Sunday, July 20

soul-searching, not for mine, but yours //or are they same-same, even if different?

[ayuthaya. at a very small wat, no english name posted]
my first pile of bricks i came across. traipsed around the small area, poked my head into one of the few shrines and found an array of shiny statuettes and food offerings. the place seemed well- visited.

later, a pack of wild dogs trundled over. a black one leapt onto the ledge here, and i had to flee.

[outside wat phra si sanphet. ]
fallen offering on the steps leading up to a statue of a past king

[wat ratburana]
plucking time from the stupas.. cleaners sweeping the grounds, pulling out weeds. i wondered what a place can mean to a person, to a collective people.

[wat ratburana.]
quirky find.

[wat thammikarat.]
they were from the past, but very much rooted in the present consciousness of the people... the heavy concentration of wats everywhere also made me question why i was exerting so much time and energy hunting them down. what was i shooting for? i couldnt get past the what, let alone the why.

it paralleled my church-hopping in germany, but this time it was pure fascination. no loneliness, no sadness. this time i felt certain there is something- but i couldn't find anything (about?). for a while all i got were flat opaque images, insect bites and sunburns many times over. and again and again, at the heart of each wat, the glorious gold would just sit there, making me wonder.

[wat thammikarat.]

... all the good and evil in the world we try to explain, and then cope by externalising them in the physical acts we do, and symbols we cherish. sometimes the two get conflated, or completely divorced.

... find myself continually intrigued by the hidden meanings behind concrete events, and none more mystifying more in the sacred realm of rituals and objects in religion. in ayuthaya, the many (did i mention many? about 400 in a lil town of about 90,000) shrines and statues were magnficient and sagely in their age and otherworldliness. time seemed trivial when you see an eternal belief still strong in offerings dotting the most unexpected places; you cross a road and immediately, the humdrum traffic closes behind you and you're transported 400, sometimes 800 years ago.

i touch the old bricks on the left and look to the stream of cars and people on the right, and wonder, really, what lies beneath all this.

many times ive wrestled with the link between physical reality and the morphous meanings under it all. ayuthaya occupies a another special place in my heart because it was to here i first ran screaming out of bangkok, - here, the quiet began to grow. there were (are) no answers, but to see clearly -again- was a kind of rush.

[ ?.]
across the threshold.

[wat ?thammikarat.]
what overlooks us all?

[wat ratburana. ]

[wat mahathat.]
where the buddha's head is embedded in twisted tree roots.

it was magnificent and quiet, receding into the background. id marched through the rain to snap its supposed otherworldly glow at night (illuminated by lamps), but my thoughts and ambitions got worn down by the traffic, and i let myself be sucked back into present time and bustle.

id found it yet another world i could not quite reach.

i don't mean to offend you personally, but do you not belong to the human race that has killed over 100 million members of their own species in the twentieth century alone?

you mean guilt by association?

it is not a question of guilt. but as long as you are run by the egoic mind, you are part of the collective insanity. perhaps you haven't looked very deeply into the human condition in its state of dominance by the egoic mind. open your eyes and see the fear, the depair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. see the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. you dont need to condemn. just observe. that is sin. that is insanity. that is unconsciousness. above all, don't forget to observe your own mind. seek out the root of the insanity there.

:: the power of now. eckhart tolle.
[[ all photos taken at ayuthaya, thailand]]

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