In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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I'm not sure I feel comfortable with buddhism.

For the legnth of time my grandfather was in the hospital my uncle had obtained these little boxes with pre-recorded chanting that was played 24 hours a day. I guess the christian equivalent would be having something that constantly chanted our father's or hail mary's. I will say one thing, the tune really engrains itself in your head. For the rest of my life I doubt I will ever forget it.

I never had that much exposure to buddhism as a kid. My parents and the rest of the family barring the kids born here were all buddhists but they were the equivalent of christmas-easter christians. A few odd-looking statues, an alter or two topped with fruit, and some incense here and there. There was never any discussion about the ideas behind the faith and I've easily absorbed more from reading and pop culture than from family. I'm certain that I know less about buddhism than christianity for instance and these past few days have been a crash course of sorts. Did you know for instance that the best place in the buddhist worldview isn't heaven? There is a heaven of course where people exist on a higher plane and apparently have magical powers of some sort. The problem is that apparently you can 'fall out' of heaven and that even there there is birth and death. There is an allotted time for each person and when their time there ends they can be shuffled back into the mortal coil or even fall into the buddhist equivalent of hell. Can you belive this? The ideal place is the west lands where there is no birth or death, no time nor desire, where you are like the drop of water re-entering the ocean and subsuming yourself into it. Pain comes from desire, and in this land there is no desire. Coming from a country seeped in the idea of an ecstatic, joy-filled judeochristian afterlife, this buddhist ideal seems somehow lacking.

That aside, my grandfather was cremated today and we'll be taking his ashes to the buddhist temple on friday. Any emotion I have left about this has been much dribbled out of me at some point and the arrow's pointing to E. The only thing that stirs me now is the pain I see reflected in other people. I'm almost happy he's gone, that it's over and his pain has passed. I still remember seeing him my first day here on saturday and being aghast. If I had kept one of my rats alive in the same codition back in chicago I would have been in the middle of a shit storm you would not believe. The animal control people, the instituional review boards, my PI, all would have crucified my ass. I kept thinking that if I knew this was what it was like I could have swiped a bottle of pentobarb or something when I left chicago. The fact that he held on for 5 days, 3 days of which after I arrived is unbelievable. The night he entered the hospice, three others were also admitted and of the bunch he was the worst off yet all three passed before him. The room next to his was like some sort of giant revolving door. In that period one room cycled through 3 individuals and my mom was so freaked with it that she refused to let any of us in it. Everyone had plenty of explainations for why he held on for so long. That he was waiting for me, that he couldn't bear to let go of his family, that he wanted to let us get used to the idea, and that even when he did pass he waited until morning and until almost everyone was there to go rathr than passing in the night. I dunno how I feel about any of that.

I wish I could take some of the emotional load off of my grandmother but I think my feelings bucket has a hole at the bottom.

On a sidenote:

I've realized there's a fucking quiz for just about everything known to man out there. Everytime I stumble over somone's LJ there's some other inane quiz. It's all still new enough that I feel obligated to check it out before I realize it's crap written by a gibbering mentally incompetant shit monkey.

You represent... angst.
You represent... angst.
You have an extremely cynical outlook on just about
everything. It's okay to sulk and be
depressed, but life is short, and you only get
one. It's only what you make it, and only you
can make it improve.

What feeling do you represent?
brought to you by Quizilla

you are "occult". just don't give a fuck.

What type of manga are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

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