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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Also it is no less



Lest anyone practicing other practices be concerned, I don't, or I hope I don't, push Zen as a religious faith. I like facts. There seems to me to be some facts around Zen. So I'm looking into them. I think of myself as kind of an investigative reporter.

I'm of the notion that the present moment is all-inclusively authentic, and can be made to appear to be inauthentic only through delusion, or the will to inauthenticity (which takes place within authenticity -- a form of self-abnegation, if you will).

A flower is a flower, you are you, but also you, beholding a flower, are both you and the flower (also not you and not the flower but that gets needlessly complicated for a blog post).

If you bow to the flower in a ceremonial way, in this moment the bow is authentic and alive, like (and inclusive of) you and the flower. That's my provisional ontology, subject to revision or refutation as evidence arises.

And as there is (IMHO) only ever the present, there's no way you can bow to the flower without the whole universe also doing so, for the universe has a different shape than it would have, were you not bowing, and this is true in both directions: the universe at its inception is the one in which you (will) bow, and at its end is the one in which you bow(ed).

Here's the thing: pick a religious observance, such as the Christian communion. The glass (perhaps containing port, or Welch's grape juice -- I grew up with the latter) is raised, the pastor or priest or whomever quotes "drink this in remembrance of Me" and, well, down the hatch.

This too is a living gesture in the present that has no beginning and no end, and includes you, the other communicants present, all other communicants, the street on which the church building is placed, and the homeless person in the alley behind the church. It transcends (tricky word but let's go with it) what we call time, such that we are present at the original Last Supper, and also at the last Last Supper.

So, that's part of my current take on why I am attracted to interpath dialogue.

But also (again IMHO), secularity is no escape from this ontology; some of us woo-woo types sometimes say things to the effect is "nothing is sacred and everything is sacred" -- often with a little laugh, perhaps hoping not to be burned at the stake -- but, though we may fervently apply Occam's Razor to our fullest Hitchensian extent, a flower may be no more than a flower, but also it is no less.




この法は、人々の分上にゆたかにそなわれりといえども、いまだ修せざるにはあらはれず、証せざ るにはうるこ となし

"This Dharma is abundantly present in each human being, but if we do not practice it, it does not manifest itself, and if we do not experience it, it cannot be realized." (Dogen, Bendowa tr. Nishijima and Cross)



1 comment:

  1. Close to panpsychism, q.v. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Panpsychism

    I'm not going to assert panpsychism, merely note that entities aware of other entities and acting upon them seem to be doing stuff that is not all accounted for in the math available to those accepting Galileo's limits to the range of physics study. This is, in my case, merely open-ended wonder, I think. Should panpsychism be found to be testable I will want to be among the first to know.

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