oil leak for a simple man

My old car leaks oil. I pour oil in the top and it comes out the bottom. I figure that as long as I can pour it in the top faster than it comes out the bottom I can keep it on the road.

That makes me think of my practice – trying to pour it in the top faster than it comes out the bottom.

I know there’s something bad I should be thinking about, but I can’t remember what it is. It’s not like I haven’t screwed up lately, so I know there’s something I should worry about, somebody I should apologize to. But I get all Bo Peep – loose my sheep and can’t find the little fucks.

That’s alright. It’ll come to me.

I need to do something. Something that if I did it the tumblers would all line up and a lock would drop. But it needs to be something hard. I feel like something easy wouldn’t do it.

I get caught up in the figuring of it all.

If I knew exactly where I was and how I got here and knew exactly how everything works, then I should be able to determine exactly where I want to go, how to get there and exactly when I will arrive.

I have read books and lots of posts on the interwebs and I think about it all and say to myself, Well… now what do you think?

Sometimes people ask me what I think, and I have the audacity to tell them. I tell them, This is some complicated shit!

I try hard or I don’t try at all – I can’t tell which.

I could sit down by a river. I could look out at the flow and make an outline around what I think is me. But it wouldn’t stay. I could watch the river from now on and I could never make it stay.

What good are answers, anyway.

Better to notice how the ground feels against my feet.

Once in a while I have an inexplicable sense of wellbeing.

And I realize that there are a lot of these debates I don’t even want to get into.

I’m always on the lookout for better metaphors, but…

I am drawn toward the amusing conclusion that I am in truth a simple man.



6 responses to “oil leak for a simple man

  1. Yeah, I have a Midwestern American’s dharma with ancestral duty to mom, apple-pie, hockey and fire-arms. I’m a man of my caste! And to make matters worse, I’m absolutely in love with the epic delusion of Don Quixote and the vainglory of the Renaissance Popes who financed Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and more. Opera based on heroic delusion sends chills up my spine.

    So I have a Western orientation to life as a comic-tragic farce. In which case, it seems imperative to fuck-up with style. With élan. With abandon.

    This comes natural. As a born bullshitter and hyper-lyrical writer, I thrive on maya. And yet, to PERVERT your excellent analogy with the motor oil, there is an appropriate time to drain my verbal lubricant and/or deluge of words. I used to go to the Catholic Church for enforced silence, then to aikido class, then to a German dominatrix. Now, yoga tempers my logorrhea and blather. I listen to my 10,000 different selves worked into a core hum. Then, when meditating, I become pure potential energy.

    Tricky. Tricky. You’re right about that! I’m a Western Guy and love larger than life heroes, villains and fuck-ups. I champion the ego! And yet it can be very, very tedious. An inner-boor.

    Sometimes it’s best to do nothing. I mistrust the emphasis that society places on humility. Any reader of Nietzsche would! But when humility comes of its own natural accord, it’s very nice. I mean it’s nice in the same non-manipulative way that it’s nice to be dwarfed by tall trees, the ocean’s roar and the starry vault above. Then there’s a “loss of ego” which I’d rather characterize an “integration of ego” into the vast cosmic order. This integration into something greater than oneself is the secret of great art whether Western or Eastern, high-brow or low-brow, urbane or folksy. And one more thing just to heat the rajas in the brain. Just to be a picaro in the ol’ European tradition of the “touched” scamp.

    By integration into something greater than oneself, I don’t mean integration into bloated social causes! This is the usual detour for Western Individualists whose spiritual sense had atrophied as their Secular Humanism has grown and grown. Consequently, they compensate like Sunday Catholics singing louder than my grandma in the choir. They compensate with highly emotive, inflated, messiahnic cant. In this way, Modern Western Liberalism works against ancient spiritual tradition. More trickiness!


  2. It is awfully damned tricky. I feel it every time I start to pay attention. I consider humility to be the heartwood of my practice and I don’t even know for sure what I mean by it. And I’m with you on the mod west lib critique. We just can’t stop needing to feel good about ourselves. Baby steps, I guess.


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