Saturday, 12 February 2011


So Buddhists believe that when someone dies, that is not the end for them. Depending on the merit that that person has accumulated over the course of their life, they will be reborn in accordance with that value.

So unless you’re Buddha or some other special individual who reaches Nirvāna: the ultimate resting place and end of the cycle of death and rebirth, death is simply not the end. Just a break. A change of scene in the longest and most riveting movie imaginable.

It’s a lovely idea. It means that anybody that you have lost, if you decide to subscribe to the Buddhist way of thinking, is not forever lost. Just repackaged and redistributed. To share the wealth so to speak.

And better still. If you really loved them, and they left a huge impression on you for the better, then you can be assured that the merit that they accrued from that alone has helped in securing for them a better life the next time around. They are better for having known you. And you’re better for the time that you had with them. And on it goes.

So take your pick: “Rest in Peace” or “Live on, better and better again”

Thursday, 10 February 2011


So current location: Koh Samui in Thailand. Current duration: almost 3 weeks away. Now, in this time that’s been pretty much filled with meeting new people and exchanging stories, it has occurred to me that the idea that one may have of themselves may not necessarily be on par with the truth of who and what they are. In fact, it may be wildly deviated from the actual truth of the matter.

The estimation that one may formulate of their general character, their sense of humor, their attractiveness even, is one that is built up from subjective commentary and varying circumstances governed by varying motivations. And whether this is right or wrong, this is the self portrait that we have all sketched up of ourselves. That we carry around in our proverbial wallet to whip out and show anyone new, like grandparents pull out pocket sized photo albums of the grand-kids for anyone that might care to see.

So I felt that this topic was worthy of commentary because it highlights the opacity of human perception. We may be presented with one thing, and deduce from it something else altogether. A person riddled with personal character defects and scantily equipped with the warmer qualities a person may have, may look in the mirror and see a regular Michelangelo’s David. Whereas a person that is simply too lacking in self esteem to notice all of their sterling qualities see’s The Scream when faced with their reflection.

Now I’m not saying that people should wake up and come to terms with how generally crappy they are. (I promise!). But I will say that it’s certainly worth pulling out that self portrait and putting it up beside a mirror, just to make sure that that’s what you really look like. For a work of art is never truly complete.