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Responsible For All of Our Experience


Val enjoys writing prose in rhymes by always leaving a message of a life truism in each piece.

We Are Not Merely Responsible For Some of Life -- but For All of It. -- Val Karas

We Are Not Merely Responsible For Some of Life -- but For All of It. -- Val Karas


Just like retired couples often do, yesterday my wife and I spent some time reminiscing about the old family events in years since we were kids. And then -- again -- an idea hit me, which I am about to use as the topic of this post.

Okay, after contending that nothing has really been happening in that family in all these years -- I know I have to start explaining it in a way that doesn't sound so downright absurd.

But then again, am I heading for an even more absurd story? Well, let's see.

Namely, it appears so clear to me that everything since my early childhood on has been merely a bunch of my interpretations and emotional processing of "something" that everybody else around me was experiencing differently.

So, what was ever the "real" event? I am not talking here about an objective reality that's only experienced differently by different people, but I am contending that outside of that experiencing there was nothing going on.

You see, if I don't register something with my five senses, then it doesn't exist for me; and if I do, then I am automatically painting "it" from the available colors of my own palette, making it -- again -- only a subject to my experience.

There is that famous zen koan, a mind boggling question that goes like this:

"What is the sound of a falling tree in wood with no one around?"

Most of the people would answer: There is the "usual" cracking sound, regardless if someone hears it or not.

Wrong answer.

That falling tree produces air vibrations which are not "audible" without an ear being around to translate them into a sound.

So how is that relevant to my family events in over the past half century? As I remember those "events" I am only remembering my experiences of "something going on". To me it could be a soap opera, to you a poignant story, to someone else...whatever.

Which brings us to these three pieces of my rhymed prose, where I am hinting at our total responsibility for the ways how we choose to experience our life.

We can do it unconsciously -- like most of us do, while feeling that life is "happening" to us in a string of "events" -- or keep choosing consciously and responsibly, seeing ourselves at the source of it all.

Like being that "ear" from the zen koan without which not a damn thing is happening.

So, here I go with my rhyming routine.

Your Being Pissed Is of Your Own Make

Nobody can physically get inside your skull

as if to press some alarming buttons there

others' power to do that boils down to null

so why wouldn't we all try to be little fair.

Yes, fair -- to all those jerks, idiots, and fools

as you're expecting them to have your mind

to go by good civil norms and all social rules

and to act with courtesy, being nice and kind.

It's no one's duty to treat you with some class

but it's your choice to stop knee-jerk reactions

to all offending treatments of your precious ass

since you can't place order for nice interactions.

Develop new respect for your personal space

within which everything is of your own make

so you can laugh in the whole world's face

in your peace of mind is the one at stake.

Still mulling in mind all those grudges

poisoning your body with toxins of hate

once and for all let's stop playing judges

to take off our shoulders the heavy weight.

People won't change to make you feel good

so you might as well change only thing you can

love yourself enough to insist upon a happy mood

and as for all those many crazies --- be a bigger man.

Will Power Only Works in Here and Now

Like that all Arab maxim goes

what every wise bedouin knows:

"There is one thing we should never try

mounting a camel that hasn't come yet

or the one that has already passed by

if we don't want to end up with regret."

It's only in this moment that you live

the rest is memory and expectation

and you may find it hard to believe

but they mean your life stagnation.

Your body's vitality is measured by your will

nothing else can tell how much you're alive

you can train that power like any other skill

it means that sensation of your gutsy drive.

Try to apply it while thinking of past

or will yourself into some future act

and you'll see how intent can't last

telling you about an important fact.

Namely, your will only works in now and here

the only time and place your body will obey

past breeds depression, future breeds fear

both are killing your will in their own way.

Use your past for memories that inspire

and your future for a strong motivation

but live willfully in present's inner fire

seeing all your life as your creation.

Put willing into everything that you do

never do it with only half of your heart

and don't bite more than you can chew

but once you bite, chew well every part.

But whatever you do don't live in the past

it's bound to drain out all your will to live

years are going, and going so very fast

not living in now your life won't forgive.

Like a Toy Soldier Wound Up For Fight

Scary is the world in big eyes of a child

with some shadows lurking from the night

his young imagination being merciless and wild

creating a future "toy soldier" all wound up for fight.

So he takes it with him into years to come

still wound up to charge against his many foes

in that battlefield of shadows that's somewhat dumb

with his hand glued to his mind's sword, instead of a rose.

Futile is his hope to defeat the "hostile dude"

because he keeps coming in so many faces

all created eagerly by his ever fighting mood

jumping out of pretty much impossible places.

Out of sheer playfulness my keen eye observes

people and their games going on around me

so I see this massive parading of nerves

not just by a soldier but a whole army.

Despite all those frequent announcements of war

by miracle their uniforms stayed without a hole

but panic of defense goes on more and more

keeping their fighting as a permanent goal.

Thus I'm asking myself, just like I so frequently do

what would befall them should they simply unwind

why they need an enemy I don't really have a clue

instead of allowing themselves some peace of mind.

As old age must come to all of us here

so what will the "veteran" have to report

but wasting his most years in a fighting gear

and feeling regretful --most likely silly of a sort.

© 2021 Val Karas

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