Friday, 16 December 2011

Date from Past Lives 今生有约

Date from Past Lives
Time passes, turbulent and hasty,
leaving behind, a tattered reality.
Lingering fragments: people, stories,
repeating, repeating, vicissitudes . . .
Dreams, faint and weary, 
plumes from an inner world
of bygone opportunities.
Love, brings colours:
Red, green, mauve . . . and many others.
Ardour, like water, so enlivening,
fortifies verve and vigour.
Passion, like flowers,
adds joy to spring, never mind winter.
But
Vivid rainbows will soon fade, 
into the same old boring shade.
The most dazzling brilliance,
is just a fleeting transience.
Vivacious water,
left stagnant and still,
breeds abhorrent foetor
Floral defiance, won’t last till winter.
Fall will come, to claim their splendour.
Resplendence shall wilt, surrender,
Drift, to its ground of burial.
Time, callous and relentless,
goes round and round, in abiding cycles.
Blissful eternity
is a straight and simple fantasy.
In the loop of perpetuity,
we have a date,
again . . . and again, 
since antiquity.
______________
Do we have past and future lives? If so, which part of us goes on, and which part stays behind?
If they have the technology to replicate every atom in my body, and arrange them in the exact configuration of this moment, they’d end up with a cadaver. They will not be able to clone my spirit, my soul, whatever the name, because absolutely nothing is known about it. But I know it’s there, driving the unripe corpse I see in the mirror.
Scientists have observed the transformation and conservation of everything we can see or measure. Long before them, Buddha had said just that about the “universe” we perceive: no beginning, no end, neither growing, nor diminishing.
Can the life force in us, something we are totally ignorant of, something that defies gross simplification by human theories, be the only exception?
In Man’s Last Song, Song Huan and Sari discussed life and death 
“ . . . scientifically speaking, every bit of our body is reincarnated. If we had a soul, a detachable consciousness, it’d get recycled just the same, like everything else in the universe. No reason to assume we’re exceptional right?”
“No. None at all.” She agrees, and imagines the chain of biological events: People — maggots — flies — frogs with meaty legs — back to people . . .
Perhaps the people we know, the things we do to each other, are part of a universal current of events like a stream of water molecules, each having an effect on the others. Perhaps every point in time and space - including our spirits - has a history and a future, all interconnected? The concept of Karma does not seem to contradict anything science has observed so far. 
上面的一首英文诗, 没有中文版,我给它的中文题目是“今生有约”。往生的缘,今生所受,来生果报等等概念,对中国人来说并不陌生,已经有太多真正有道之人就此写诗作偈,哪里轮到我来卖弄文章?
“笙歌”第贰章之六“生死之谜”里面有这样的一段:
当夏丽谈到轮回的时候,宋焕有个较科学的看法:“从科学的角度看,轮回应该是有的。我们身体上每一粒分子,无论用什么方法处理,都会被大自然回收回用。我们的灵魂,纵使大家不明底蕴,但照理不会是宇宙中唯一的例外吧!”
听起来也有点道理。那么人死了喂蛆,蛆大了变苍蝇,田鸡吃苍蝇,中国人再吃田鸡。也算得上一个生生相息,充满因果的大循环吧?这不是轮回是什么?
从科学的角度来推测,轮回没有什么出奇。现代科学能够观察到的宇宙一切,虽然不断改变形态,但总体上脱离不了佛祖两千多年前所说的:“不生不灭,不增不减。”
假如科学有办法把我身上的每一颗分子精确重组,最后也只有死尸一条。关于这躯壳背后的生命力,叫灵魂也好,中阴身也好,精神也好,人类只有神话一大堆,基本上是一无所知,当然谈不上复制。对于这分我们一无所知的力量,有人假设是宇宙中唯一的例外,可以超脱万物互相牵引和循环动力:要嘛烟消云散,要嘛上天堂下地狱搞个永无了期。这算不算是人类无知自大的表现呢?
滔滔江水投奔大海,里面的每一颗水分子看来都没有能力影响水流。但过程中每一分一秒的形态,都是每一颗分子和宇宙万物牵引互动的“果”,也是下壹秒所发生的形态之“因”。莫非“业力”就是这样连接时空,贯彻生命?生命里的每一刻都有前因后果。“报应”是宇宙常规,丝毫没有全能上帝或牛头马面之类的迷信色彩。
还是不要越想越远了。就看看自己生命中的每一个人吧。茫茫人海里能够遇上,肯定有其缘起之因。至于如何珍惜对待,广结善缘,便要视乎个人的业力了。

2 comments:

Leela Devi Panikar said...

David, enjoyed your beautiful poem, insightful and Buddhist. Did not know you were a poet. Good thinker and good writing.

Leela

Guo Du 过渡 said...

Thanks Leela. I'm no poet but do let the occasional poem come out if it really wants to. Unlike stories, I rarely have the urge to share them, however. JAMES (David is much shorter Leela :) )