Adventures : Zeph Tales (7)

Continued from

A Warped Nirvana

Zeph came across the following quote in a Buddhist blog…

As life and death is meaningless, only transcendence of life and death is meaningful. When one helps all to do likewise life after life, life and death becomes infinitely meaningful. – Stonepeace

MM900043731He thought… ‘It would be all too easy and foolish to assume that this life is the be-all of all that is, that death is the great end-all of everything.’ The honest truth is, it is unlikely to be so – because there is so much that we do not know – of how we came to be, before this life, and where we might go to, after this life. It would be too big a gamble to think that this life has absolutely no consequences in the hereafter. What matters now matters now – and what we matters now can matter later too.

If there is an afterlife, I might be wondering the exact same things in the next life. Would that new life be the be-all and end-all? If life and death happens in cycles, what I do now will ultimately matter. I would be able to advance, I would be able to better myself life after life. I might even be able to break free from these otherwise pointless cycles of birth and death.

This must be what the Buddhists call enlightenment. True Nirvana – not like the tragic ‘release’ that Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the band ‘Nirvana’ gave himself. That cannot be true Nirvana. He should had thought… ‘It would be all too easy and foolish to assume that this life is the be-all of all that is, that death is the great end-all of everything.’ It’s all the more ironic that Cobain shot himself for ‘freedom’, forever tainting the word “Nirvana”. May he have a better rebirth. May he advance towards realising true Nirvana.

The first and greatest hit of Nirvana was ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. From : ‘The song was dubbed an “anthem for apathetic kids” of Generation X, but the band grew uncomfortable with the success and attention they received. In the years since Nirvana’s breakup, listeners and critics have continued to praise “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as one of the greatest rock songs of all time…’

In the wake of Nirvana’s success, Michael Azerrad wrote in a 1992 Rolling Stone article, ‘”Smells Like Teen Spirit” is an anthem for (or is it against?) the “Why Ask Why?” generation. Just don’t call Cobain a spokesman for a generation.’ Nevertheless, the music press awarded the song an ‘anthem-of-a-generation’ status, placing Cobain as a reluctant spokesman for Generation X…

The lyrics to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ were often difficult for listeners to decipher, both due to their nonsensicality and because of Cobain’s slurred, guttural singing voice. This problem was compounded by the fact that the Nevermind album liner notes did not include any lyrics for the songs aside from selected lyrical fragments…

Cobain has said, ‘The entire song is made up of contradictory ideas […] It’s just making fun of the thought of having a revolution. But it’s a nice thought.’ Drummer Dave Grohl has stated he does not believe the song has any message, and said, ‘Just seeing Kurt write the lyrics to a song five minutes before he first sings them, you just kind of find it a little bit hard to believe that the song has a lot to say about something. You need syllables to fill up this space or you need something that rhymes.’

Is the song not a reflection of life itself, of how some see life? I’m not of the ‘Why ask why’ generation. I’m someone of the ‘why not ask why’ kind. Let me strive for Nirvana. Even if there is no Nirvana, that ought to get me to somewhere close to it – the transcendence of life and death. And if I do get there, may I help others do the same. I think I’m starting to ‘smell’ like a Buddhist. But why not? Whatever ‘reeks’ of truth, I’ll check it out. From the song, are these lyrics –

I found it hard
It’s hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind

What did Cobain want to find? Truth? Freedom? Happiness? Me? I’ll never ‘never mind’ it all. I can’t. Even if it’s my curse, I’ll make it my blessing. I have no better choice.

Related videos:

Original Nirvana music video:
Much more contemplative version by Tori Amos:

Continues at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.