October 14, 2012
Thoughts on the Second Noble Truth—the origins of suffering, the sources of the anxiety of life—which came up in my reading as I waited for the kettle to boil at 4:45 AM: Attachment, or “craving conditioned by ignorance.”
“Buddhist teachers use any number of English words to translate anicca: impermanence, change, unpredictability, uncertainty. All are characteristics common to existence—animate and inanimate. Two of those words, uncertainty and unpredictability, can be a source of a great deal of anxiety and suffering for us because we desire just the opposite: security and assurance.”
Toni Bernhard, How to Be Sick
“Irreducible complexity seems to characterize the late twentieth century itself.”
Matthew Ghoulish, 39 Microlectures
“There are two common ways to misunderstand the culture of commotion. One of them is to treat it as a “gusher.” In this mode, the culture of commotion becomes an endlessly fecund source of novelty in which no systematic account can be given…. On the other side, the “gill net” approach. In this mode, we seek to contain all the diversity of the culture of commotion with a single new encompassing idea.”
Grant McCracken, Plenitude
“We must rid ourselves of the delusion that it is the major events which have the most decisive influence on us. We are much more deeply and continuously influenced by the tiny catastrophes that make up daily life.”
Siegfried Kracauer, Die Angestellen
“True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can’t. Need is not quite belief.”
Anne Sexton, With Mercy for the Greedy
In other words, my library, as I bumbled around in it, distilled for me this summary of clinging or attachment:
Anxiety and suffering,
Endlessly fecund delusion,
How desperately I touch [your] vertical and horizontal axes!