Vanity thought #195. Missing Link.

I don’t mean the link scientists are looking for when they try to prove we all came from monkeys, though it’s a very interesting topic.

A few days ago Chinese made waves in paleontology when they reclassified some half bird half dinosaur. Now the entire path form dinos to birds need to be re-charted. It won’t affect the conclusion in the least but paleontologists world over have a lot of homework on their hands.

At least with dinosaurs they have plenty of material to work with, it seems everywhere you dig you are bound to find some wishbones lying around.

The entire human evolution, on the other hand, has produced only over a hundred human fossils. That’s for millions and millions of years. On average they have one or two human skeletons per hundred thousand years, for the entire planet, and they call it proof.

Our entire recorded history is only about five thousand years yet they have only a handful of bones to “prove” evolution over some five million years back. This is just ridiculous, just like the fact that we are soon going to celebrate fiftieth anniversary of Moon landing with the US not having a single spacecraft able to even leave the Earth! I’m sure they’ll find something, they still have eight years to go.

Half a century ago when people used dial phones and computers were the size of small buildings, in eight years they build not only the rocket to fly to the Moon, they also build a Moon lander, and not once that thing malfunctioned in a dozen or so missions. That just doesn’t compute, but I digress – that’s not what I was planning to write about.

The missing link I had in mind is the connection between people, living and recently died.

I don’t think I have it and that’s why I call it missing.

I seriously consider diagnosing myself as a misanthropist and a psychopath.

I wasn’t always this way. I remember I had plenty of friends in school, I had crashes going back to kindergarten and definitely the first grade. I remember in high school one girl told me she was amazed that I turn out so open and welcoming person despite my usual grumpy appearance.

At the last job I had people were really commenting on my grumpiness, it didn’t go well with the image we were trying to project. Eventually they got round and accepted me, however.

About ten years ago I had so many friends and acquaintances I was caught not remembering names of people and blaming it on new glasses or something.

Then the things have turned, gradually, day by day, year by year, I lost touch with all of them. Sometimes it worries me – it’s not normal, and today is one of those days.

This week my partner’s cousin has died and I totally forgot about it. This week my partner herself was late from work three times, and on Friday instead of having a big meeting with her boss about “margins” or something I saw her being in another part of town, in a residential neighborhood. You can see these things with Google Latitude on modern mobile phones.

That should have made me worried by I felt a cause for celebration instead – I was finally going to be free from the last of my obligations. Turned out it was a business dinner/party and there were pictures of it all over Facebook. What a letdown!

To be clear – I’m not totally immune to human emotions, and I have shed a tear or two in recent years but it’s demanding increasing efforts with each time.

Today, as Saturdays usually go, I watched something on TV and it was a touching story about death. A wooman was having such a strong connection that each day, around the same time, she had a physical need to hear the voice of her beloved. When one half of such relationship dies the remaining person really sees no reason to live and all the things that remind about the missing link bring out tears and drain out the life force.

I honestly don’t think I can experience these emotions anymore, not to the expected degree anyway.

On the other hand there are things that people love and want to have and they would do anything to establish some new links.

How does that work? What exactly is the nature of these attachments? Why do they affect different people in different ways? What is my situation in this regard? What am I supposed to do?

Suddenly I saw two distinct parts to this. First is the attraction to the object of one’s affection. That can’t be helped. I have been smitten quite a few times in my life. Senses are like magnets this way, they can’t be stopped.

Relinquishing all attachments doesn’t mean that eyes are not attracted to beautiful things and the entire body, gross and subtle, becomes indifferent towards the closest person. That aspect cannot be stopped. That is also the reason why we can always slip back into maya on every step from here to the highest stages of devotion. As long as we have our bodies they will be attracted to things, attraction will never go away.

Another aspect is the desire of attraction itself. We are dying to love and be loved. We want to be attracted to things, if we aren’t we think something is seriously wrong with us.

Right at this moment we have probably billions of people desperately searching for love, for their Mr or Ms Right, for a phone call from their children, or for a pair of shoes that would knock them off their feet, or maybe of a Saturday night fling, or for any validation of one’s attractiveness.

From this angle, it’s not the objects that people are attracted to, it’s the state of being attracted itself, and that, I believe, is our conscious choice, t least to the degree we have a free will.

This is not something that just comes over us, like love at first sight, this is our conscious decision and hard work to become entangled, and this is something we, as devotees, should be avoiding at all costs, and I think it’s doable.

There’s no need to go look out for trouble in this world, trouble will always find you.

When the thought of my partner having an affair appeared in my head I was clearly in two minds about it – I could indulge and suffer the consequences of being cheated, or I could celebrate the happy loss and spend my time in anticipation of Krishna’s next move. He made quite a few in this past year and I’d be very glad to know I’m ready for the next step.

Maybe I am turning into a misanthropist and sociopath incapable of experiencing the depth of human emotions, but I want to do it by choice, I just don’t feel like playing family or divorce or falling in love right now. Those are exciting games and they will surely take me for a spin but they have an end and they have a lot of unhappiness mixed in, too.

Unfortunately, I can’t just call it a day and throw the toys out of a pram. As long as I have the body I will experience strong attractions or dislikes, and I will experience the urge to have new experiences. Each of these two calamities has its own set of tricks to mitigate them but ultimately it’s only devotion to the Lord that can cool down this blazing fire of material existence.

Unfortunately, simply denying myself my indulgence or denying desire for indulgence is not going to cause devotion. Whatever I do to navigate this ocean is immaterial, no matter how good I get it’s only the matter of time before waves and currents get me.

On the other hand, it’s very important to stay afloat until the boat of the Holy Names anchors in my heart, yet the boat won’t come just because I’m such a good swimmer. Still, because I have one hand on the rope already, it would be a shame to get eaten by sharks now, so I better watch out and kick hard.

If there are any missing links between me and the sharks in the ocean of maya – so be it, I’m actually glad, I’m not going to actively seek re-connection.

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