Writings of Hermit S: "Faults"
The writings of a hermit whom we called S were first introduced in 2005. Whatever the vicissitudes of our correspondent since then, we have the pleasure of a new offering, here reprinted below, as received, with his permission.
Not to be tolerant with injustice:
-to bridle, to rile, when fools exploit us.
Not to be careful of the conflict betwixt
ethics & karma:
though being helpful to others in trouble
expect nothing but trouble for your pains.
Not to avoid all human intercourse
beyond purely practical necessity;
To ever indulge at all the pleasure principle
Not to avoid speech of all sorts as much as one can,
of course, and not to restrict writing
to purely poetic-inspired utterance only;
Not to recognize, constantly, that the source of wisdom
lies only in Silence and Solitude;
Not to recognize, constantly, that all else we do
is foolishness, a blind tangle of cause & effect
that strangles wisdom,
however appealing or apparently necessary,
-it strangles the Truth.
Not to realize instantly when irritated by another's faults
an indication of our own, not necessarily identical,
but related & festering.
Not to appreciate that the eremitic vocation is a pinnacle
all too easy to fall from and
all but impossible to ascend:
Better, in ascetic excess, a hermit-Jerome to be,
or any who wear their faults upon the sleeve
struggling with adversity & defeat,
than in smug comfort smile in hypocrisy
pontifying upon how a hermit should be.
Not to use one's faults
(hubris, pride, anger, sloth, fear, impatience, despair, contempt...)
to keep one apart, aloof, from others;
Not to resist the allure of other people's
apparent interest in you;
Not to value cynicism: it is an excellent
litmus test of value-content;
Not refraining from falling in the feelings-fault
between feeling exultant one moment
and in despair the next, of liking this & repellent that,
All of it is like the weather:
Rain or shine, cold or hot or dry, storms or snows
they are all the same thing: changes in the ever-changing firmament;
none are better or worse, any that seem more convenient or preferable,
-it is nothing but our foolish feelings fooling us.
Not to assume there are more faults than we are aware of
and virtues may also be faulty in application,
is to neglect to disconnect them.
Not to keep in mind that stupidity is the fault of intelligence:
Non-intelligence is exempt from stupidity
as ignorance is exempt from knowledge,
it has its faults too but stupidity is not one of them.
Stupidity is a slight of mind, like a slight of hand,
that slips the truth aside to oblige an hidden agenda,
often a self-hidden agenda; -a sophistry, a winking at errors & motives,
a malware to gain a momentary benefit
at the expense of the truth of the question at hand.
It is a double fault not to remain alert to our own stupidity.
Faults are not wrong or immoral or evil
-they are consequences of karma:
They balance imbalances, complete incompleteness, rotate the wheel of existence;
Earthquakes are essential to planetary balance as are any natural phenomena.
It is our indulgence in faults that gives them their moral hue:
Milarepa conjured a hailstorm to destroy his mother's enemy's crops was evil,
-not the hailstorm, not the destruction;
Just gloat over such thoughts or deeds to sink in an immoral wallow.
The pacifying response to calamity, human or natural, is compassion & succour.
To justify anything under the rubric of "Love",
-that most ambiguous of terms
in any language and any definition.
(True love radiates from within,
without any other outer manifestation required).
The quintessential fault of all faults is
Attachment to the dichotomy of self & others.
Not to pursue, at every point in this existence,
To conjure up and abide in,
an hermitude of solitary serene silence,
in place space and time,
-a sanctuary of consciousness
beyond the bedlam of this worldly whirlpool.
Not to heed the lessons in our faults
but to concede to them ceaselessly,
Is letting out rope to tie up & tangle one in,
the nemesis of fools.