Where Is There?

light black and white portrait canon

“There” is the place we yearn to be, the place that isn’t here. It seems clear to our mind, that “other” place we long for, that inner wanting of things to be different, something to be different. What is that state of differentness? All I know is that it isn’t “here.”

Even when we get there, the longing restores itself, seeking, searching. It’s a state of accomplishment, getting what we want. But it isn’t definitive. It’s nebulous and unspecific. I say unspecific because when we acquire the specificity of our object of desire, a new focus replaces it. The feeling of wanting doesn’t shift even when the objects do. It’s a quality of mind that remains set.

Can we escape this platform of permanent frustration? I’m starting to think not. If inclined, we can retreat from it moment after moment, when we catch ourself in it. But it is our default mode of preoccupation. No matter what we’re doing, it comes and goes, humming in the background: longing, wanting, otherness.

We can accept it instead of wishing it gone. It’s the natural state of a mind: a desire for otherness. It’s fine, if we don’t think it wrong and odd, shun it as the bad guy. We can certainly elate in the joy of its absence, when that is the case, but its absence is not the natural state of mind. Its absence is blissful, peaceful, undramatic and eventless. But minds don’t wake up in the morning as such. We can see the usual mind for what it is and learn to live with it.

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