The apparent and immediate scenario is the first thing man apprehends, and with it he gradually gets integrated until it comes to be called the “reality” by him. From that moment on everything else will be false or, at best, figments of imagination. This immediacy is composed of interpretive elements, symbols, signs, passwords leading from one state to another and elements which are distorting.
“Too complicated!” –thinks the grey man, while settling down within the demarcation lines that good or bad luck has allowed him. What he sees from his window might look like a disturbed child’s drawing, or a Christmas postcard, or a complex scene of a professional painter. In any case –a postcard, a curtain, a mirage that conceals a universe of realities.
It is not easy to find the slightly raised corner and pull it back to discover the content of existence. Why take chances! Life can be so beautiful, so sensual, so enigmatic and luminous! There are those days when all the clues come together to make the grey man perfectly happy under a radiant, omnipresent, warm and rousing sun. The grey man feels on such days totally integrated into the pastel shades of the postcard. Water moistens objects; the breeze cools people’s skins; fire cooks their food; night comes after day; mothers give birth to children of flesh and bone according to a well-studied genetic process; electronic miniatures move giant planes and make them follow automatically controlled routes; the ground has never been more solid nor the oceans more contained. From where, then, do these ontological scruples arise?
The grey man doesn’t want answers. He’s got a thing about rhetoric and minimalistic analysis. Apparently, he is incapable of noticing the precision with which man has been tuned into the universe. A spermatozoid penetrates an egg and in nine months’ time a creature appears we would never have imagined, much less designed, although now we can see it with our own eyes, touch it with our own hands and examine it with the most sophisticated devices. The grey man feels good in his postcard and is not willing to let some intuitive reasoning embitter these bright days of his.
Lounging on the sea front, he savours a deliciously grilled lobster tail. The love of his life caresses his athletic chest, while insinuating a night of passion. The picture seems finished, complete, perfect, integrated and integrating. The grey man finds it difficult to imagine that there is another sun –an immaterial sun concealed in the heart of a human being, capable of setting the entire universe on fire; a sun that is scorching the postcard so that a glimpse of the creation’s magnitude can be caught. Modern automated cities of today are incomplete imitations of a tiny cell. The entire universe is a micro-replica of a lake in Paradise. The sun that embraces now the soul has broken the dykes of ignorance, making the spirit expands and fill the infinite. How beautiful and yet how unreal the still life postcard seems to be now. How come we entered that painting and stayed there as one more decorative element?
Perhaps it’s sensations where the secret of this cover-up lies. We have a sensation of being alive, free and independent, of existing, of knowing… sensations easily produced in the worshipers of the luminous and radiant sun.
The grey man leans toward the less dense parts of the postcard and sees shadows, distant silhouettes, insinuating and enigmatic. Something in his consciousness seems to stir, to crave for a reality that is real. His mind carries out some operations, in between logical and analytical; he even allows his rusty intuition to take on a part, albeit secondary, in the investigative process: Is it all a dream? The powerful sunlight, the sensual happiness, the brotherhood at a table loaded with delicacies… the privileged, the chosen, the naturally selected by nature… death, the Hereafter… concepts the grey man is familiar with, yet he fears and hates them. With all this metaphysical material –not much in reality– he sets out to build philosophical systems that would demonstrate that man is the beginning and the end of existence; nothing above, nothing below, master and lord, especially if he is white. And if a god is needed, it will be history, an immense ocean where to bury the past –often too difficult, even impossible, to explain.
Useless to reach out to him. What rises between his sun and ours is the barrier of the truth. It is not possible to climb it without changing the guiding star. That blinding light of his sun illuminates the postcard, erasing the landscape. Our sun, by contrast, dark and cool, allows us to differentiate between the false from the true, the real and the fictitious.
Like birds, inflate your lungs and fly to travel the world
The whole earth is a prison.
You want to touch with your fingertips the essence of life
All existence is an illusion.
Long for the freedom of crossing states
All movement is dissolution.
The last we heard of the grey man is that he’s got pay rise, bought a new car and has had a glimpse of a tropical holiday on his immediate horizon –another pill to help him go on living, another breath of fresh air, giving meaning to his life –he keeps breathing. Why jump into the arena to fight the lions? It is so much nicer to see the show from the well protected stands. In any case, imagination will take care of turning him into a hero. There are enough resources to throw the intransigent reality off the scent.
But blows are inevitable. The existential interaction is too broad to enable visualization of its plot. Surprises, almost always devastating, are inevitable. Forget it. Just read one of the bestsellers on how to overcome life’s setbacks. The string of psychological gibberish appears to the grey man as the overwhelming truth –exactly what he needed; a confirmation of the preponderant role that the radiant and luminous sun should play in his life. One has to be optimistic and alive at all costs –blind, deaf and dumb, on life support… in a coma. As long as one can see a bit of the sunny blue sky, there is hope. And even if that has not been permitted us by the diabolical destiny decreed by some avenging god, our Gnostic rebellion will raise us above the existential contingencies towards cosmic unity. Turned into sidereal dust or atoms of a rose, we shall put an end to our eternity. How beautiful!
Yes, definitely so. But before this molecular transformation is reached, we are to experience death –an interesting fact that nobody can avoid, although everyone tries to forget it. The earthly life is the only acceptable but everyone designs fancifully and without any other base than that of a supposition one’s own projection of the Hereafter.
(78) They do not know the Book, only their own desires; and they do nothing but conjecture.
Qur-an 2 – al Baqarah
But things are not as they seem to us, but as we have been warned they will be. When the inert body of the grey man is deposited in the humid tomb and then covered with earth until the colors and sounds vanish altogether; when in complete solitude, deprived of the luminous and radiant sun to warm his bones he is asked how he has spent his vital time, and when in the very question the grey man will perceive the ineludible answer; when his consciousness –submerged in the ocean of negligence for so long– suddenly blossoms and illuminates a part of what lay beyond the postcard that he took for the only reality… that day he will beg to be returned to life and allowed to begin again so that he could amend his absurd existence.
But nobody can leave the grave, except to be judged. The gray man has been granted a lot of time which he spent in the sunshine enjoying the fleeting joys of the transient world. He has received many warnings which he mocked saying, “They are the people and legends from the past, ignorant and superstitious.” Today it is his conscience that accuses him of ignorance and superstition, and shows him what awaits man when death has died and the Other Life has emerged. That sun of his has now turned into a fire ready to burst out with unimaginable fury.