Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gun/Communication/Karma - A Story/Editorial

I boot cars. When someone owes the company I work for, it occasionally becomes my duty to secure their vehicle by tightening a large metal clamp on its (usually back right - so the motorist can see it before hurriedly trying to drive off) tire. Putting the boot on is usually a bit stressful because my co-workers generally want me to "lock it down" quickly, but, to me, the putting on's actually less stress-inducing than the taking off, as sometimes the removal features a person (or, people) waiting for me with the mean type of fire in their hearts. (To be fair - and this surprised me - THE VAST MAJORITY of those who are waiting for me are VERY NICE. THANK YOU, THOSE PEOPLE!!)

Also in the interest of fairness: I think the clerks have it harder than I when it comes to dealing with negligent/defiant motorists (*if you've been booted, there's a VERY GOOD CHANCE IT'S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT ("pobody's nerfect" though)), as people tend to (correctly) perceive that it makes more sense to harass those who are collecting the money, and not the hired, semi-stupid, sneaky muscle (that's me). Get it? Ok, moving on: People harass the cashiers (paying hundreds of dollars of fines in pennies, for example (*this is stupid unless the penny antagonist also has a handtruck, which tends not to usually be the case)), or in the case of this post specifically, by making vague comments about a "gun in the truck."

Ok. So this motorist gets booted, then while paying, makes comments about a gun in his truck. Subsequently, a clerk calls me to take the boot off, never mentioning the gun comment(s). Then, as i'm walking to the truck to take the boot off, another clerk is going home and mentions that the truck owner is "crazy" and "said something about a gun in his truck," and that i should be "careful" that he doesn't "try to run me over...or something." (I'm not sure why the cashier on the phone didn't mention this to me before sending me to remove the boot, or why the police weren't called for what seems to be a pretty clear threat, but that's not really the point of This story). So I continue my task of taking the boot off, but with a bit more enthusiasm. The motorist never shows up while I'm doing the work though, and I am thankful.


While I'm carrying the boot back its storage location, I notice someone walking in my direction with a maniacal look on his face, but there are lots of weird people in this town and I hate to assume the worst...but we make eye contact. Also at this time, off on a perpendicular street (which the maniacally-faced person can't see due to a building obstructing his view), I see two of my co-workers acting silly about something related to their own amusement; it makes me grin a good bit, and I turn in their direction, as it is also the direction of boot storage. Manic averted. Yet not: I've walked down the street a ways, and I hear someone call out behind me. I turn to look and the maniacal-looking gentleman sneers: "you love that shit don't you?!" I, genuinely confused for a moment as to who this guy is, and what he's referring to (people joking around nearby? proximate attractive females? my looking like a thug carrying a car boot down a busy sidewalk? my booting a car directly in front of our office? my getting away unshot/unrunover? his weird face?), I just don't know, so I inquire: "what?" He repeats himself. Still too stupid to ask him to BE SPECIFIC, I smile again...and shrug.

Wrong. Especially considering that shortly thereafter I discover that Manic-face is indeed the "crazy" person who claims to have a weapon handy. Boo.

He left without shooting me, but I'm left wondering if he's put me on some list of people to kill at a convenient future opportunity. He certainly knows what I look like, and perhaps ASSUMES that I think he's a loser and I loved booting his car. Which is MOSTLY UNTRUE. I got scared thinking about this, and got mad at myself for again failing to do something that could've turned miscommunication into peace with a little more wisdom (?) and effort (yes) on my part. I accept that I can't know everything at all times, but I certainly do want to learn how to cultivate PEACE - FOR ALL. Or, at least, as many as will accept it. And I was sorta bummed that I missed an opportunity to make something tough into something fluid, with as little effort as is needed to sincerely ask someone what they are getting at.

So that got me thinking about KARMA. (I'll do a whole post about karma soon, as a lot of people ask me about it while I'm involved in my duties (ex: "don't you think this job is bad karma?" short answer: "no." (i'll explain more later.))

This is what I mean to include here: Ok, so say this guy shoots me, and I die, or am injured. True, I don't request this, but if I let fear ruin my day or my future, he doesn't win, but I do lose: I lose my life, my freedom, my faith, my enthusiasm, etc.. (A related adage I like goes: "The inability to forgive is a poison one takes in the hope that someone else will die." - via Seane Corn's On Being interview). This is really interesting to me because fear itself is so tricky. Sometimes so tricky that frightened people don't even know they're scared at all - a pretty quick example being jealousy or anger - those are both iterations of fear. And when fear is Real, and poignant, it IS INTENSE, and one of the most difficult things in human experience to acknowledge and LET GO, which is why it's so PHENOMENALLY TRANSFORMATIVE to accept fear, and, as an act of faith and+or defiance, to relinquish the desire to "control" "my" (subject) life.

I believe fear is the mode through which most oppressions work - and most interesting to me, the subtle, self-perpetuating moral oppressions conjured through dogmas based on the existence of Hell as a place of eternal damnation, or any kind of other karmic punishment resulting from "bad" deeds. This kind of fear incites a physiological reaction, but is often indoctrinated into the consciousness so early in the subject's life that the subject can't imagine living without it; time and living numb the violence of it, and the doctrine takes on the character of Absolute Truth - granting ideas for which there is NO EVIDENCE some divine authority. This troubles me greatly, as it seems to prevent sincere personal spiritual growth; The deeply-indoctrinated subject need only think of rejecting Hell or the caste system to feel how effectively these techniques operate - those who are terrified by a thought are not free.

 (I am interested in the physiological aspects/impetus of spiritual development and would like to briefly mention for consideration (and as, in my opinion, an admirable ritual), the Shamanic practice of inducing the fear state through potent chemicals in order to recreate and experience the changed mental state and perceptions that come with the increased heart rate and sensual acuity also characteristic of immediate fear. The key difference here though is that the Shamans do this consensually, and as a means of growing (rather than constricting) their union with Holiness/"God"/Spirits - they electively walk into the proverbial lion's jaws, relinquishing control of their perceptions, in order to hear the divine instructions with less interference from society and ego.)

What i'm trying to do is show how unaware we can be of our fear on a day-to-day basis. In this story, anything could happen, and chances are this guy isn't really going to flip out and shoot me, despite that possibility (thanks!), yet I still felt a strong fear that rather than inspiring me to let go, instead inspired me to hold on tighter to "my" life, contradiction that that is, for some intense moments.

I am trying, daily, to realize that Karma/God(')(s)(') plan (to me, they're pretty much the same thing (more on that later)) entails more than I'll ever be able to comprehend (perhaps I can appreciate its quality, but not its quantity); It's reassuring to accept that no matter what, everything in it's right place.

If I'm hung up on "my" life and "my" desires and what's "fair," then I'll spend my life unfulfilled (I just can't seem to get enough!), but if I can just learn that i'll never see the whole picture at once, then I can really start to enjoy the details around me now.

I don't want to give my life away by being preoccupied with controlling it.


No comments:

Post a Comment