Reversals

 

The world is beyond and includes all polarities, so if we attach to one end of a polarity and push the other away, we are in constant struggle with what is.

I was reminded of one expression of this when I read an invitation to a workshop on natural burials, woodlands burials and so on. This – at least the idea of it – is in vogue here in the Northwest it seems.

One of my favorite scenes from any movie is at the end of Dreams by Akira Kurosawa. Here, a traveling man arrives at a village in rural Japan, and he encounters a joyful celebration, full of life and rejoicing. He asks what they are celebrating, and is told they are celebrating the life of a man who just died. They are celebrating all the joys of his life, and all the joys he brought to others through his life.

I may not remember it accurately, but this is at least the essence I got out of it. And I have always thought that he could have walked on to another village where they are in mourning. Upon asking what they are mourning, he is told they are mourning all the pain and suffering that a newborn baby will encounter through its life.

There is a nice symmetry there. Celebrating the past joys at the end of a life, and mourning the coming sorrows at the beginning of a life.

Since we in our culture, and most human cultures, tend to do – and be stuck in – exactly the opposite, it would be beautiful if this is brought more into our lives. It would help us unstick, and see that there are reasons for joys and sorrows at the end as well as at the beginning of a life.

Joys and sorrows go hand in hand throughout any of our lives, from birth to death.

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