Saturday, April 16, 2011


So I'm working on developing a new magic trick. (I am a member of the Magic Castle and the Mystery School, I really should work on magic from time to time, especially since it doesn't require use of my legs). First public showing: Spectacular success. Next two public showings: not so much. I managed to joke my way around what I regarded as a failure, but the problem was not the equipment, it was me.

As a result of said failures, I figured out what I had done wrong and how to never have it happen again. There's a certain special kind of magic all its own, in figuring out how to failure-proof something.

And I never would have come to that realization except for the failures.

Up creates down; failure creates success; ending creates beginning. The Taoists told us that millennia ago.

So, those of us on the MS road have been shown how not to live our lives. How we cannot live the way we used to live.

Are we not being shown simultaneously, the way we must live?

How "not to live" is abundantly clear. Uncomfortably... painfully clear. The message "how you must live" must also be exactly as clear.

I want to hear the "go this way" message as loudly as I hear the "don't go that way" message.

But I don't yet know how. I need to listen better; more closely; and differently.

But I don't yet know how.

The MS road is living a koan. Trying the usual, comfortable way to understand it; faking your way through it with convenient answers; "trying" at all... is not the way to meet what it puts before you.

The answer to a famous koan was "Mu" -- the character for "nothingness." Not exactly attained by "trying," is it?

Sigh. Mu.


nicole said...

I THOUGHT you were a Buddhist.

Robert Parker said...

Among other things. Now, that's a story...