snakes on a higher plane
(originally posted 10/17/2018)
If you believe that truth is stranger than fiction then I’m afraid you’re going to be very disappointed in the following. Just putting that out there.
I awoke this morning to the grim realization that I had dreamt of snakes for the third night in a row. While no expert in dream analysis I’m pretty sure that snakes and male genitalia are closely linked so obviously some serious changes needed to be made.
The fact that I’d seen a show called StarTalk last night, hosted by the delightful Neil deGrasse Tyson, where they were discussing meditation with Sam Harris seemed like a sign that perhaps I should put aside my distrust of all things metaphysical and give it a quick look. So I did what any reasonable person would do; I sat down and watched a few YouTube videos on how to meditate. I paid extra attention when the voice on the video sounded Far Eastern and yogi-like. After that I showered and shaved, ate a somewhat tardy breakfast (bordering on brunch) (what did I tell you about truth being duller than fiction?) (tardy meaning late as opposed to stupid) and then retired to my home office for a bit of the ol’ looking inward.
It was a total bust.
I had even set a timer for five minutes so as not to overdo it. I can’t believe I can’t even sit up straight with my legs crossed without my body aching, making assorted cracking noises and generally complaining. I figure I had about fifteen to twenty seconds of listening to my breathing before my mind jumped in with a loud “Fuck this!”
I tried to wrestle back control but then my brain offered the following defense of its boorish disobedience; for the past sixteen billion years the atoms that make up my body have been unable to express themselves. Completely inert. Not conscious in the least. In roughly thirty or so years they will return to that state and it is likely they will stay that way for another sixteen billions years. Why waste a single second trying to suppress them thinking?! Have at it atoms! I shouldn’t even sleep if it means I can get off one more thought about boobs or farting!
Obviously my brain made a powerful case against this meditation stuff.
But then I thought about the possibility of having yet another dream with a snake in it and decided to try again. On this StarTalk program, I always think calling it a program instead of a show makes me seem more intelligent, there was also a quick Skype interview with author Robert Wright talking about his new book Why Buddhism is True. He had crazy eyes so I thought the best course of action would be to immediately go to Barnes & Noble and buy the book. Perhaps he could make a coherent argument for meditation that my brain could buy into.
I will tell you I purchased the book but it almost didn’t happen. I think I’d rather be caught flipping through books in the Adult Romance section (again) with my pants bulging in appreciation than linger in the section where this book was housed. I realize that life can seem pointless and harsh at times but holy shit are there some dumb way to deal with it lurking out there. If I hadn’t already known what the book looked like and had it not have been prominently displayed there is no way I would have been able to stand there elbow-deep in such crack-pot stupidity for more than a few seconds.
I’m really hoping that meditation isn’t a gateway drug to putting crystals on my nude body.
I’m sure the crystals would agree wholeheartedly. I might be an ego-maniac but I’m well aware that if I was one of those people who lay naked at upscale parties covered in sushi that at the end of the night they’d be throwing away a lot of uneaten sushi.
It should be obvious by that last sentence why meditation is such a chore for me. It would seem to be a crime against humanity to squander even one brilliant thought of mine. But I put aside such arrogance and soldiered on, such was my fear of another snake dream.
Luckily for me I am good friends with a respected yoga instructor who is an expert on such things as meditation and bending your body into shapes it was never intended to form. After a quick exchange of text messages he encouraged me to give it a sincere try so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. This evening will be spent curled up with Why Buddhism is True and a good cup of English Breakfast tea, with the goal of starting tomorrow with five solid minutes of exposing my inner complexes, immaturities and unproductive habits.
And hopefully getting rid of those fucking snakes in my dreams.
See? I told you. Truth is nowhere near as strange as fiction.