There’s a common conceit in oriental literature called the tale cycle. In a tale cycle, the story ends at the same point, place, or event where it begins. We westerners though, tend to see our lives as a traditional “life story”, with a beginning, middle, and end. But Lao-tzu could tell you that seeing your life that way often leads to needless fear, and suffering, even more so for alternative kinky people like us.
Be completely empty. Be perfectly serene.
The ten thousand things arise together;
in their arising is their return.
Now they flower,
and flowering sink homeward,
returning to the root.
The return to the root
Peace: to accept what must be,
to know what endures.
In that knowledge is wisdom.
Without it, ruin, disorder.
To know what endures
is to be openhearted,
following the Tao,
the way that endures forever.
The body comes to its ending,
but there is nothing to fear.
Lao-tzu knew that often, we fill ourselves. We take our empty minds and stuff them to bursting with all sorts of feelings. I can think of countless examples where I’ve done this myself.
For the past seven years I’ve attended a kinky camping event called Camp Crucible. Months before camp, I begin getting excited and nervous too. I make preparations, and stress over minutiae.
Then the event comes, and it’s always profound for me. Big emotional highs, and exhausting lows come, end over end. By the time the event is done, I’m exhausted, mostly in a good way. Then the time comes for goodbyes, and they are always bittersweet and painful. Some of the best scenes I have, I often have the last morning of Camp, just before I return to reality for the coming year.
The following year, I’ll repeat the entire cycle.
But, as people do, I often make it much harder on myself than it needs to be. Why?
It’s because I fear death.
The way of things, all things, is to arise from nothing, flower toward their fulfillment, and then to wither away.
When you get a good, hard spanking, your bottom starts out unmarked and supple. Gradually, it gets more and more red, hot, and sore. At the end of it, perhaps you are black and blue, or cannot sit. You might have tears coursing down your face, or the leaving of your orgasm between your legs. The spanking has, essentially, died. It’s over.
But, that’s not really true. The moment it ends, your bottom begins to heal. Your soreness fades, and the experience you just had becomes a memory. Eventually, even that memory loses color and heat, and becomes one of countless thoughts and ideas that informs who you are, as a person. It’s the very last spanking you’ll ever get.
Until your pants come down again.
What other sorts of things do this? All sorts. Events you attend, scenes you play through, meals you eat, as well as friendships and romantic relationships you form all flower, then wither, then die.
But eventually, they all renew, too.
As an age player, and a diaper fetishist, I’ve wet literally hundreds of dry diapers. There always seem to be more dry ones to wear.
I’m thrilled that over my many years in the community, I keep making new friends, even as I lose contact with others.
People forget this though, and it’s a source of terrible suffering.
We become convinced when something good happens that we have found that one thing, person, experience, or sensation we need to be utterly happy, and complete. (Or by the same token, we become convinced that the awful, painful situation in which we find ourselves will endure to the end of our days.)
We trap ourselves in the past, or lose ourselves in unfounded worries about the future.
This is an arrogant, selfish, toxic behavior, by which we cripple ourselves.
But Lao-tzu had (and still has) an answer to this miserable perspective.
Recognize that we are all one with the Tao, and thus we endure. It’s not that we did endure, or will – we’re doing it, right now. You can see it in the movement of the most unstoppable force in the universe: change.
As much as you want to hold onto fixed circumstances, you simply can’t. Scenes end and begin again. While old events end, new ones begin. On a larger level, even as people die, new ones are born literally every moment.
When you know this, when you feel it completely, it transforms you. You become constant. Suddenly, you are both non-blessed and un-damned. You feel the road of infinite existence firmly under your feet.
Death loses its awful sting. And at the close of anything, you savor the new experiences that arise from that closure. You begin by ending.