Saturday, September 23, 2006

Smoke from a Nonexistent Fire
By Don Iannone

If you've ever watched something live,
you've also watched it die.
But not in the sense that living and dying exist
as independent phenomena separated by anything real.
There is no separate reality underlying anything.
It is all part of one.
You and I are but fictitious actors
on a make believe stage,
performing before an imagined audience.
That's all.
But if this is true,
what does this leave us?
We are left with our own impermanence--
our illusively fugitive state of being.
We live by believing
that our minds can know their own reality.
But what are these notions?
All are but consciousness
rising and falling in response to itself,
like smoke from a nonexistent fire.
And this poem--
has it not reached its end?
Yet your mind wanders on,
seeking more than is really here.
Rest in your unknowing, and there
find peace in your emptiness.

11 comments:

Tim said...

To know, in that place where knowing is beyond words.....
"There is no separate reality underlying anything.".......
Yet MY mind wanders on......

Dan said...

Well, now! This gets at the heart of the matter, doesn't it?

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

very nice work!

Imemine said...

Yes, often we need to look outside in awe. Because there's really nothing in there. Only emptiness and boredom.

Rob said...

Paradoxically the emptiness is the fullest experience of all.

polona said...

very nice, don, thought provoking (how can i empty my mind after reading this)...

Mike said...

Nice one, Don. I like the part, "his it not reached its end? / Yet your mind ... / seeking more than is really here." What is it about the non-present that pulls us away? I also notice the opposite, that sometimes in reading a long poem, I begin to wonder if it's going to end soon, instead of savoring its beauty now. In both cases, something seems more important than "now." I emphasize "seems." Thanks for this!

serenity said...

"Rest in the unknowing". I am finally getting to a place of truth with this. To release the things I can't possibly understand and to just rest. Wonderful words, as always, Don. Thank you for them.

Blessings to you.

M. Shahin said...

"and there
find peace in your emptiness."

This actually echoes a sufi philosophy where we empty out everything that is not of God. We concentrate on God, and let go of everything else and this makes us in turn full.

Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem :-)

Don Iannone said...

Thanks everyone. Yes indeed our emptiness is our fullest place, as Rob suggests. And yes, M. Shahin, it is about getting out of our own way so the divine can fill us. Tim, everyone's mind wanders (and wonders) on...it's the nature of mind to do so.

dumbdodi said...

All world is a stage....
Beauty again Don. Each line is a pearl of wisdom.
And this poem--
has it not reached its end?
Yet your mind wanders on,
seeking more than is really here.

Yes mind does wander on..and on..and on

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