Until I am not

My father is ill, and the idea of losing him makes me wonder about my place in the world.

However here’s the thing; I’ve realized that I don’t believe I have a place in the world, other than the fact that I am here and I’ve created one. I don’t belong here, in the sense that no one belongs or owns their place. (Take ‘I own this cup. It belongs to me’ I can’t say that I own my life or that it belongs to me. The idea of owning anything is pretty pretentious. Something is ‘mine’ until it isn’t.)

Believing I have a place is just the egoism of consciousness; I think therefore I not only am, but feel I have the right to be, and that because I think that I have rights, that I am owed a place in the world.

We owe but we are not owed anything. That was one of the points of Margaret Atwood’s Payback. As soon as we are born, we accumulate debts toward the world for all the resources we use. At six months, I already owed for a half a ton of plastic diapers that likely wound up incinerated in some polluting, sub-standard 70’s waste treatment facility. That debt’s only grown with the years….although I do tend to hang on to things.

Why do we humans think that we have some intrinsic right to belong somewhere?

To all this, Foro just shakes his head. ‘Just be’, he says. He says it’s not ‘I think, therefore I am’ just ‘I am until I am no longer.’ Foro is one wise cow.

Foro, zen master

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