Looking back on my experience in this class, I find it remarkable that I went from completely lacking any comprehension of what Prof. Sexson was saying, to a much more enlightened state. I mean, I think all classes strive to achieve such a transformation, but 213 truly achieved it.
What do I know now that I didn’t know before? That is a silly question to ask, because as I am now aware, we ALREADY know everything there is to know. The question should be phrased: What have I remembered that I had previously forgotten? I feel I almost couldn’t put what I’ve remembered into words, because they already have such a presence in me. But I’ll try.
Sarvam Dukham, Sarvam Anityam—All is suffering, all is fleeting. All is suffering to us; we laugh to keep from crying, we all experience sadness or personal tragedy at some point (or at least we read about it). And people have been suffering since the dawn of man, making it fleeting. It’s ironic because one would tend to assume that true tragedy and suffering stay with a person forever, making it anything but temporary. But fleeting refers to our human existence as a whole, how time is cyclical and how our own suffering is a fleeting moment in the circle of time.
Time. Eternities vs. the times. I will never be able to look at a newspaper the same way again. How can we live thinking that all we experience, all that we are, is a unique creation in this universe? People are innately the same, circumstances are innately the same (5 conflicts), and that notion is inescapable. Where do I go from here? Knowing that nothing I do or experience is ever totally unique? Well, I recognize that fact, and then I also acknowledge that I am circumstantially bound into this role that I am playing. I am somehow a necessary part of these cycles. I don’t exactly know what this role is, but I figure if I’m bound to do it, I can’t screw it up.
And it is not so bad, to have this new outlook on life, which is what this class has given me. You know the people that tell you life is not a game and you need to take things seriously? To them I would now say, what is serious? I have read the eternities and am now well versed in the human condition, and not once has the word serious come up. Rather, life is a game, and you shouldn’t be serious at all, you should be tragic and dramatic and comedic and facetious and tender and blissfully aware. Because if we are to exercise the gift of life, what better way to do it than experience all that we are and all that we are capable of as human beings? Don’t be afraid to give your heart away, or laugh at something silly, or endure the pain of loss, or feel the greatest joy. Don’t be afraid to search for those experiences and revel in them once they’re experienced. Why do we feel so deeply about them? Simply, they are what we are. They are the core of our being and the token of our existence. They are eternal, and we are eternal, and everything that is, has been, and will be again.