It’s the Roman marathon today. Big plastic inflatable gates, sponsored by Pepsi and Adidas, are wobbling in the breeze and spring sunlight near the Piazza Espagna, as thousands run the yellow tape lined course, to cheers and claps, and officials handing out soaking sponges, to cool brows along the cobbled course. Roman tourists though seem only partly interested, with so much to see, and as the bells ring out, it has a decidedly scrubbier and more relaxed feel than London or New York. Last night’s amazing super moon has gone, and today spring Rome is beginning to open up and blossom. On the internet Michael Moore is twittering his over easy attacks on the US action in Tripoli, without answering the question of how murderous or mad Gaddafi is, or what should be done to stop more killing. How do you think clearly if you always have the same bad guy?
I stayed in bed reading a little gem of a book, Freedom from the Known, by Krishnamurti. It takes up the essentially Buddhist theme of opposites in thought, and a freedom from them, to perceive without fear or judgement, and to really try to know yourself and the world. Essentially to close off or go beyond the over rational mind, above all dictated by what we call knowledge, which too often is simply to commune with the dead past. A very good lesson for Phoenix Ark! Rome is a place where the past is ever present, but actually, since the thread of 2000 years is so clear, that continuity liberates into the immediate and the present.
I thoroughly recommend Krishnamurti. Without arrogance, with a simple and honest insistence, he addresses the interconnections of everything, in a very short and readable little book, and so the responsibility to see clearly, yourself and others. He is wonderful on fear, on pleasure and pain, and on the approach to what might be called ‘God’, though without the structures, prohibitions and neuroses of religion. It’s a wholeness of connection really, that beyond the veil of words, tries to get back to the experience of something truly life-giving, love and joy. It also breathes out something else – peace.
But being in the so-called ‘eternal city’ I should quote something he says, though from a book that is very much not about quotations. ‘Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world they have idealised suffering, put it on a cross and worshipped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society.’ DCD