Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Zen Moment

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.
The Heart Sutra

When I say something is done in a void, I mean the doing constitutes the entire universe. I write; the whole world writes. I am the world, there is nothing else. The world is nothing but the writing at that moment.

     The Buddha is reported to have said there is no abiding reality. Thus "you drink from an empty cup and listen to the sound of one hand clapping."

     How best to cope with estrangement from reality.

     Alienation is a mode of experience in which the person is estranged from himself and/or reality. To the existentialist life is a project to end this estrangement. From the ancients to Hegel the philosophical task was to find the universal essence, the immutableness of being - key Buddha's statement. Hegel was the last of this trend. Kierkegaard rejected this classical notion that man should seek universal essence objectively (Heaven) asserting that it should be found subjectively, within man  himself.

     If there is no abiding Real then whatever fills the moment becomes realities' surrogate.

     Does this mean that everything is permitted? Perhaps. Is the boundary condition only that there is no boundary? If there is no abiding reality on what basis is there morality?

     Plato uses Beauty to describe a way out of this conundrum. We can come to understand what is really going on here by realizing that we actually "see right through beauty, past the object, to the real itself." The Buddha, of course, is right. Were there an abiding reality then it would take on the characteristics of a material object. We need to understand that though it is indefinable, unknowable, unfathomable, the abiding reality is there, just not in a way sentient life forms can grasp. One cannot grasp, hold, own, Beauty, Truth, Moral Justice. A kind of Ontological Undecidability (Kelly Ross) is the result.

     Though unknowable we yet participate in the Real. And, since Faith is, at least I think so, a facet of the same Divinity as Beauty, the we might see right through Faith to to God 'himself'.

     And, finally, the Buddha's saying there is not an abiding reality is tantamount to saying there is no God which is what Soren Kierkegaard said, though he added salient context. God Does not Exist. He is Eternal. To me that is beautiful beyond words - we see right through the thought to Reality itself. God is not - because material existence doesn't pertain.

     An abiding Real is not, because material existence does not pertain.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


We are not the subject of the Real.  We are the object.  Its not what.  It's who.  The subject is material, the object, spiritual.  Also, the Real is what we perceive. (Merleau-Ponty)  That's good enough.  Question not whether It is Real.  Whether it is an ephemera, a dream, matters not.  It's the hand we've been dealt.

Neither must one go through guilt to reach salvation. Heaven is within; its not a destination. This place we find ourselves actually is the promised land of the Bible. To become self-centered is the essence of the Christian fall from grace. Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit is a metaphor for this. It represents the move from living in the spirit to living in the material, to identify with the body instead of the spirit. From there we tend to project our being as an object onto the whole of reality. So reason pertains only to the material aspect, principle. When Pascal said "The heart has its reasons which reason can never understand." he is saying the heart is the faculty of spirit. Clearly he places the heart above. Spirit over matter.

The subject of the Real is the soul, the person as a self-realizing spirit, and the role of the material in this play is as a mere facilitator -  it is the mechanism whereby the soul grows its self knowledge and more importantly, understanding. The emergence of Religion and Science in the forms they have taken are based on the person identifying not with the spirit but with his material side. Religion posits the source of Truth in an absolute other, material other - God as a thing (among things). It then places that material object on an ever receding horizon and sets man up to eternally chase after it, forever to end his longing in frustration. Science, similarly, posits the source of Truth in mere measurement - which is always measurement of 'something', a material object, again, on an ever receding horizon. It eternally reformulates its measurements to ostensibly close in on a final grand unifying theory.

Ultimately, these are infinite regresses of effort by man to define his material self in a spiritual world, doomed to failure. The more you cling to the Real, the more it slips from your grasp. How can one own Beauty? Truth? Its easier to own something like the color Red. Meaning, we chase after qualities of the Real hoping that we can fill the void at our center that is best filled with understanding that discovery is the action of the unknown, the unknowable.

Soren Kierkegaard: "Life is a mystery to live, not a mystery to solve."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Night Baseball (redux)


Halo of light.
Small figures,
Moving mundane ritual.
Crickets chirrup.
Bats c r r a c k!

Gene pools encounter
In self predatory embrace
Of pedagogue time's
Choreographed cascade
Of tumult tormented evolutes
In perpetual awakening
To combat and

    April 27, 1991


    The voice of the void:  "Alive, I can't die; Dead, I can't be born."