This blog hibernated through the winter as a concept.
I set it free.
(Unknown sculpture by David Altmejd)
I intend to start writing two blogs from now (16-10-’16) on and both will start with the same sentence that I wrote in a note a week ago:
‘A tad or two too fat and quite a tad too lazy too’, that’s one way of describing myself the last few years and even nowadays.
This blog comes from following the impuls to just start expressing in words what is going on around my being overweight and the paradox that I think to know all it needs to make the step towards overcoming the observed eating too much food at meals and the intake of snacks in between meals, and theobserved fact that up till now this knowledge does not have effect in the obvious direction.
It might take a while, probably a lot of words and we’ll see what happens.
To begin with I feel like finding back something about a book on mathematics that was recently translated into Dutch and of which I happen to have attended the book presentation in Spui 25 about a month ago.
That was easy, Spui 25 has a archive of the agenda.
It was about a few Russian mathematicians who invented something new about the concept of Infinity. Those mathematicians, by the names of Florenski, Egorov en Loezin, were also mystics and the idea was that this helped them to come up with those new and revolutionary ideas. I remember to have looked up what their practice was.
Let me find it again: yes, they were Name Worshippers.
(See for background info this article).
And here is, from the book in question in English, the thought that intrigued me:
Florensky saw a relationship between the naming of “God” and the naming of sets in set theory: both God and sets were made real by their naming. In fact, the “set of all sets” might be God Himself.
That was the sentence that was used in this book presentation, and it struck me in a way.
A week later my sister told me that she had strengened her will power by telling herself over and over again “I can do it”.
I myself have kind of the last decades had a kind of resistence against all this positive thinking stuff.
And I found myself having a strong aversion against training. I know because that is how I feel about a tv program that’s called The Memory Trainer, in which elderly people train there memory by trying to memorize and reproduce lists of groceries.
And I have been hanging around in the satsang world for almost twenty years, mostly with Isaac Shapiro who also started out with “You don’t have to do anything”.
And I find myself being stuck in overeating.
And since a few month now, I take daily Hindi lessons, five days per week for one hour over Skype with Ravi Kuliyali from Rishikesh.
And then a few remarkable things happened.
I started learning a language from scratch. It became cristal clear that meaning is given to certain sounds and certain forms.
((An here also the knowledge about this was already available).
And slowly slowly, through the endless repeating of words and (very) short sentences sounds are becoming words and are becoming meaningfull in a way.
Yet it is all meaning that is already known.
Known from life as experience.
And known as other sounds and words in other languages.
[I will write a detailed report on all those small findings later].
A few things:
*Repeating all those sentences gives a strong awareness that you can say anything without any relation to ‘life’.
For example: while sitting here, I can speak out loud statements like: I make coffee, I am making tea, I made coffee, I will make tea, I want to make coffee, I can make tea and I have to make coffee.
And there are sentences that, although they are just uttered in parroting the teacher, bring up feelings. Feelings of not wanting, feelings of resistence, feelings of ‘but that is not true’.
*I found myself a few times speaking German to guests. I can speak German rather well, but my English is more fluent and switching to German included for me a kind of ritual.
Like saying things like: hang on, I can speak German too, but I have to turn the knob in my head and excuse me for having to slow down a bit. There we go. Wo war ich geblieben?
So, suddenly, out of the blue, I switched to speaking German without even noticing.
And a bit later I found myself explain the above to guest from France in French!!
#####Suddenly it is a month later, 16-11-’16, and I was aware that writing here had stopped. Just thought about this again when the mind thought of making a cup of coffee. That’s my habit after my over Skype Hindi lesson and, again, it was observed that right away the thought came about making something sweet along with it. This are minute and almost etherical mini thoughts that seem to have such a naturalness, such a matter of course quality, that all the reflecting on it ends with eating something.
This whole mechanism keeps me in this overweight state and confronts me all the time with a high level of helplessness.
It was all the time clearly seen as an ingenious and subtle procrastination project. Yet nothing seemed to be able to break the code.
A lot of thinking, a lot of sitting, a lot of reflecting and meditating upon this has happened.
I have asked myself if there was an unseen layer of subtle beliefs that might have been sneakily building up after hanging out for almost two decades in Satsang Wonderland.
