Autumn ghosts

Only he who has no use for the empire is fit to be entrusted with it.

Zhuangzi

As I occasionally do, always with delusions of grandeur and abandon, I am considering dedicating some time in October to internal alchemy.

That’s my fancy way of saying that I might start attending to “getting my head screwed on right” via refreshing my mind of the words of old dead guys (and a few yet living) and setting aside a chunk of time to meditate and/or practice some tai chi, qi gong, walking long distances in reflection, etc.

Though it might prove hard to do, I think setting aside current events reads might be better than keeping abreast of the chaos and idiocy running rampant out there. By paying so much attention to things out of my control, I am like the preying mantis waving his arms in front of an oncoming wagon in another of Zhuangzi’s reflections. It is ultimately a useless exercise and only spreads the cancerous rot of the current environment to my soul.

While the thought of running off to somewhere like Canada, Iceland or Finland* to escape the turmoil in the States sounds appealing to “my friend”, it probably isn’t workable and probably wouldn’t solve much. I mean, he only has 20-40 years (on the outside range) left to deal with it, right? And there is little guarantee that his family would thank him for uprooting them (his own parents would be livid).

So, I’ll stay put and exorcise a few ghosts and demons by pretending I can be some Taoist or Zen sage if I only try hard enough at not trying — and then close my eyes and try not to wince when early November comes around.

Maybe I’ll have found enough center after my efforts in October to observe and not try to put value judgments on what occurs. Oh, there I go again with those delusions.


* [Edit 07:28 am local: This assumes any of those places would even want me.]

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