Like the Phoenix, I rise from my own ashes. Coming out of the flames is a new being, rising above the embers. Given the gift of self-destruction, all that is left are memories…stories that happened to someone else.
Phoenixes don’t rise with old friends, lovers, and habits clinging to them. They begin anew. The begin as any newborn does – naked, with nothing. Gone is the ‘I.’ What remains is this one. This one leaf on an endless tree, this one drop of water in the ocean, this one tiny cloud beneath the Infinite Sky.
‘I’ had to die first to get here. All the dross was left behind, burned away in the crucible. I had bowed again and again to Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Shiva answered; that aspect of Divinity that prunes us down, clears the way for new growth. The old must be destroyed, removed to make way for the new. AUM namaha, Shivaya! Thank you.
Now this one is suspended, sustained. But first came birth. New birth is always painful. Change does not come cheaply, especially momentuous change. From the destruction of Shiva rises the ground of Being, that of Brahma, from which all things are born.
In having lost everything, there is freedom. Nothing left to lose. This is immunity of a sort. I am okay. Just like this. Nothing else needed. No lovers, groups, or support structures required.
Ready out of the box…no extra ingredients or assembly required.
This ‘okay’ survives wars, pain, pestilence, death. It is not limited or constrained by situations or circumstances.
Of course, to get here I had to die a thousand deaths. I had to wander through hell, cold and alone. I had to give it up…all my hopes and dreams. I had to drop it, my attachments and expectations.
No guru or God can help in this….this task must be done alone, can only be done alone, when nothing is left.
In pain and despair, as well as in euphoria, there is only the Seer. Just that remains.
Gone also is the clinging to meaning, the desire to Do Something, to contribute something, somehow. Nothing need be done. Just be. Be what ‘I’ am. Once the idea of doing something is out of the way, something can perhaps be done. But not by me, myself, or I.
Phoenixes don’t do anything…they just fly. Unicorns have no purpose or mission, they just ARE.
If the ‘right action’ the Buddhists speak of is required, it will happen…naturally, without planning or pushing. No one will be doing the actions, performing the tasks. No hero will arise, to take credit or shoulder blame.
No one there.
No one home.
Just this mythical and magical phoenix.
To the logical and empirical, all there is to be seen is a pile of ashes…maybe just one final ember rising. No phoenix. Phoenixes do not exist in that world.
That is not to say they don’t exist. They just don’t exist in that world. If they did, people would hunt them down. But they would keep rising, just out of the grasp of their slayers.
Rising out of the fetters of this world, into the expanse of the new one…it appears to be the same place. New and old, as one. What was it the holy man said? Salvation is at hand. It is always here, always within reach, this new world. Its seed germ lies in the old. Heaven is here, now…the only place it could possibly be.
In those fields of Elysium, phoenixes soar and unicorns romp. There dwell I.