this thinking has been channeled philosophically lately, and i've thus been reading more into Buddhism and finding some of its metaphysics fascinating. according to certain schools, there are two truths: the conventional and the ultimate. whether this is true is, of course, open for debate, but the fields seem interestingly fertile.
essentially, what exists in our every day is conventional. my job, my friend groups, even myself, all depend upon another's recognition or interaction. thus, they cannot have any inherent content. they are not fundamental but rely on causality and connection to exist as they do.
this does not make them any less true. in fact, without these conventional truths, life as we know it could not exist. thus, they are fundamental to our existence, but the truths themselves are not fundamental; they do not exist independent of anything else.
this leads to the realm of ultimate truth. what is ultimately true must, in someway, exist in its own right. it must not depend on another for its content, for its existence. what exists within this realm? generally, it is reserved for nirvana. ultimately, when ends come, they come about conventionally. something that was no longer is, and all that supported something's existence now must adjust to its absence. I'm still unsure if i believe such a notion, but this division of what is directly in front of us and what might be seen, were we to zoom out (or in) enough, got me thinking.
autumn is conventionally a time of endings. but this autumn has provided a new perspective on endings. this autumn has felt like a beginning in its own right.
this fact, that the passing seasons are real and the progress of time is unending tend to carry with them the weight of mortality. it's no wonder that, as the leaves change and fall, we're intimately reacquainted with our own endings, however close or far they might be.
only, our lives don’t follow the logical path of flowers and leaves. we can predict the seasons and the weather's change, but our own expiration forever remains a mystery. perhaps it is best that way.
this fact has been less pressing on my mind this go around. why? i don't know. but perhaps because each leaf that lands on the path in front of me seems to guild the way in gold. perhaps because the mountains, in all their solidity, are still there. perhaps because for life to be lived, it must embrace death. perhaps.
and this ties back into our brief look into the conventional. what we take to be the end of things, in fact, is no such thing. the leaves fall from the trees and the flowers shrivel, but not for good. the ultimate truth is: there will be another spring. and knowing that, why wait for it with such bated breath? wouldn't it be easier, for us all, to simply breathe?
whatever the cause, this autumn has been quite kind to me. i have been quite kinder to myself. and i hope you all will be too.
thank you for reading and, as always, a poem i've written recently.
a thought perched at my window,
glistening white in moonshadow,
and called to me
-------------------of a past not forgotten
but packed away among the mothballs
still her scent—immediately—
as it were, and soon after
the tears i'd lost
once more returned
to make Rorschachs of the page.
she follows me, it seems
--------------------------everywhere i go
but now i see, were she to leave
only then would i truly have lost.