Friday, May 16, 2008

The Diminution of Suffering in the Face of Infinity

My vacation in Beirut, Lebanon, ended just a few days before a wave of violence hit the streets last week, forcing the airport to close and killing or wounding hundreds.

Since the two opposing factions have little common ground upon which to agree, it was certainly plausible that the country would plunge back into a long civil war. There is no greater fear for the Lebanese people than for Lebanon to become a blood bath like Iraq, with suicide bombers blowing up at random targets and claiming innocent lives. Already, the terrorism related websites were urging the killing to transfer to Lebanon but a few days into the fighting last week.

My own concern over my loved ones in Lebanon gradually grew over the days, especially since many of them work in the line of journalism, which forces them at times to follow the action rather than to hide from it. The worry ate at my being and I slowly saw my integrity slip, my spirits sink, the world growing black all around me. A veritable black hole of existence is the result of war. It is a traumatic shredding of the very fabric of one's being.

As I saw myself falling I made a resolution to put a stop to my fears and worry and to shift my state of mind to what Castaneda used to call the "Point of Indifference". In the past, this has been very helpful when I found myself apparently sinking to a place of no return. There is no easy way to do so, especially when one feels heavy and weak already.

I happen to believe in reincarnation and that we live on beyond physical death ad infinitum. My beliefs have been fairly strong since my teenage years when I was first waking up to my own maturity that I seemed to be born with.

I began to envision myself experiencing lifetime after lifetime after lifetime, and thus I began contemplating the breathless incomprehensibility of infinity. In comparison, this life of mine is nothing more than a blink of the eye. Were the worst to happen, it will only roll over with time...

With this meditation constantly in the back my mind, my spirits stopped sinking and I once more had a foothold on my bearing.

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