Distant Peace

“Peace is not luck.”

-Ikkyu, Japanese monk 1394- 1482 CE

"Cage of Death In a Lonely Pass" by Crawford, 1929

"Cage of Death In a Lonely Pass" by Crawford, 1929

“If one could peer through the bars of this cage there would be seen a little rubbish on the floor which once was a man caught thieving in the Lataband Pass from Afghanistan into Bokhara.  He was placed in this iron cage to starve.”

Being placed into this dangling cage long, long ago, I imagine that the man may have been feeling one of three main conclusions: remorse for what he had done, remorse for being caught, or angst at his own innocence.  It may have taken several weeks for him to have finally acheived his total rest.  And I wonder, looking at the vastness surrounding him, if he saw through this new panopticon of final vision some larger pattern in which he found himself.  Perhaps solace or peace finally came to him as the body and mind truly adjusted to the shock of what was happening, and looking out over the vast, barren, frozen mountains maybe he saw his life as merely a small part in this greater, quiet wilderness.

I wonder if I, through my actions, attitudes or hopes, have designed a spiritual cage of a similar place or function.  A cage of self-reference- a cage safe, selfish, distant, and doomed.  A private spinning earth of sorts, only catching glimpses of what may be seen from his perspective, millions and millions of cages.  These virtual cages may crystallize through long periods of doubt, hurt or anger towards whatever lay outside the cage, awash in a sea of them- individual people failing to connect with themselves, with one another, through their own familiar iron bars.  And though such an inner fortress may seem beneficial, its bars often sing of the free, spontaneous and open echoing winds from the tundra.

If we are so conditioned, our view must be turned outward and among, to eventually reclaim the notion that no bars can hold us, especially the psychological ones.  Maybe my cage will eventually lose its sense of grounded power if I can maintain the courage and the skill to see through and work through emotions and tendencies that divide and distance myself from others, or leave them coming away from the experience with a voyeuristic rush of sweeping judgments as far as how the cage came to be.  The ability to spot these strange purgatories coming alive in the here and now would help me keep my individual cage from clanging chaotically with others’.  Millions of shelters, dangerous and isolating, hiding things from a sky that knows no better and could not care less.  Turning to dust as what is hidden deep inside the cage slowly evaporates, and no one realizes that the bars are not really there.  For once peace is finally found, and no torture or sense of profound loss can be found, the day comes that we know we are free from blame and such things can be dismantled by sheer will.  How can we truly connect or co-create when prisons of our own are constructed so well?

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2 Responses to “Distant Peace”

  1. Loyd Dillon Says:

    Brilliant, moving and profound, son. You’ve always been a philospher of amazing insight who can clearly articulate what he is feeling and thinking. Your sadness and isolation are two cages I wish would disappear. Your empathy, love of others, morality, ethics and intellect are just some of the keys by which you liberate OTHERS from THEIR cages. I wish there was a way to share your thoughts with even more of the world. Now that I know you have a blog, I’ll check it out more often. Right now I have to ddo the mundane thing of rushing to get ready to go to work. Keep writing. You’re my all-time favorite philosopher.
    Love, Dad

  2. There is NOTHING like the acknowledgement of a parent to their child. Bravo Mr. Dillon for recognizing the true talent of your son!!

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