In his book entitled “Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out World”, Thomas Crumb writes:
“I am learning one simple truth: I don’t know what a single thing is. Oh, I may have labels – like “this is a pen” and “I am writing on this paper” – to try and explain things, which I guess is fine. But then I build up assumptions and feelings and beliefs, and an entire drama of my own making. It wouldn’t be too bad, except that I begin to believe that my own drama is the truth and not a dream. And I become defensive when it differs from another’s drama, because if mine can’t stay intact, I think I’ll lose control and die. So my war begins. And it escalates.”
The thought of giving up what I hold to be the truth, and admitting to myself that it is not THE truth but simply my own made-up truth, is tantamount to dying. To giving up the battle, to letting go of the ground I stand on and cling to every day. And to be prepared to face the completely unknown outcome of what happens next. What will the rebirth actually look like, feel like ? What about the indignity of it all ? Is is not better to continue with the pain of war rather then have to face up a transformed view of my inner world ?
Maybe we should learn to celebrate what the Japanese call ‘sakura’, the exuberant cherry blossom season.
It is an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. Cherry blossom is strongly associated with the Japanese cultural tradition of ‘mono no aware’, which loosely translates as “the ‘ahh-ness’ of things”, of life and love. ‘Mono no aware’ is the awareness of the impermanence and transience of things, and consequent restrained sadness for their passing.
Japan’s ‘sakura’ has just passed. Ours is a bit late in coming this year. When our cherry tress do go into full bloom, maybe we might let ourselves be inspired by the ‘mono no aware’ approach to dealing with made-up truths…