Bag o’ bones

Old Man Smoke’s got a nasty sore throat today. I suggest you stand back several feet (or a couple of metres, for you non-Yanks) as you read this post. You don’t want to catch what I’ve got… *gurgle* (insanity) *gurgle*

***

At random moments, like today when I was walking up some steps, I am overwhelmed by direct awareness of the coarse nature of the human body. The human body is so… icky. It’s all slimy with its mucus membranes, full of gelatinous and soggy liquids, smelly organs, dry skin, tepid hair, and so on. It’s raw and globby (not a real word, but the onomatopoeia works, doesn’t it?), lacking any real solid substance. Objectively, the body is so unflattering.

And the body is so ephemeral — in a constant state of decay. If you really listen, you can feel your cells shedding, splitting and regrowing. You can feel that the body actually sprang forth from the earth. It’s totally wild that we look at some creatures, like insects or animals, as being dirty or disgusting.

In fact, aren’t animals just a more pure manifestation of beauty? Not that they’re perfect; animals are funny in that they represent some kind of pinnacle of aesthetic beauty and then possess no reason (for better or for worse). Animals are like the purer manifestation of mimbos/bimbos. That’s why people love animals so much — they want a stupider creature to feel sorry for. That’s what it means to call something cute — to condescend towards it as its “protector.” (Hrmm… I wonder if people have sexual relationships based on these condescending perspectives…)

Viewing the body in this way, I am reminded of a meditation (and chant) from certain Theravada forest traditions of Thai Buddhism (students of Ajahn Chah and so forth). It involves meditating on the “32 parts of the body” — the various individual organs and so forth. It’s sometimes prescribed when a student has trouble overcoming sexual lust and desire for the human body. I’m not sure if there is ever a complete remedy for that, except the arising of wisdom and the developed will to give up sexual desire. As they says, when we identify with defilements, it is just the defilements talking. But all thoughts that sail through the mind can be dropped.

Certainly there are folks who are not remotely bothered by the disgusting objective nature of the body. The body is attractive for all due to inherent, violent, exploding cosmic drives — given a doorway through the alignment of the physical sense and mental worlds. I have a different problem though. I admire certain insect bodies too much. Because some insects have mandibles!

Ah… to be a spry, young, mandible-laiden imago in the springtime of his youth…

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