What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man’s job?¹

So, am I my own teacher and my own work?

My bad man likes the dark. My good man goes on and on about the light.

My bad man craves reassurance and gratification. He takes the short view of things. He says things like – I am made of mud, and I like it.

My good man says – I am not other than you; I am not other than eternity.

Good to Bad: You lack discipline.
Bad to Good: You lack evidence.
Good to Bad: You are imprisoned.
Bad to Good: Where would you be without me?

My bad man says, Better to be authentic mud than half-assed light.

Good man says, No effort on the path is ever wasted.

I know these walls; they’re simple and they stay where I put them,

…but they are walls.

I’m working on this post at a coffee shop in town, and I’m listening to a song about a girl who has Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes. And I’m thinking – Does any of this matter? You go your way, I’ll go mine and good luck to you.

She makes the sign of a teaspoon/ He makes the sign of a wave…

We just miss sometimes,

…or think we do.

My perceptual apparatus picks up a stimulus. A reaction begins that I know will take shape as lizard-brain fun.

Have you ever noticed how the same stories play out again and again?

This time I catch the reaction and pull the senses back – disrupt the pattern. Consciousness makes a subtle shift. I have a momentary experience that I call beauty that I could call freedom.

Is this the bad man finding his discipline and the good man offering his proof?

Frontiers, borderlands – they’re interesting places. Places where languages meld. Places where light and darkness turn.

If I approach quietly, I may have a chance.

~~~yin yang2

¹Tao Te Ching

Steven Mitchell (trans.) 1988


7 responses to “borderland

  1. I agree with the bad man. It’s better to be authentic mud than half-assed light. And yes I think a quiet approach is a good way to sneak up on one’s self for a long peak in the window. Don’t try to figure things out but sit in the belly and let the gut decide. Thoughts are nothing without emotion. Turn the emotions from colors to white. Bleach them out and see then what makes sense.

    We all lack discipline at times and evidence, often and we are many sides to make a whole and we are imprisoned if we don’t notice from the farthest part of the bluest sky that the prison is an illusion.

    Easy to say but harder to live by. Good to talk to one’s self even if it’s an argument. Things come up. Sometimes you notice what that is. That’s how us crazy folk do it.


  2. Every time I read one your posts I say- yeah Bharat freaking gets it. I love the bad man but like the bad man need the good man. Was it Francis Bacon that said in order for the light to shine brightly the darkness must also be present? Thanks for an awesome post.


    • Thanks, Oneika. While I was writing this I was thinking – Okay, who is it that’s watching these two guys? Then I think – Am I setting up a post on the inner guru? Then I think – Well maybe all this internal duality is okay as long as they are all nice to each other. We’re funny creatures.

      Also… my wife lightly baked some halved Brussels Sprouts and then put a little balsamic vinegar over them – Yum! Eat ’em with chopsticks.


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