Silly Musings on Keeping Your Hands Off

“The arising and the elimination of illusion are both illusory. Illusion is not something rooted in Reality; it exists because of your dualistic thinking.

If you will only cease to indulge in opposed concepts such as ‘ordinary’ and ‘Enlightened’, illusion will cease of itself. And then if you still want to destroy it wherever it may be, you will find that there is not a hairsbreadth left of anything on which to lay hold.

This is the meaning of: ‘I will let go with both hands, for then I shall certainly discover the Buddha in my mind’.”

‘The nature of the Mind when understood, No human speech can compass or disclose. Enlightenment is naught to be attained, And he that gains it does not say he knows.’

-Bodhidharma

—from The Zen Teaching of Huang Po

I’ve been studying the early sources of zen, which is the Japanese name and Buddhist/Indian sources. I use the lower case there because what is written is not Zen. You can’t really study Zen on anonymous social media sites. But the discussions can be interesting and revealing of our dualitic thinking.

Anyone claiming truth is making a power play.

No word can reveal this, silence enshrines it. 

Piercing sensory perception and conceptual thought brings an immediate end to illusion. This is directly seeing and perceiving with the mysterious intuition. This awareness is not exclusive to Zen. Plotinus and Eckart seemed to have come to the same place as the sages. 

Hands off, yes, indeed. 

—-

I think this is where the best art comes from.

Feeling this fire is one aspect, but walking into it is a whole other experience.

Walking into the fire is an act of self immolation, sacrifice and an overcoming of fear and is maybe the only courageous thing we can do.

No longer bound by talent or skill or lack thereof, but truly transcending these. 

I would say walking into the fire is an act of faith as well and opens a portal to nowhere and everywhere.

The raw expression of Jack Kerouac from ‘On the Road’ or the writing of his insane mad friend, Neal Cassady, being western examples.

An enlightened, if sad teacher, Harold Bloom, explored the American Sublime deeply through our literature. I like his thinking on these subjects. He’s a bit too brilliant for me though 😉

Reading Jack Kerouac again and Neal recently and Bloom’s Opus, The Daemon Knows as well as the old zen texts.

Jack and his band of merry fools were maybe Holy Barbarians.

Something in their Barbarian ways speaks deeply to me.

I spent my own wild crazy days on the road. 

Now I just enjoy sitting in the garden. 

But that fire lifts you up at key times and can consume you. 

It is too intense to live in. 

The Open Road somehow feels like a quick path to death. 

How many artists have been destructively consumed by the fire of their passions?

But our deeper passions can save us.

Compare these artistic shooting stars to the sages who lived to 120.

I can’t say one way is better than the other.

But I’m in no hurry to shuffle off this mortal coil. 

https://www.christies.com/features/neal-cassady-long-lost-letter-to-jack-kerouac-comes-to-auction-7393-1.aspx

Blow your horn!

Rage rage rage against the dying of the light.

Published by

an ole smelly goat

nothing interesting

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