Thursday, July 07, 2005

Four walls.
That’s all I need.
Four walls. Any less is not enough. Any more leads to problems of a different kind. Three walls can suggest an area but can’t close it off. Two or less barely describe a partition.

It takes four walls to make an enclosure. An enclosure is necessary both to keep the enclosed space in and to keep predation and interference from the unenclosed space out. Four walls make possible containment. Containment suggests limits on both amount and size of things within. What is too large or too many simply will not fit. Containment also keeps things separate from other things. Without containment everything would just flow in with every thing else, and nobody could tell what anything was part of or what belonged to what. Four walls to set off something and make separate certain things that are special, in this case because they belong to me. Four walls, the basic unit of individuation and personal power in the universe.

Four walls are complete but not very big. Obviously it will not take too long to fill it completely (and hopelessly with things that can’t be used and make it impossible to use the things that are there). Discrimination becomes necessary there, too. Discrimination means consistently choosing one thing over another. This builds what we call identity. A strong identity has depth as well as diversity. A thing’s worth is often determined by its purity. The process of purification is one of subtraction, not addition.. You can’t add anything to a substance to make it more pure. But once you understand what a desired substance is, eliminate everything that is not it and what is left should be the substance in purified form.

This room has four walls and contains all of my earthly possessions, the sum total of my worldly estate., the material expression of all my life’s accomplishments. But also here in this humble container is knowledge gained. The answers to life’s questions I had posed, hoping that they would lead to inner peace. Knowledge for which I paid the dearest price, and the history of how it was obtained.

Give me four walls (bathroom in the hall optional) and the adjacent distance in a metropolitan neighborhood I can cover on these walking sticks some people call crutches and I will give you my life. In a time capsule, so that if you take it day by day, it will have a self-replicating quality. Like a spacecraft I carry my life support environment with me.

This is now. This is bottom line. This is after many years of being faced with the necessity of doing more and more and having less and less to do it with. There once was a time (in my youth) when like many people I thought of life in terms of unlimited expansion and limitless growth. For me, although we are often surprised to learn when forced to by the nudges of reality it would be possible to live and to define ourselves with less, but like the rooms with only two or three walls, it would require a shift to a different mode of personal existence. One without the luxuries I now take for granted and am in fear of losing. Luxuries like personal possessions, privacy, and freedom from interference. Just like the availability of walls, the number of four walls being a dimensional shift in consciousness to a hierarchically different paradigm as dramatic as the shift in visual perception from 2D to 3D.
In the mind, a person travels in time, travels in space, builds, creates, loves, makes new, destroys. Inside this room, the walls disappear to reveal a horizon that is ever new.


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