Monday, 15 December 2008


There is a red rose on a bush outside my window, long-stemmed and radiant. Consider for a moment that it is not a rose.

Consider it without its name. We are taught the names of things from birth so relentlessly that, at a point in our early development, everything takes solid form under the intoxicating symbolism of the word attributed to it. The mystery coagulates into matter and is, from that moment on, demystified.

The wonder in a child’s eyes disappears when their consciousness surrenders to the limited world view of the adults around them pummeling their presence with names for everything. The marvelous with which they were one is suddenly just a word that is separate from them. The inexpressibly amazing is suddenly a ‘rose’ that is ‘red’, which is ‘beautiful’, and the once conscious human is now stuck in their head.

Have you ever watched a sunset and let it not be a sunset? Have you ever seen an animal in the wild and let it not be beautiful? Have you ever looked at a rose and let it not be red? To do this, you need to not be there. You and the names need not to be there.

Have you ever looked at a person, your lover or your friend or your parent, or your child, and let them not be their name? Have you ever just let someone be who they really are?

The rose outside here is the height of my eyes. I walked up to it and gazed in to its flowering depth. I closed my eyes and sank my nose into its softness and sucked in its scent, which came from and sucked me into eternity. I didn’t stop to smell the rose, I became it.

For a moment, the flower and I were one. I deliberately looked at it without mind, without naming it or thinking. I left the past out of the encounter and the present took over. I had no words for the experience.

If you can see names for what they are and then see past them, you will begin to really see and really be.

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