2003-10-21 00:13:40 -0700

Walking home from work tonight, I thought about samsara, the Buddhist notion of suffering brought about by craving. Wishing that things are not as they are is a rejection as much of what is good about now as it is what is not. But all is as it is; no need for dichotomy. Still struggling with that. Rejection of now is self-perpetuating and habit-forming. Accepting now does not preclude growth or change. Why do I reject now?

Words I repeated to myself frequently as I walked up the hill were "lust", "doubt", "guilt", "uncertainty", and "fear", each of these words bringing to mind images and impressions of people and events from my recent past. I have often felt reassured by the simplicity and apparent truth of the notion that one ought not desire to affect what is not within one's power. But this time, as I thought about it, I could not escape the gray area I'd done so well at avoiding: how does one know what is within one's power? Is it merely a matter of faith that I could, despite a lifetime of experiences making me less and less likely to do a certain thing, spontaneously choose to do that thing? Or are my proclivities so strong that I would never do that thing though I might without effort convince myself that I could, thereby conveniently avoiding the test?