Living In The Past And Forewarnings Of Doom
Today was an epiphany for me – accepting that I do not like the present because all the good times are gone and there is no way to recapture them. The Thailand that I love no longer exists for me – or, more accurately, is slipping away very fast – and I wonder why it is that I keep going back there, hoping against the tide of change, that I will find some similarity to what was so special.
American bluegrass legend Bill Monroe encapsulates the feelings in this song of his:
"All The Good Times Are Past And Gone" (Bill Monroe)
I wish to the Lord I'd never been born
Or died when I was young
I never would have seen your sparklin' brown eyes
Or heard your lyin' tongue
*All the good times are past and gone
*All the good times are o'er
*All the good times are past and gone
*Little Darlin' don't you weep no more
Don't you see that turtle dove
That flies from pine to pine?
He's mournin' for his own true love
Just like I mourn for mine
**** x 1
Come back, come back my own true love
And stay awhile with me
For if ever I've had a friend in this world
You've sure been that friend to me
**** x 2
You probably will never hear this in any of the bars in Thailand now – or ever would have in the past, for the old hands – but I think this is what so many of us feel about changes happening over which we have no control. I also guess that there are many of the old-hand mongers who would certainly not share the sentiments of wishing to relive some of those times – particularly if they had been taken for the "bus-ride" by their brown-eyed beauty (perhaps more than once).
When I first heard that Stick was planning to leave The Kingdom and return to Kiwiland in the not-too-distant future, I thought "How could someone prefer to live anywhere else but Thailand (and Bangkok in particular) – wonderful Krungthep". But I am starting to understand the motivations for his decision.
It's a bit different for me as I do still love Bangkok – but those I held so dear in Thailand are starting to change on the scale of importance to me. When you still have a lady who is your "always companion" when you are there with her (6 years now) – a person who is all that one could ever wish for in a partner – kind, considerate, quietly-spoken, modest in dress, devoted to her family and her teenage son, never says anything critical about anyone, works two jobs, never asks me for a thing and still takes the time to be with me for as long as I am there – why is it that my heart and soul dwell, sometimes, with someone else whom I can no longer have? I already have a top-shelf diamond, exquisitely crafted by the hand of God. The reality is I am truly fortunate.
Today I put on a CD I had burned of some tracks from video clips of Thailand going right back to when I first became interested in mainstream Thai pop music. I loaded up the disc into the CD tray, put on the headphones and opened all the photos of the Old Don Meuang Airport in HD – and it was almost like being back there. Oh, how I wish that was so. The magic is still … oh, so powerful that it is hard to stay steady, as I can recall just about every arrival and departure from there (internationally and domestically). I want that back again (maybe just for a while). Wouldn't it be great to have a Time Machine? Yet, quantum mechanics speculates that everything that has ever happened, is still happening – just slightly out of sync. in a parallel existence. Perhaps we have those powers of access but are not yet aware of them – to be able to slip into any dimension we can imagine.
However my guess is that whoever / whatever intelligence (call it God if that makes you feel comfortable) is the ringmaster of this circus that we are contained in, is definitely too astute to allow any life-form, as low on the scale as humans, to have access to those powers. When one looks at the destruction that humans are capable of, is it any wonder that we are isolated and contained in an environment where the only escape is death? So what if we destroy this planet earth? There are, very likely, billions of others just like it throughout even this universe (assuming the universe or multiverse really exists).
When our sun (a G-type main-sequence star, halfway through it's lifetime of 10 billion years) runs out of hydrogen to power its nuclear fusion into helium, just over a billion years from now, it will grow into a red giant and expand outward until it vaporises the inner planets and turns this earth into a waterless, red-hot ball, destroying all life still remaining on it. Then the sun will collapse inwards and become immensely dense and end life as a white dwarf – so dense that one cubic centimetre would have a mass of several tonnes. Of course, we will never see that – nor would we like to, nor survive seeing it.
With this future to look forward to for the human race, all the gripes and moans about how awful things are in Thailand, according to some contributors, seem quite meaningless on the cosmic scale.
But back to the mundane:
Then I went to the BKK images, a few days ago, and it was just the same – but nothing is really just the same in the present – every time I go back there, something has changed. I don't crave for a homeland or for family – the thing I crave for is Thailand as I first knew it – the magic that captivated me from that first night I arrived. The strange, incomprehensible Thai script characters on billboards and road signs, the incomprehensible language on TV used by the presenters, getting to know the currency, finding your way around Bangkok and getting lost so many times, the dreams of finding someone who could be your partner for life, the thrill of anticipation of unimaginable sexual experiences compared to those in the West – all of these are a mere splinter from the big picture I remember so well.
But what about the really big picture?
If we do come back in another life (no apologies to the fundamentalist Christians), it may be on this planet – or it may not – but, of course, I would hope that life had all the attributes that one finds in Thailand. Perhaps that parallel Thailand would be the exact opposite of what we are accustomed to. A Thailand that has never known corruption, is industrious and hard-working – prosperous, outward-looking and very high-tech. There would be virtual females (androids) programmed to accommodate every desire imaginable – nobody would be hurt or deceived – or taken for the proverbial "bus-ride". Real Thai girls would be liberated and have equal status to men, sharing positions of power within the social structure. That may not suit some mongers – but it would do me just fine. Call me a dreamer if you like.
Of course, there may be another scenario – the possibility being that nothing of what we see or experience is real at all. Perhaps it is merely a hologram generated by the intelligence that runs the whole circus. We may only think we are in Thailand – or, taking that a step further, we may not even be what we think we are. Consider the possibility that we are pure spirit beings at various levels of evolvement – and the experiences that we have are generated lessons in this "classroom" as a test to determine if we are worthy to be raised to another level of awareness (all of this happening in our consciousness – nothing solid as we imagine).
If you worry about climate change and the environment – forget it because what you see now as unpleasant, in so many places on this planet, is a mere bagatelle compared to that which is coming and totally unpreventable by anything we can do. Thailand is merely a small blip on the scale of changes for this planet – look for pole reversal, tectonic upheaval that will see whole continents disappear under the sea and new ones rise to begin all over again. It has happened before – and it will continue in the cycle of renewal until our sun expands as a red giant. Then, it's "ta-ta Ted" – been a great ride (for some) but nothing lasts forever on this plane. The concept of time is totally irrelevant and this tiny kindergarten will then be closed. Oh, it may open up again somewhere else in the universe – but one thing's for sure – it won't be on Earth.
For The Fundamentalist Christians, perhaps you could join The Church Of Dana – you may be safe there – but I wouldn't count on it.
Thailand has changed and I think one should try and enjoy the Thailand of today, or move on and find the next "Thailand". There are a lot of other countries out there and I bet there are places where one can feel that same sort of excitement they did in their early days in Thailand. I think trying to relive past memories is best done looking over old photos or video, but trying to relive the past in the present is seldom a recipe for happiness.