Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Clear Oneness of Heaven II

Scott Bradley

You temporarily get involved in something or other and proceed to call it 'myself' — but how can we know if what we call 'self' has any 'self' to it? You dream you are a bird and find yourself soaring in the heavens, you dream you are a fish and find yourself submerged in the depths. I cannot even know if what I am saying now is a dream or not.... But when you rest securely in your place in the sequence, however things are arranged, and yet separate each passing transformation from the rest, then you enter into the clear oneness of Heaven.
(Zhuangzi, 6:50-1; Ziporyn)
Rather than burning incense to this passage, I will honor it by simply sharing it once again. And rather than commenting on it again, I will share the comments of others.

Guo Xiang (252-312): "I take each transformation, both life and death, as 'me'. Since all are me, how can I ever be lost? Since I've never been lost, what worries can I have?...There is nothing I fail to take as me, so inner and outer are invisibly unified, past and present strung together on one thread, constantly renewed along with all transformation—so how could anyone know where the 'me' is once for all?"

Lu Huiqing (1032-1111): "Knowing 'there have never yet begun to be any things', you no longer see any difference between inner and outer, life and death."

Li Zhi (1527-1602): "When you are dreaming you don't know it's a dream; so when you come to be awake, how could you know that it is wakefulness?"

Joe the Zen Master (fl. 21st Cen.): “Zen discovers the Unchanging; Zhuangzi discovers the Ever-Changing. She who discovers either, discovers both, and clings to neither.”

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

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