Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

In the days of the internet you have shadow versions of yourself floating around out there.  You aren’t just the one person. You are who you always wanted to be. You say everything you always wanted to say. You never have to be imprisoned by the confined misery of the hand you were dealt.

When two personas try to meet in real life, though, they have to reconfigure themselves into who they really are.  And it’s a roll of the dice whether or not those two people can get along or not. Sometimes they can live in deluded ecstasy together. As in, their individuals pretend selves become the collective pretend couple.

This kind of living has pretty much finished me.  I just want you, the internet, to know this.  After fifteen years online I’ve finally come to the conclusion that “warts and all” is the way to go in life.  Just get all messy and sloppy in it.  There is no benefit that lasts just being in it for the ego boost. We must be bigger and better than our egos.  Think about what an ego must look like, what it would like if it was actually manifested in human form. You know it would not be nearly as big, as hot, as cool, as all-powerful as it thinks it is.  No, it is cowering in the dark, afraid to do anything that might risk it losing at life.  The ego: it’s the little man behind the curtain and it offers you nothing back except a lifetime of unrealized expectations.

Except that ego drives us to do all sorts of things. I think that evil little sack of shit drives my own creativity sometimes, the doing of this bloggggggg, wanting to have a voice “out there.” I know it drives rock stars and movie stars.  But trust me, when it gets down to happiness – look elsewhere.

I finally went back to yoga after a long break.  What a relief that was.  In yoga you have to fight your ego at every turn.  You’re in the front row showing off or in the back hiding. You’re doing the advanced pose or the modified one.  But my ego drove me to the point where I injured my shoulder and couldn’t do it anymore. So not only am I in the 1/2 class and no longer in the 2/3 class but I slapped myself down and put myself in the back row.

I am trying to get life right.  I  make mistakes every day.  I wake up hating myself.  Then I wake up okay with it all.  What I do know is that there probably isn’t ever going to be a happy ending for anyone until they practice what the Buddha teaches.  Ahem.

• What is the First Noble Truth?

The first truth is that life is suffering i.e., life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.

• What is the Second Noble Truth?

The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want, etc. In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.

• What is the Third Noble Truth?

The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. lf we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.

Oh hi, Nirvana.  I’m looking for you.  Help me find you, will you?  I love this notion of the “imagined future.” This is a trap.  The old “when this happens, this other thing will happen.”

The fact is that life washes over us every day and we barely notice it.  The sun comes up and it goes back down. Light washes the landscape and then it goes dark. And every day our body keeps track of the time passing.  We feel things start to fade.  We age.  And that is all.  But if we can be right here, right now, well then maybe – just maybe – we will kiss the tip the nirvana occasionally.

I feel better now, internet.  Thanks for being here, my imagined self, my projected self, my real self and mean crumpled old ego thank you too.  Oh, memories.  Oh, sweetness.