Today’s Zen Fit discovers the teaching of the Buddha in his Four Noble Truths in the ritual of the birthday cane and blowing out the candles. There is an objective and subjective way of viewing the blowing out of the candle. The objective view is the common one: the cake is an object and it’s a fun ritual to see how strong your breath is. The test is that the older. you get, the weaker the breath. So we cheat by reducing the numbers of candles.
But the Subjective view really flips the cake to an upside-down cake. Blowing out the candle in Buddhism is Nirvana, which means “blown out.” What is blown out?
I then use my favorite metaphor, the playground teeter-totter, and the view from being on the teeter-totter trying to be up by making the other down, to the view from the park bench, where you can see the game or the play of the world up Up of Down, each end defining the other end. The park bench view is the blowout out candle, the candle of time which is life on the teeter-totter.
The Wheel of Suffering or Samsara is believing the teeter-totter in the playground of life is real, not a game. No matter how hard you try to stay up, you go down. The illusion of Samsara is that the up is separate from down and that if you try hard enough you can always be up. That illusion is the candle that is blown out to remove the weight of time and too many candles.
When you blow out the time of the teeter-totter, you are still in the game of life, but now you know it is all just play. And play is timeless.
We live in a Third Person world where everything is a person, place,or thing, or just IT. IT is found in space/time on a grid where you can locate it. If you cannot locate IT on a map, it doesn’t exist.
But if you remember grammar, there is the First Person I. This person when viewed as an IT, when I believe I’m an IT, exists on the map. I’m in Blackstone right now.
But the First Person is not on the map. Where can I go that I am not? Since I’m everywhere I go, I’m like the GPS navigator that is always at X. This GPS is an analogy for the First Person that is not on or in a map, but IS the map as the center around which the map reboots as I move.
Blowing out the candle, then, is blowing out the Third Person view as the only viewpoint, and when that candle is blown out, that candle of space/time on the cake of the world, the First Person view is activated. BAM! You get your wish to be free from the suffering of time, history and the whole nightmare of Karma.