Ruminating on Gum and the Dark Glass

A few days ago I was in a park enjoying the company of two people who get it. Conscious people. When we get together there is no artifice or affectation; we are each honestly present in our own mundane clay and divine glory.

The conversation ranged widely. We spoke of the challenges our perception of recent events and transactions with others offered to our knowing. We considered the rationalist’s path, and the mystic’s path, and how they went up the mountain on seemingly opposite sides.

We spoke of the ways of seeing: the perspective behind the dark glass where vague shadows beyond the glass are seen mostly as a reflection of ourselves; the seeing through bright glass where, though separated, we see clearly through the glass to what is on the other side; the seeing when the glass is gone.

We spoke of evil, and how to meet it.

It was enriching, funny, and earnest and it was good being three people wearing our own skins in the light of day, comfortable and seen each by the other without the glass between us.

And we talked about gum. The flat sticks, the lumps, the nuggets, the strings, the cards, the kind inside of hard candy on a stick. Gum with stripes and gum with flecks. The old classics; Beeman’s clove and Wrigley’s spearmint, doublemint, juicy fruit.

It was enriching, funny, and earnest and it was good being three people wearing our own skins in the light of day, comfortable and seen each by the other without the glass between us.

Ruminating on gum.

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2 Responses to Ruminating on Gum and the Dark Glass

  1. Harmony Grifith says:

    Delicious. (The philosophy, and the gum. I still remember the artificial watermelon stuff that lost its flavor in five minutes, and made my jaw hurt if I chewed too long.)

    I’m working on seeing the talkative rationalists in my life with the same sort of merry affection that I use regarding that gum. One particular clever soul in my life keeps twisting my brain, asking the specific and boggling questions of a true critical thinker, digging deeper and deeper into What Is, poking it with increasingly tiny sticks, muttering “But maybe it ISN’T.” We managed to discuss why the golden rule may or may not be universally applicable for about an hour; I kept asking variations of “Why can’t compassion just be the Mysterious Yardstick of Healthy Human Consciousness?” and he kept asking “But where’s the evidence that it’s an effective yardstick?” After a particularly long, confused pause (accented by the desire to bang my head against the wall), he gave me a sly look, shrugged, and said “We can’t discount that some things make us happy. We like feeling that way, I guess.”

    Then we caught my cat doing something absurd, and happiness at the Least Important Sort Of Things won the debate for both of us.

    Funny how that works.

    • bobgriffith says:

      Rationalists. What are we to do with them? The ones we meet, the ones we are – we’re all OK as long as we remember we’re inside a playground there. When it all gets too serious and earnest and desperately Important it’s nice to be reminded that there is a much roomier and more comfortable place where happiness just happens. Sometimes we even become aware of how much effort it takes to think ourselves into happiness, and how effortless it is to… just. Be. happy.

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