Enlightenment-A A +A
Saturday, August 11, 2012
FOR four years now, I’ve been trekking up the mountain villages of Davao, exploring and getting to know the lives and beliefs of the city’s real indigenous peoples. No, they are not the settlers like the Maguindanaos and Maranaos, who by their mere names indicate they are not of Davao.
Rather, they are the people who are indeed of Davao soil; they who have been there when the city’s eastern slopes were still thick with forests.
There is the fascination for the past, some of which have been written but only in academic journals.
There are a lot of stories hiding out there, unwritten, unacknowledged.
The problem, however, when you’re tackling such topics, this demand time and patience to extract.
It’s been four years hence, and the people have become acquainted with me. The story-telling, however, will only be limited to short overnight trips. The long years in between had misplaced past notes, thus requiring re-visitations and longer talks.
It's difficult as it is to listen to at least three people talking all together. But that's how it is when everyone is excited to share what they have long been keeping to themselves. It becomes harder because there are words so unfamiliar, it takes a lot of explanation before the nuance of a different dialect starts to make sense.
To translate this to mainstream language requires another round of verification. Before you know it, another year had past and another set of notes has been displaced.
How tempting it is to just hike off at will, unencumbered by schedules and commitments in the flatlands. But then, there’s work and there are other endeavors that require some funds that can only be earned through a day job.
"That was one reason why I decided to attend the workshop," a very good friend said as he related the things he learned about the awakening of the consciousness to what is around him. "To discern what it is I really intend to do."
He still longs for the ability to spend on whatever is needed without having to wait for someone else’s budget approval, he said. Having the money to do everything he wants to embark on would be bliss.
At dawn, while thanking the universe and meditation on what is to be, he said, a thought crossed his mind like a loud voice saying, "It is not about you."
"Simply said, you will never be rich," I chided him.
That’s how it is, most of the time. Woe to us who were not born with silver spoons anywhere near us, much less in our mouths. We have to work. But we can always dream of the freedom to do as we want. In between, we try to juggle our schedules and squeeze in a trip or two into our official schedules and thus are able to do as we please while not being absent from work.
This is slow work, however, because in between rushing about during regular work, precious notes will be misplaced, untranscribed, unwritten. Never mind, I say, that gives me a continuing reason to hike up those mountains and learn some more.
That, after all, is the real essence of learning -- to seek out knowledge and finding enlightenment.
Warning: Enlightenment can be addictive. Warning No. 2: Buddha found enlightenment not in wealth but in mediation. Warning No. 3: Jesus Christ found enlightenment while fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Both, like many other such prophets and individuals who sought out knowledge and enlightenment, never got rich.
Thus I find myself rushing articles, two days before deadline because four hours from the time I am writing this, I will be off again to where electricity has not yet reached because it is there when the material world becomes a vague shadow and realizations come thick and full.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 12, 2012.