19th of March

So…. sad, but also interesting news from one of my good friends Fin.

He will be removing himself from society to go an become a Buddhist monk in Myanmar.

As a few of you might know, Fin is a friend that I met in China several years back.  In fact another good friend, Pierre introduced us.  Apparently Pierre found Fin wandering down the street apparently looking for a Guiness, as Fin is Irish, and Pierre was the happy go-lucky guy that pointed him in the right direction and shared a few more beers with him after that.

Here’s a picture of the 3 of us

I think Fin’s overall experience in China was a good one, however apparently he just had too many ‘china days’.  The kind of days where things just go wrong essentially because Chinese & western culture are so very different and it creates clashes; and then these clashes culminate in some grand event that causes you to have a really shitty day.

So anyway, it caused him to terminate his contract as a mathematics teacher for which he greatly enjoyed, catch a random dodgy van to the airport…(going out in classic china style)  and leave, and eventually end up in Thailand, where obviously he had many less ‘China days’.

The way he described Thailand, just seemed like an overall better place.

Fin by the way, is the one that gave me the idea to really emphasise imagery in titles and projects.  In fact with him, we came up with the title ‘sipping from the brewing pot’  because this title indeed conveys easy imagery. He is an avid short story writer… and of the few stories I do have of his, well they are quite dark and depressive.  However, because an Irishman… apparently that comes with the territory.
Fin is also the one to get me to really write things down, put time aside to concentrate on things that you really want to concentrate on, like writing, motorbiking or whatever.

Also, through me, Fin discovered the joys of motorbiking. I taught him how to ride on my shitty, but easy to learn Lifan 50cc, for which he borrowed for a week and then I helped him buy his 1st bike, a QianJiang 150cc.

This is the bike, paired with my own Suzuki 125cc that we took on that dreaded 3 day motorbike ‘adventure’ to Beidahe…. The one where it took us 8 hours to drive what google maps told us was 300km (as the crow flies) journey, with 4 of those hours being in the dark stuck behind dusty trucks.

I will eventually get around to posting that article, for which I’ll update this article and post here.

Just know that it was hell, but Fin and I got through it together.  I think any person that can get through a journey like that together and still consider each other friends, is a good friend indeed.

Anyway, so after 2 years of living in Thailand, and I assume having some very interesting adventures himself, he’s decided to go off an become a Monk. He will completely cut himself off from society- friends, family, internet, anything that as I think he right says provides a distraction for what he really wants to achieve.  He will be leaving very few breadcrumbs for friends and family to find him if they need to, but they will be there.  He speaks no Burmese, however in his words he states that will allow him to have even less distractions whilst inside the temple, although as time goes on he will obviously learn enough to get by on the simple life that the monks live.  He will be focusing on meditation and trying to understand the universe from a spiritual, consciousness perspective.

I know for many of you, this sounds like something very strange… or even misguided, but let me assure you it’s not.  I had a chance to talk to him a couple of times before he disappeared and I think his heart is in the right place.  His mind is in the right place, and I think this is something that feels right for him.

We talked for a long time about consciousness, understanding, the real nature of things, what is important in life and everything.  I of course asked him open questions, not leading at all…. Because otherwise I could never hear his true opinion.  And he answered me truly and with an open heart.

Following, in an excerpt from an email I sent him about his goals after we had our discussion.   Just know that I am proud to have a friend like Fin, and I find it very courageous that he is following through with what he wants to do.

Hello Fin, 

It was an absolute pleasure talking to you just now.   I really love delving into such interesting topics and really getting lost in them.  I wish we could just keep going actually. 

It’s ironic and quite disheartening actually, having just had this really interesting conversation, being very lightening for myself  (lightening… as well as enlightening)   talking about consciousness, and understanding the reality of things and society and how they kind of go about things… and both knowing ourselves… although of course arguably, you even more so, that that’s not all there is to this life, and some of it can be quite tedious, quiet unimportant, [not quite the word I was looking for]

But being uplifted by what you’re about to do, the journey you’re about to take, and the research and understandings you’ve come to and me being able to comprehend and relate to it to some degree…. and then what am I about to do?   … ‘get back to work’    Quite disheartening indeed. 

Like I said, I find it courageous that you are following through with something you know you want to do, even though there is obviously many people that wouldn’t understand your choices.   

I don’t wish to say anything that diminishes what you’re doing, or cheapens it by sounding condescending… 

So know that what I say, I say with absolute sincerity. 

Know that you will always be in my mind, and that myself and people that care for you will always be with you. 

I, we, don’t care that you will not be interacting within society or conforming to general rules and goals and what not, we care for you and your happiness. From everything you’ve told be i believe that this is the right pathway forward for you, you’ve got to level of realisation that few of us manage to attain, and i’m incredibly proud that a friend has managed to come to such realisations.  I don’t meet many like you Fin. 

I refrain from using words like soul, or spirit, simply because in my mind there’s too many connotations related to pre-existing religions, or beliefs system that I simply don’t agree with…   but that being said, I do feel like we are kindred spirits in a way.  There’s many things you say that I can understand and I really value your inquisitiveness and questioning persona for a whole range of different topics, usually ones that normal people don’t often think about too much.  And then combined with detailed research stemming from a scientific and rational way of thinking ….well it’s something I greatly respect. 

 By the way Pierre coincidentally just contacted me, and we chatted very briefly, but i said the situation was a bit strange because it’s almost as if someone has died, but you actually know 100% that they’re in a happier place… and that you can go and visit if you really want to.     

I realise the ‘died’ word makes it sound a bit glim.    But.. I wonder if that anecdote helps at all. 

I believe Pierre will contact you soon.  I hope everything goes ok there. 

This email by the way, is not in lieu of the Aliens email… that is still coming, however I just wanted to get these thoughts down first. 

Now, like a chump stuck in this reality and this society, I have to go back to work… even though there are now many more fibres of my mind and body saying that is not the best use of my time or development. 

I hope some of you understand what I’m trying to convey here.  He is a very close friend of mine, despite having known each other for only 3 years or so.  I wish him the best of luck and I hope he knows that his friends and family, those of him that truly care for him, support him and will be there for him if ever he should need.

One day as well… I plan to follow these loosely dropped breadcrumbs to continue our very interesting conversations.

My heart is with you Fin.