A recent trivial experience prompts this post. It has come about because of a movement in my mind linking recent posts here: about the fate of Buddha-in-the-park (Altruism); about confidence to speak to others (Discussion Groups); and about the vague, murky and fuzzy nature of ‘felt sense’ (Thinking and Feeling at the edge).
For a moment it mystified me, then I experienced something like recognition and my fingers almost twitched to pick a chess-piece (pawn) by its little round head, then I thought “It’s supposed to be a seated buddha-figure”.
Then I grinned, because I saw a comically-stylised condom. I confess that my mind then toyed with the juxtaposition of the words “Freely Given Retreats……” and what the last image represented for me – a condom. The condom stayed in the foreground, where the other images or meanings jostled for second and third place on the podium of my mind.
A tinge of guilt crept into my thought-process as I chewed over my responses to the little green-blue-white image. I imagined what might be the reaction of the trustees of Freely Given Retreats (not a happy one?) to my suggesting that others might see the image as I’ve seen it. And I wondered if people on retreat have ever seen it or discussed it thus, in the context of ambivalence. It’s definitely my experience that Buddhists are rather sanctimonious about such matters, and don’t encourage talk about sex, especially about its funny side…….
I’m posting this because it’s popped up in my life, it interests and intrigues me, and I thought it might encourage others to think about – and read about – representation and meaning, both of which are in the Middle Way site somewhere (see ‘Desire, Meaning and Belief’….), and which I’m going to read again now I’ve finished this.
I’m also aware that it may add another strand of representation and meaning to your perception of me, and I’m interested to know about that, if anyone is able to share it, and wants to.