In praise of No-Passion

From passion arises suffering and from passion arises fear. If a man is free from passion, he is free from suffering and from fear. (*)

To be passionate is to suffer. Passion is neither enjoyment nor euphoria: it implicates submission to an emotional state that overwhelms and dominates. What would happen if for a moment we could experiment life without pashko, without the suffering that makes us passive beings?

There is a way to accede to that condition, that does not consist precisely in being invaded by indifference and apathy: from those states, experience as it is, is put aside leaving no possibility to transform the experience into something capable of substantially modifying our lives. The self-chosen and maintained actions along the Path lead to paradox: intentionally searching for detachment.

I could try to be explicit and sketch that Path with my own words: it would only be a sketch, trying to describe the ineffable. Even so, in art there is state that acts like the deep waters, dissolving and aggregating all, without the artist (a surface’s transient) realizing it.

What is an artist’s desire? To express what he wants. What is his major suffering? Not finding the way to express it.

Passion, even though serenely expressed (la force tranquile), pulses like living being’s metabolism at its minimum vital signs, at the threshold between life and death. Detention, gathering, latency, retreat in simple, longing for nothing.

I have decided to assume the risk. This series of simple metaphors intends to reflect the roads that lead to No-Passion, seen as a plentiful realization of a human being. The three stages (Cessation, Introspection, Illumination) are not more than renderings of a passionate photographer -that is, a suffering photographer’s outlines that glimpses the way to extinguish passion, knowing he will never be able to.

The beholder will not find visual stridencies in these photographs: there was no such thing when That that has no name took control of my actions, leaving me alone, impassive, in an infinite and dark space, in total freedom.

Architect, finally I know you: you will never build your house in me again.

Siddhartha Gautama
The Buddha

Desire’s end –
Somebody is liberated
And doesn’t know it

R.F.I. / 2012

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