23. The Eternal Now
April 4th 2020, Saturday
Not to be gross, but I feel that there is a certain similarity between orgasm and the bliss from meditation. I guess what is common about them is that you are very focused on one thing that your mind no longer wanders around between the past and the future. The bliss from meditation for me comes from a place without language, where only the sound of breathing exists. During today’s meditation practice, even though I failed to empty my mind many times, I did experience a form of bliss when the world became so quiet, without language or music, just the sound of breathing. I was in a place beyond space and time, where all my past selves and my future selves exist in the same emptiness. It was vast and without boundary, full of light. I guess I should name it the Eternal Now.
I paid a visit to an old friend, the eight-year-old me who just finished his first swimming competition. He was disqualified from competing in 100m freestyle because he jumped too early. He was so nervous and the noise was unbearable. When he walked back to his parents’ car they were so disappointed they refuse to talk to him. He wanted them to understand that it was a mistake, but they did not turn their head, just like how they abandoned him in a park during a snow day when he was three. If you know the movie Inside Out from Pixar, a core memory was formed at that moment, made from fear and anger. It became a personality island, which activates whenever I am in an uncertain situation, about to take a risk. It was my first swimming competition and also the last one. Their unwillingness to listen to me made me feel ashamed about myself, about failing and taking a risk. I suppose I kept going back to this old friend because I want to understand how this core memory was formed, and how it had woven into my personality and kept me running away from working hard, discrediting the virtue of courage and hard work, and attributing meaning only to talent and success. In the Eternal Now all the emotions became muffled. Emotions can’t really be processed without thoughts. When you cut away language, you cut away thoughts as well, then emotions simply became fleeting colors without true form. Fear, shame, anger, they all became patterns, chemical signals in my brain that had been firing for reasons beyond my understanding, but ultimately meaningless, just muffled voices. They don’t belong in the Eternal Now. They continued to exist, but I was watching them as fireworks, not really something that belonged to me. I suppose the ecstasy from sex functions in the same way because language and thoughts no longer exist. You are just incredibly present in the moment.
If you remember your experience in the Eternal Now, when your emotions start to grow next time, your personality island won’t be activated, because you are not feeling attached to your feelings, thus cutting away their power. Fireworks in an empty space.