Three Angels

The exercise of turning time back into time, refreshing time, was a great exercise, for me.

This exercise awoke an experience (can it be called that?) where…  well… what kind of ‘time’ is this? Can this legitimately be called ‘time’? If someone were to ask me “is anything happening?”, “I’d have to say, “I can’t say nothing is happening, but I can’t say something is happening.” A man walks past; a dog sniffs it’s way; the voices around me are evenly distributed throughout the open, auditory space; I am seeing, but there’s no seeing ‘from’. And, none of it is happening in a time that implies a ‘before’ or a ‘yet-to-come.’ Only my interpretations introduce ‘from’, ‘to’, ‘man’ or ‘dog’ (as though they could be separated out). And the interpreting has no space to be ‘in,’ either.

Reminds me of Bob Dylan’s ‘Three Angels’, but I’ve always thought of those things in serial time. Maybe not… maybe Dylan was trying to point to ‘this.’

Three Angels

Three angels up above the street
Each one playing a horn
Dressed in green robes with wings that stick out
They’ve been there since Christmas morn
The wildest cat from Montana passes by in a flash
Then a lady in a bright orange dress
One U-Haul trailer, a truck with no wheels
The Tenth Avenue bus going west
The dogs and pigeons fly up and they flutter around
A man with a badge skips by
Three fellas crawlin’ on their way back to work
Nobody stops to ask why
The bakery truck stops outside of that fence
Where the angels stand high on their poles
The driver peeks out, trying to find one face
In this concrete world full of souls
The angels play on their horns all day
The whole earth in progression seems to pass by
But does anyone hear the music they play
Does anyone even try?

Makes me wonder whether we can say that anything is actually ‘happening.’ What is the etymology of ‘happen’, anyway?  Hap; c.1200, “chance, luck,” from O.N. happ “chance, good luck,” from P.Gmc. *khapan (source of O.E. gehæp “convenient, fit”).  The meaning “good fortune” is from early 13c.

Have we lost a perception of the ‘blessing’ of happenings – as though they are a light from the inside out, going nowhere? Is this why the Buddha was called the ‘fortunate one’?

About Christopher

I first read TSK in 1978, and have enjoyed exploring Rinpoche's (printed) work ever since. I'm an insight meditation teacher in Sydney, Australia, and I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. I'm also a psychotherapist and a Focusing trainer (Gendlin).
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2 Responses to Three Angels

  1. michaelg says:

    Hi Christopher. I always enjoy your posts and appreciate the relaxed quality of attention your presentations express. This morning, after reading your Three Angles post and sitting there wondering if I had anything to say about it, I started thinking of Entrophy. Entrophy is always presented as the enemy of life and of everything articulately interconnected. It’s what would be left if all the suns died and lifeless matter floated to it’s lowest common denominator. Yet that is not a condition we need to fear because we are not the source of the cosmos nor anything living within it. We are only occasionaly in charge of the quality of our own attention. And I think that is what you are describing: How do we pay attention without our constant imposition of themes and shapes from the already familiar? Can we just allow the universe around us to happen, like an exotic dance we’ve never seen before? –Michael

  2. David says:

    Hi Christopher,
    I really appreciated your description of events simply happening without continually referencing them to a self. It seems to mirror how I experience that release of a myopic viewpoint two.

    Also, since you depend on the recordings, Jack mentioned today that last week was recorded but there was trouble getting it posted. He will work toward getting both last week and the current recordings and guidance posted quickly.
    Best wishes,

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