We spend our entire lives breathing, taking into our lungs and bloodstreams that which is outside the body; and yet a vast majority of us, despite this simple, obvious fact, see ourselves as something apart from nature. Deprived of air, the body dies. The body also requires water. Again, water that exists outside the body must be taken into the body in sufficient amounts, or the body dies. The same is true of food. And though we are completely dependent upon things that exist outside the body, what do we do? We poison the air. We poison the water. We poison the soil. We poison our food. Then we take these poisons into our bodies, and our bodies suffer accordingly, along with our minds, which, although we like to think of them as being out there somewhere, are also part of our bodies, and which reflect what happens inside them just as surely as any organ or cell we might choose to name. And in our inevitable illness and suffering, willing to do almost anything for relief, we depend on stimulants and drugs, which are addictive poisons as well. It is in this condition that millions of us form our outlooks and make our daily decisions. Think about it — as the old saying goes, It’s as simple as breathing.
Are you aware of the rise and fall of your breath? Or do you take it for granted, as if your nose and lungs are furnace filters that should have been changed two months ago? And if you are not aware, and if you do take it for granted, then it is only logical to ask what else you are not aware of, and what else you take for granted. Because your breath, after all, is your life. And what is that life? Is it a busy, distracted visit to a noisy, cheap arcade, in which all of the machines must be thoughtlessly fed with a rapidly depleting supply of your breath coins? Or is it a clear quiet morning after rain?
Recently Banned Literature, March 2, 2018
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