13 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen alongside a short story called “Real Women Have Bodies” by Carmen Mari Machado.
What questions arise when I focus on the “faded women” as an object of Vedanta meditation?
A young woman, Lindsay, worked at a dress shop in a mall. Her boss liked her. Her co-worker had a bad attitude. Young men working in the photography studio taunted her. The dresses sold well, but something was strange about them. The news of the day reported a strange phenomenon. Women were fading away. No one really knew how it happened or what fading meant. First, the women couldn’t pay their rents. In one case, some heartless landlord captured on video a woman in her vulnerable, early stages, of her fading state, and the video went viral. Nothing could explain this phenomenon of women fading. Then Lindsay met Petra, whose mother was the dress shop’s seamstress. Petra showed Lindsay where the dresses were made and stored, a place where the faded women liked to hang out. The faded women liked to be sewn into the dresses. No one knew why or how to stop it. Lindsay and Petra began a love affair that ended when one of them fades. The news eventually started to report stories about faded women connected to terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, Lindsay grieved her lost love and wanted only to free faded women from being sewn into formal dresses. But even after all the dresses were destroy, the faded women stayed in the dress shop. They didn’t move.
Meditating on faded women, a Jnana yogi might ask, “When we see the gross realm of physical reality as the ever-changing mirage, and we see the subtle realm of Being, Consciousness, and Bliss as unchanging truth, doesn’t fading become a superpower?”