Baffling Lightness of Being
A novel I read said you live then you’re dead
and that lightness of being’s unbearable.
But wantonness led to commitment instead,
so perhaps its intention was parable.
The Hubble Space Telescope pointed its gaze
at a spiral in Virgo constellation—
a beautiful galaxy with puzzling ways
that’s been given a lengthy designation.
It seemed normal, like Milky Way, at first glance,
but appearances often prove deceptive.
With camera which could the image enhance
that appraisal turned out to be defective.
There’s a supermassive black hole at the heart
of the star system where we earthlings abide.
Yet this outwardly similar counterpart
has one with the lowest mass centered inside
that’s nearly ever, in a luminous core
galactic, been found; still extra perplexing
is the computations they made, furthermore,
don’t add up, which to scientists is vexing.
With black hole so light, the models predicted
emissions different from the spectrum seen
in the circling accretion disk depicted,
unless other processes here intervene.
Lightness of being has various senses
depending upon our perception of light.
Vision illumined calls forth recompenses
with deeper discernment that’s far more than sight.
A sage once stated and reiterated
that life’s as fleeting as an outgoing breath.
Since no one can tell when passing is slated,
he thought first of all he should learn about death.
Most live by ideas believed to be true,
while bedazzled by passion’s pressing decrees,
swept on in a daze as their days fade from view,
having failed to perceive the forest for trees.
If our mortal demise is the journey’s end
of all states of beingness, anguish and woe,
and there’s nowhere beyond for the road to bend,
then none of it matters— but how do we know?
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * * * *
Inspiration for the poem is from image and articles such as “A black hole of puzzling lightness” (as well as other literary and scientific references)...
There is a reference to the novel titled, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera (1984), a Czech-born French writer…
In addition, inspiration derived from the teachings and writings of Nichiren Daishōnin…
Looking back, I have been studying the Buddha’s teachings since I was a boy. And I found myself thinking, “The life of a human being is fleeting. The exhaled breath never waits for the inhaled one. Even dew before the wind is hardly a sufficient metaphor. It is the way of the world that whether one is wise or foolish, old or young, one never knows what will happen to one from one moment to the next. Therefore I should first of all learn about death, and then about other things.”
~ Nichiren Daishōnin (1278)
From: “The Writings of Nichiren Daishōnin”, as translated by the Soka Gakkai…
~ “The Importance of the Moment of Death” by Nichiren Daishōnin
Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam[u]) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) [entirety of existence, enlightenment and unenlightenment] permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas [which is every possible psychological wavelength] (Kyō).
The reason that we continually recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō
This image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) onboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures a spiral galaxy in the Virgo constellation known as RX J1140.1+0307.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
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