Thursday, June 15, 2006

All The Things You Should’ve Done

“The material creations are manifested for some time as perverted shadows of the spiritual kingdom and can be likened to cinemas. They attract people of less intelligent caliber who are attracted by false things. Such foolish men have no information of the reality, and they take it for granted that the false material manifestation is the all in all. But more intelligent men guided by sages like Vyasa and Narada know that the eternal kingdom of God is more delightful, larger, and eternally full of bliss and knowledge.”

SB 1.1.17

There was a period when I used to spend some time with some Lakota (a Native American nation) religious guys. One of them was fond of saying that there is culture, religion, and spirituality, and you need to know the difference. When he was asked one time what is spirituality, he replied, “Don’t take things for granted.”

We see things being taken for granted all the time. How many take it for granted that they should chant gayatri 3 times a day, but never really think about what they are chanting and take the rising and the setting of the sun for granted? How many hop into a car and drive somewhere for groceries and never think of how it came about they could do so and what the long term consequences are? Try going through your day and watch how you take things for granted.

Lakota warriors would sometimes greet the sunrise by chanting “It is a good day to die!” This was not some negative self destructive or depressive thing. It was about embracing life and being so fulfilled at that moment that death held no fear. Marken has this tattooed on his heal.

Here is a poem I stumbled across at It is about taking things for granted, IMHO.

All The Things You Should’ve Done

she is, as they all are,
inevitably vulnerable
a filament charged with light,
breakable with just the wrong handling

so we fuss around her, unbuckling this
and plugging in that,
with the upwards monitor glance
shared between us as her story
plays out in blue and yellow
and red

and i can’t talk to you yet,
because i’m stealing time
with your daughter from you;
it’s a transaction, i take
four hours, because i think
perhaps i might
be able to transfix her onrushing loss
with my drugs and devices

(and you sit by the door,
clear of the carnage,
wondering about
all the things you should’ve done)


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