Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Subjective Thinking

Subjective Thinking
by Scott Bradley

In many of the selections from the various ancient Zen masters which I have been reading are frequent references to subjective versus objective thinking. Often these comments seem contradictory, so I imagined a project to try and sort it all out and present my findings here. But that's too much work, and beyond my ability, in any case.

But why do I need to understand what they meant? I have a mind, and a will to understand what it is up to. And this is precisely what these guys tell us to do. Look within. Figure it out for yourself. There is no other way.

Most every morning I have my little contemplative time. This is intended to set me on a positive path for the day (though it doesn't generally last long) and to explore this experience of being me. With a mind full of chatter, where to begin? You know my koan: There are no conditions to meet. I say koan because to 'understand' this is to shatter the shell of subjective thinking.

Here's a peek inside that shell. Immediately, my thoughts are on how to be transcendent. This implies non-transcendence. This leads to an opposition of being-this and not-being-that. And this leads to striving. This is subjective and conditional thinking. Picture a little solar system of thoughts chasing each other while revolving around a subject — me.

Enter the hammer: There are no conditions to meet. It is already true of me. No tail-chasing is required. There has never been anything but Unity. A more transcendent view arises.

But this transcendence is only superficial; it hasn't penetrated my being. I must truly break through, I my tail. There are no conditions to meet. Not even that I realize this. A new boundary emerges; I sense its presence. A more transcendent way of being is possible. Will I cross over?

Do you believe it is already true of you? That there is nothing you need become? Do you sense the boundary which, were you to cross over, would be an entirely new and revolutionary way of being in the world? It may be that you do. Maybe you do not. Perhaps you think this is a pile of tripe. Great. Look within. Figure it out for yourself. Or don't. It doesn't matter. All is well.

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

1 comment:

  1. I agree with 4 of the 5 concluding sentences.

    No need


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