The Aim

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

When Gandhi was assassinated at pointblank range, he put his palms together [over his heart in the prayer position] toward his attacker, uttered his mantra, and died.  Years of meditation and yoga practice, guided by his beloved Bhagavad Gita, had brought him to the point where he was able to bring the perspective of non-attachment to everything he was engaged in, including his very life.  It allowed him to choose the attitude he would take in that very moment he was being robbed of life.  He didn't die angry or even surprised.  He had known his life was in constant danger.  But he had trained himself to march to the drumbeat of his own growing vision of what constituted wise action.  He had come to a point where he truly embodied compassion.  He lived an unwavering commitment to both political and spiritual freedom.  His personal well-being was of limited value in comparison.  He was always putting it on the line.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are

Ahh, I am so far from this, my name could well be Ihdnag. 

We couldn't all be cowboys.  Some of us are clowns. But I guess even clowns, somehow, in the midst of tangling with their own personal Satan, can find a long second to climb onto the observation ledge for a moment and get high enough, to the space where even evil is God's grace, as Simone Weil would say (see, Sarah, I've been reading a little).  Rolling around in your own wormness removes any threat of hubris (though some other antidote to self-pity seems to be required).

After all, in the times where I don't feel like I'm in hell, I feel like I can see forever, reach out and touch nirvana.  I guess that balances things out. 


  1. Gandhi, such an amazing legacy, his example sparked all those wonderful attempts at passive resistance in the 20th century — an incredible peaceful gift to have given. Your blog reaches out and touches nirvana all the time. Thanks for the reference to Simone Weil, I love her.

  2. Maybe 'hell' and 'nirvana' are just thoughts anyway, and no indication of your - and everyone's - true state, Sue. That's what Gandhi saw, and what enabled him to be detached in that moment. Just my usual meanderings:)

  3. Awww, wow, Sarah, you say things about my blog that freak me out a little, haha :) But thanking you.

    I am looking forward to reading some Simone Weil. I am waiting on one of her books from the library.

  4. Hi Harry. Yeah, I was speaking about them metaphorically and as feeling states rather than as true states. Some days it doesn't make it any easier, unfortunately. That's why I wrote what I wrote yesterday, I guess :)

  5. Hugs to you, my friend. May the true state come bubbling up again very soon:)


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