MR. BRAY

Studios, LLC

503-334-7521

       MR BRAY

A boutique design & animation shop that dissolves the line between studio and agency.

Six Realms: The God Realm

As we approach this final realm I want to get really personal. Life happens all around us and it's impossible to truly separate ourselves from what we're going through and the work we're doing. For me there's been an intense amount of change that's been taking place. My spouse and partner for the past twelve years left me and filed for a divorce. This has all created a whirlwind of events, especially since it came as such a surprise. The state that I reside in is particularly unique as my divorce will be finalized in as little as a week or up to 30days. The speed and the shock of this event has rattled my cage. I was living in an emotional ivory tower. Now that tower has been burned and torn down. I wanted to frame this post with this reality. All is not lost in my life, in many ways the complete opposite. However losing my best friend has been both heart breaking and emotionally sobering. To echo a teaching I've steadily been learning through these Buddhist lessons that "anything external can be taken from you". 

Let us begin with a little story I call "The Marble Man".

Looking out from his tower was a life of luxury. No want nor need ever crossed his mind. If anything he felt complete in all sense of the word. He lacked nothing and even felt both insulated and enlightened. Here was the Marble Man. Full of grace and supernatural wisdom, at least from his perspective. The Marble Man would often look below his tower and at times take a detached pity on the struggling commoners, as if they were ants busying themselves about in a pointless flurry. He knew they lived a worry filled existence. He knew they fought and clawed for everything in there lives. And he knew they had it all wrong! 

Until one day this Marble Man awoke from his comfy bed with a strain in his neck. Throughout the day the kink never loosened. Actually the pain grew worse and even spread across his back and shoulders. By evening the Marble Man's whole body was racked in pain. He went for the mirror and what he saw terrified him. He was no longer the man chiseled of stone in perpetual health no now he was an aged man drained of all youth. He was old. This eventuality of his death struck him to the core. He had been given all the comforts and graces one could possibly of imagined. Yet none of that would reverse the inevitable. The Marble Man was like all things in nature reaching his end.


The story of the Marble Man is a picture of all thinking that places us in the God realm. When we're insulated we become detached from our own mortality and from the suffering around us. This is not to say that all comforts are inherently evil, heavens no! Yet to quote a lyric from one of my favorite bands, Remy Zero, "fine living makes us slow". The God realm is in my opinion the realm of the comfortable blind. When we're blind to suffering, be that from a false sense of certainty we will stumble on our own mortality, at least eventually. As I framed this story with the backdrop of some excruciatingly painful life events I'm going through - in many ways the level of certainty I had in my partner was an illusion. No one person, at least no mortal person can ever truly be a rock or complete certainty to us. And it's this faith in these impermanent people and situations that blind fold us from reality. Everything that is external can be taken from us. So the real solution is to find balance with the certainty of uncertainty. To love ourselves first before we can begin to love others. And to hold on loosely to things and others lest we become dependent on them not changing.

Thank you so much for listening to me on my journey.

Stay present,


-Jesse