Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why do the Ants have to die?

Fifteen minutes till class time. I washed my hands and cleaned the table. In the sink the myriad of Ants marched, scurried about in their seemingly aimless search for water. The heat has them inside, forcing us to deal with the unthinkable.

I noticed a solitary Ant (are there any "solitary" Ants?), and tried to help the hopelessly overwhelmed creature. I picked him up and placed him down in safety, or so I thought. He landed in the tiniest pool of water and drowned instantly, one last life shriek as his little body forced it's way to the sky only to plummet back down into oblivion and nadir. All notions of meaning drowned with him. The absurdity of my feeble, pitiful attempt to save a life that even my breath could extinguish was beyond what I could bear. What's going on here? Could anything be more pathetic than the randomness of this creatures existence? Perhaps only the thought that my interference may bring it some meaning at all. Why would a creative force of the universe create a being that bumbles through the universe and is laughably and agonizingly blown out? And I'm not talking about the Ant folks.

In his extraordinary book "The Power of Now", Eckhart Tolle has a passage in which he talks about the birth of a fish that is named "John" by his human owners and within seconds is eaten by another fish. All of our human proclivities to attach a personality and significance to this aquatic infant were turned into mush as soon as he become food for the other predators of this cosmic restaurant. The shock of such an event is simply too much to bear. What is a cosmic force doing here, I ask again? Eckhart Tolle suggest something that I have cognated as well: perhaps this has something to do with form. Immediately the Fibonacci series comes to mind, or the eternality of the Mandelbrot Fractal (no to be confused with the Mandelbread of my ancestors). If the Universe (with a big time "U") is incomprehensible in it's mystery and impenatrable by the human mind at all, then perhaps it's safe to say that all concepts of morality are subject to impermanence and transitoriness. That in fact what is good is rather irrelevant as all things are finite, pass away into dust and all that remains is the timeless Now, with all that this represents. As is said in the Course of Miracles, "Nothing real can be threatened, Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God". If it is indeed true that what IS is what matters, than the limitations of the human mind and senses perceived are akin to looking at the universe through a dixi-stick.

Birth and death are then as meaningless as thoughts. All surrender in the face of the light of the eternal Now.


Post a Comment

<< Home