One of the the dumbest question ever (and repeatedly) asked is: "What came first the chicken or the egg?" This is a dumb question because nothing is served by the asking or the answering of it. The more useful question would be "How do we ensure healthy chickens and healthy eggs?" This moves us from wrestling in a senseless duality into the richness of connectedness, where the truth ever waits.
Our questions define us. The pedantic duality of OR encircles our lives. Choices are not created by such indolent thinking, they are reduced to a cartoon, a parody of the richness that is within and all around.
Sadly we are conditioned to think in terms of life as a logical, explainable, convenient trajectory, with a finite beginning and end. The the arc of all our reason is encircled in this mind-trap.
We are taught that our life cycle begins with our birth and ends with our death. Even the circumference the great teachers of connectedness (Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, Nanak etc.,) is bound by dates as if when they were born or passed away matters?
Old Shak evokes the inevitable cycles of the four seasons, these are inevitable, regardless of how we anticipate them, view them, dress up for them. They are what they are, they don't need us and perhaps for what it's worth, perhaps we should learn to respect them for what they can teach us.
That life is a continuous, endless flow of destruction and renewal. Birth is not a beginning because it is the outcome of all that came before. Death is not an ending because the mark we leave, the impact we have on those who we have touched, good or ill, remains.
As the winter solstice passes us today from one part of a year into the next, who will mourn the death of 2011? We know it and are all that occurred in it, this will remain part of us beyond our physical existence, we are the parents of these memories as we were and are origin-al in them.
"The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original"
A Midsummer-Night’s Dream (Act II, Scene I)