Sunday, August 28, 2011

Closer to Reality?

Closer to Reality?
by Scott Bradley


"Buddha-nature transcends all human statement....Hence one will have to make efforts to come as close as possible to reality. This is best achieved by stating [quoting Dogen, quoting Kandadeva] the "openness and vastness, emptiness and lucidity of Buddha-nature." (Dumoulin; Zen Enlightenment)

I find this statement very curious in many ways. Yet, when at first reading I completely misunderstood what was meant by coming "close to reality", it greatly impacted me. I took it literally. We must come closer to Reality — should we wish to experience It to the fullest.

But if Reality is all that is—including all that we are, think and do — how could we get any closer than we already are? We are It. Only in experientially realizing this identity with Reality do we get "closer" to It. But this is not "closer" at all. There is no getting "closer" to what is, just as there is no getting "closer" in definition to what is Buddha-nature, as the above quote seems to suggest.

The impetus to "achieve" absolutely permeates our world view. The belief that we must change, become something better, ever manifests itself in our 'spiritual' endeavors. Yet, to realize Reality as what we are, as we are, is to break the back this dualistic tyranny. You are It. All is well. "That art Thou".

I quote the classic Indic formula, but I do not wish to imply any content to "That". "That" is utter Mystery and what the implications of being "That" are, I have not a clue. Perhaps It's Cosmic Consciousness. Or maybe It's Zhuangzi's Great Clump. It makes no difference.

When I mis-read Dumoulin's "get as close as possible to reality", I experienced something of the reality of being Reality. I find this curiously instructive. What if a woman was walking down a forest path, and upon seeing a snake, suddenly realized in fear the folly of fear, and in that realized release into Vastness — only to subsequently discover the 'snake' was only a stick? It would not matter. She has awakened. And this is what I mean when I say that we do not need to 'get it right' to get It. It has nothing whatsoever to do with objectively knowing anything about the Truth of Reality.

There was a man
Who saw a rat
And realized Unity.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

1 comment:

  1. Anything, urinating from a cliff on magic mushrooms or buying a stamp and posting a letter can be the key to inseeing what all these pointers point to. Quite, it does not matter what it is. And, it does not matter if it ever happens or not. It is the way already, known or not.

    Knowing you know is very likely proof you don't, as knower and known are dual. Being and not knowing anything of knowing is how to be but not being that is no further from it.

    What draws us to write is either to point others to a pointer we liked or to express something of the inexpressible - both farcical but pleasurable all the same, and both as real as each other.

    ReplyDelete

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