“A duck and a dog having an afternoon nap”
Peng-Ean Khoo
Digital drawing, 2017


And so I write another poem about grace. This time about receiving grace. Words are tricky. Some people want it to be another word. Some claim the words to particular truths and are unrelenting about words being words that can mean different things to different people.


Grace is one such troublesome word. So is Compassion. So is Meher. They don’t mean anything to someone who hasn’t yet come across a need for awakening. Awakening is yet another troublesome word.


Spirituality is even worse. Psychological crises seem to be better received.


So, something of the heart is at unease, and we call it restlessness.


Something is amiss and we think it weird. We think it lacking. We think it needs to be fixed. With medicine, philosophy and all kinds of healthy and well-being ideology.


Perhaps there is simply no isms except for the reality that is being experienced. We take our chances. We take it in concrete. Or we take it with a narrative that we can stomach. Or we take it, otherwise we run out of road. No more pathways to the narrative of life. Or we run out of roads, period.


I used to write some cool poems. But now, I write some terrifying blunt words that actually terrifies no one except myself, for its stark inexistential truth or dilemma.


One can stay here or one can find another meaning.


One can stay here and perish or one can find another meaning, and live.


Strangely, as much as I would like to stay here and see what life actually delivers, I run yet again and take another mental parachute.


And call it life. Perishing in one’s mind is terrifying to the mind.


The mind seeks the power of narrative.


Yet it is actually powerless about life.


The flow of life just flows.


We can’t control it. That’s what most terrifying.


But how does that matter anyway? Regardless of how our minds frame our worldviews, life flows anyway.


It’s interesting we’ve made it all work so far. We are better at coordinating than one imagines. The long and short of it is that we can only hold our own sanity, and it isn’t through narratives nor a mental worldview.


It is about the silence and openness and daring and trust of receiving. Of allowing. Of truly simply being. Being a human person at the depth of its feltness is a very exhilarating joy of existence. Because the gratitude is so huge. The grace so unfathomable.


The awareness of one’s personal, subjective identity and culture in the entire myriad of eternal cosmological existence is completely astounding.


That’s my wonder.


The awe I feel is strangely met with my own feeling of awfulness. Maybe that’s when the small self meets the big self.


Self being sense of identity. One in the world culture, one who is continually existing.


How weird.


I have one touching the earth right now. One timeless, and one completely engaged with human society. And one typing this.


How many presences of minds must we be able to integrate.


I think we just get fatigued and overwhelmed in general. So we simply just need to centre, go back to something simple. Something real. Something non-thinking. Something less complex. Something that is simply about just getting into the focus of life so that such consciousness of complexities don’t need to surface to be addressed and integrated.


Or maybe it is not possible. If we ignore one aspect, perhaps, it will keep knocking on the door to be understood.
What if we remove any a priori belief system of existence?


What happens?


Perhaps we will truly begin to discover only after we dare to shed this a priori narrative.


It’s the brain and the structure of human language, cognition, emotions, feelings, responses, behaviours and commitment.


It’s the brain. The joy is there. The suffering is also there. Stay with both.


Don’t overthink it.


Peng-Ean Khoo
co-Founder, Human Engagement Studio Pte Ltd
November 1, 2017

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