The Shape of Things

Some snippets composed and collected in contemplation of collapse:

We are not born of Earth to last,
Rather to thirst, to crave, to fast.
And when we’ve torn and bred our blood,
Or failed and fallen in the flood,
Our minds and bodies both are food,
Anon for every hungry brood.
In all due fear and faith, my dear,
Listen well, as dawn draws near:
That this was always already our lot:
To live, to laugh, to love, to rot,
And by desire birth anew,
This life and death for All to chew.


I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
Ecclesiastes 3:18


Yahweh, Tathagatagarbha, Kamma, Jesus, Brahman, on and on, will we never be freed of our desperate dreams of justice, safety, reconciliation, union, separation, and retribution? Theodicy has never satisfied, but there are things we don’t tell the worldlings.


Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha.
Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta SN 56:11


One night in long bygone times, man awoke and saw himself.

He saw that he was naked under cosmos, homeless in his own body. All things dissolved before his testing thought, wonder above wonder, horror above horror unfolded in his mind.

Then woman too awoke and said it was time to go and slay. And he fetched his bow and arrow, a fruit of the marriage of spirit and hand, and went outside beneath the stars. But as the beasts arrived at their waterholes where he expected them of habit, he felt no more the tiger’s bound in his blood, but a great psalm about the brotherhood of suffering between everything alive.

That day he did not return with prey, and when they found him by the next new moon, he was sitting dead by the waterhole.

If we continue these considerations to the bitter end, then the conclusion is not in doubt. As long as humankind recklessly proceeds in the fateful delusion of being biologically fated for triumph, nothing essential will change. As its numbers mount and the spiritual atmosphere thickens, the techniques of protection must assume an increasingly brutal character.

And humans will persist in dreaming of salvation and affirmation and a new Messiah. Yet when many saviours have been nailed to trees and stoned on the city squares, then the last Messiah shall come.

Then will appear the man who, as the first of all, has dared strip his soul naked and submit it alive to the outmost thought of the lineage, the very idea of doom. A man who has fathomed life and its cosmic ground, and whose pain is the Earth’s collective pain. With what furious screams shall not mobs of all nations cry out for his thousandfold death, when like a cloth his voice encloses the globe, and the strange message has resounded for the first and last time:

“– The life of the worlds is a roaring river, but Earth’s is a pond and a backwater.

– The sign of doom is written on your brows – how long will ye kick against the pin-pricks?

– But there is one conquest and one crown, one redemption and one solution.

– Know yourselves – be infertile and let the earth be silent after ye.”

And when he has spoken, they will pour themselves over him, led by the pacifier makers and the midwives, and bury him in their fingernails.

He is the last Messiah. As son from father, he stems from the archer by the waterhole.
The Last Messiah


Transient are all compounded things, Subject to arise and vanish;
Having come into existence they pass away;
Good is the peace when they forever cease.
Mahaparinibbana Sutta DN 16


Now imagine a situation in which the lucid dreamer would also phenomenally recognize herself as being a dream character, a simulated self, a representational fiction, a situation in which the dreaming system, as it were, became lucid to itself. This is the second possibility for selfless consciousness under the theoretical framework proposed here. I am, of course, well aware that this second conception of selflessness directly corresponds to a classical philosophical notion, well-developed in Asian philosophy at least 2500 years ago, namely, the Buddhist conception of “enlightenment.”
-Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity


Form is like a glob of foam;
feeling, a bubble;
perception, a mirage;
fabrications, a banana tree;
consciousness, a magic trick—
this has been taught
by the Kinsman of the Sun.
However you observe them,
appropriately examine them,
they’re empty, void
to whoever sees them
Beginning with the body
as taught by the One
with profound discernment:
When abandoned by three things
—life, warmth, & consciousness—
form is rejected, cast aside.
When bereft of these
it lies thrown away,
a meal for others.
That’s the way it goes:
It’s a magic trick,
an idiot’s babbling.
It’s said to be
a murderer.
No substance here
is found.
Phena Sutta SN 22:95


No Where to turn that is not Here. No Time apart from Now. No One to save us, and no-one to save, and no Thing from which to be delivered.


A knowledge master, peaceful and restrained,
is rid of concern for this world and the world beyond.
Unsullied in the midst of all things,
they know the arising and passing of the world.
-Theragatha 1:10

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