Last night someone on the web put this into words and I posted it on what’s called my facebook wall.
For some reason this made me shift from just going on, to now having picked up writing here.
Time for a coffee without the habitual sweet snack. Hang on, muje coffee banana hain.
Oh, here is this text: “But the idea of non-duality mostly leads to delusions which are so subtle we don’t see them.”
Just what I was thinking about, was reflecting upon and also was wondering about, and still do.
Okay, one and a half hour later. Drank two cups of coffee and ate one pear, a ripe Doyenné du Comice.
Have been watching a documentary about Boudewijn Büch. He was a man who made fantastic travel programs, he wrote books. One of them about the death of a child of his. Then later it became clear, not easily because when highly intelligent people suffer from pseudologia fantastica they can make up very convincing stories. So a dramatic report of the research of his life.
One sentence of him resonated in me:
“I am an island. No one ever comes over. I like to be alone.”
(Ik ben een eiland. Er komt eigenlijk nooit iemand. Ik hou ervan om alleen te zijn).
There is a a degree of lying in all this three sentences.
I mention this here, because it is also related to “delusions which are so subtle we don’t see them.”
Throughout my life, there there has been quite a number of discoverings of never expected shadow sides of people (and countries) that kind of played the role of model in my life and the life of many others.
Boudewijn Büch was one of them. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudewijn_B%C3%BCch).
I remember the shocks caused by all those discoveries, that in fact were revealing an underlying kind of romantic childish belief: people are how they present themselves.
Consequence is: you expect people to be how you think they are.
By now it is evening, I ate less sweet snacks, but instead another pear and a grapefruit and a evening meal that contained again too much calories. But there is a new beginning.
This afternoon I saw a short clip on facebook that I can’t find for to copy it here. So a description will do instead: a dog stand next to its water filled drinking bowl and on the bottom of the white vessel is painted in pitch black the outline of a bone. The dog tries to get the bone out of the water by biting it and by pushing it out with its paw.
This seems to me like a good metaphor of taking a thought for real, for taking an image for what it is an image of.
For me now this relates to the at first sight totally transparant thoughts that hinder my freedom when it comes to leaving out nonsense when it comes to eating.
In a more general sense, it touches to big parts of our cultural and social life.
It is related for sure with the interdiction of making material representations of the divine and related topics like the prophet and saints.
(I wrote a blog about this quite some time ago and in Dutch:
This confusion between reality and a representation thereof has grave and actual consequences, for instance when rebels that identify with confused religious thinking start destroying archeological sites based on their cultivated hatred toward ancient art that they pretend or serieusly think to be blasphemous. Examplarous for this has become the Buddhas of Bamiyan:
Two women walk past the huge cavity where one of the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan, known to locals as the “Father Buddha,” used to stand, June 17, 2012. The monumental statues were built in A.D. 507 and 554 and were the largest statues of standing Buddha on Earth until the Taliban dynamited them in 2001.
Our current Western culture, a culture that has in a way spread all over the globe recently, is one of many many many many images and other representions of no matter what. We live, I play my fair part, behind all kinds of screens, we communicate over screens, we date over screens and what not.
The old art of making and collecting ‘erotic art’ has developped to what is called the porn industry. A multi billion dollar industry with by now billions of ‘consumers’.
I did and do my fair share, like over eating, better not but …..?
It’s the search for the dots, the ongoing search for the dots.
So, where were we? The dog, mistaking a form for a real bone, fiercely trying to get it consumable, struck by astonishment because it doesn’t understand what is happening.
With this image came, on the page where I found it, this text, quite a prayer:
Can ya throw me a bone? I’m drowning over here in a sea of despair, self-doubt and worry. I’m even dreaming about my teeth falling out (which is apparently a symbol of stress)! Come on, can’t you find it in your heart to give me SOME POSITIVES? Pretty please? With sugar on top? I’ll be your best friend…..
And all this is related to my overeating?
For sure it is. (Enough for today).
It’s Decmber 13 2016. After a short dip I’m back on the weight at the beginning of this writing.
For sure another part of this story is the blog I wrote on the 8th weekend of the Taotraining that I follow: http://www.hansvandergugten.nl/?p=4664
Two weeks from now I hope to be in India again. This will stay a consept for a while. Maybe this will be continued from/in India. Who knows?