Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

What the Hell Am I Doing Here... Waiting for Fireworks?

Expand Messages
  • NamoAmituofo
    ... For www.TheDailyEnlightenment.com ... What the Hell Am I Doing Here... Waiting for Fireworks? ... Fireworks! Pow! Wow! Zowers! Fireworks. ... fire·work n.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2004
    • 0 Attachment


      What the Hell Am I Doing Here... Waiting for Fireworks?


      Pow! Wow! Zowers! 

      fire·work n. A device consisting of a combination of explosives and combustibles,
                         set off to generate colored lights, smoke, and noise for amusement.

      Coincidentally, I gave an open air talk called, "What the Hell am I Doing Here: An Existential Investigation into the Meaning of Life" on a night where public fireworks were expected as part of the highlights. It was an "existential coincidence" to me. I mean, what the hell was I doing? I caught me trying to get myself excited over fireworks. Strange and estranged. There was a sense of existential alienation and absurdity, watching something so brilliant from a roof so far away, something that has essentially nothing to do with me, but "made" for me, as one of the crowd to see. I sense the others in genuine anticipation over the fireworks. Once again, there is a sense of alienation... from them. We are all together... truly alone... in life... in our personal experience... even in a crowd. It's our universal existential crisis of sorts.

      Fireworks displays are an extravagant luxury to me. Seems like anyone who can afford to play with them is relatively well-to-do - to be able to spend millions of dollars to create a few blazes of explosive glory. Am never sure it's worth it - money up in smoke? Does it truly make the world a better place? Are fireworks overrated? As we await the fireworks in a darkened room under muffled breath, I wondered, "What are we really living for... up till this moment? This is it? What an anti-climax!" 

      The suspense has been building up. It's "killing" the kids! Are we living for this very glorious moment - to be able to marvel at amazing fireworks? Is this our high? Is our ultimate high as short-lived as transient fireworks? Do we live life for a mere few extravagant highs? Is it ever high enough? A worldly or cosmic orgasm? How long can it last? Is it worth the trouble? Having lived the highs, what do we do with the inevitable lows and average times? The fact that we kind of make a fuss out of fireworks hints to me of us being hung up on passing highs. We want highs of the sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought. We crave for sensual stimulation, one after another. Bring them on! Fireworks are amazing because they satisfy at least half our senses! But all we really want is True Happiness, more a deep stable joy than fleeting highs. With distant thunder of the fireworks, I feel the Earth move, as the artificial stars come spraying down. We go high as the shooting stars go high, and our hearts sink as they fall and fade. I felt foolish letting my emotions go with their flow.

      When the fireworks were over, we were given sparklers as an added incentive. Ahhh... to have and to hold the glory of miniature fireworks in your hands... for a short while, as the smoke gets in your eyes, clouding your vision as you struggle to see the sparks clearly. Like cigarette addicts who just can't get enough, we light up stick after stick. But all that's left is a bad smell of half-burnt desire and a mess to clean up. Back to normal life. The party ends here.

      It is said that the Earth trembled with joy when the Buddha touched it, asking it to witness His Enlightenment. The unromantic called it a mini earthquake. Anyway, an Earth-shaking moment in history indeed - that changed countless lives forever. One almost imagines a grand celestial fireworks display by the gods in jubilation. The sutras state that the Buddha's Enlightenment emitted an awesome aura in all directions, reaching even the heavens, gently nudging complacent gods awake from their seemingly endless but merely extended highs. They had been resting on their laurels for too long, forgetting that good karma and the godly life too will pass, subjecting them to rebirth again, that True Happiness lies in relinquishing the fleeting. I must have been too spiritually blind in that life, wherever I was, to be sufficiently inspired by the Buddha's magnificent glow. Beats fireworks any time. Why anticipate any fireworks? Like the Buddha, let us radiate the light of compassion and wisdom in all directions. It might not be readily visible yet, but all in good time... if we cultivate well. Just keep shining. -shian

      Extra "Fireworks" Food For Thought:

      And the fireworks over liberty explode in the heat.
      And it’s your face I’m looking for on every street.

      -On Every Street (Dire Straits)

      In the midst of celebration, missing the celebration,
      Searching for the face of that someone who will bring elusive happiness...
      Searching for the face of liberty that will liberate you...
      Searching too far.
      Face yourself - see your original face.
      You create your own cause for celebration.


    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.