open 3D opportunity for imagination, and if you were in the light it would show your reflection instead, and both were an interesting statement on the things that we create to surround ourselves but never really think about.

It reminded me of how I've wondered why we never gasp in beauty over water, water is so amazing, like when it has rained and then is clear and there are puddles, and for instance in a parking lot there will be a puddle that will reflect the fresh deep red of a car next to it plus the blue sky and white clouds, and why is it that we're not more impressed with the ability of an ever changing substance like water, and even that one little facet of it, how it can reflect an infinite variety of things in 3D with a 2D surface... and it's like we just walk past it and never think, good god what an incredible variety of form and color and shape and malleability all in this amazing scrying stone of the universe -- but no, we never think of it...

Why is the red texture of a tie, or the grey texture of a tile, not appreciated as the real wonders that they are? We are used to the things we have surrounded ourselves with, and it's a statement of how we devalue and ignore ourselves that we don't notice and appreciate our environment more. Sometimes I can just think of a given thing and eventually come to nearly gasp in wonder at it, at the sheer "metal bin-ness" of it in this example... the vibrant, ultra pure heritage of a very solid type of identity, as if it is a "pure" identity that is stunning in its vibrance.

Some identities, in particular those which are objects, have that sense of spiritual purity, that absoluteness (from our point of view, and in one sense from theirs as well) of identity in the form we are perceiving, and in some ways it's an indescribable "relief" to feel it; maybe it's just me, maybe it's because my identity was so completely dissolved within this particular framework, but the purity of the bin compared to the (possibly vaster) malleable nature of ours is a novel freshness, it's like simplicity and relief.

For some reason this made me realize the other three aspects of myself that I have encountered, we are the "elementals" of personality from this perception, we are the four corners and four of the main building components, but by no means the only ones or anything of the sort.

Well talk about abrupt. I sort of snapped out of it, still feeling warm and affectionate and connected to the bin, and it was time to go back to work. I ran my fingers along the bin affectionately, sensually, wishing I had more time to rub my skin against it thanking it, and went back to work, thinking gee, time sure does fly when you're having fun.

Gods! Who needs drugs?!


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