Friday, September 28, 2012

The Xin-Xin Ming V: Reality

Scott Bradley

"The Way is perfect, as vast space is perfect, where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. Indeed, it due to our grasping and rejecting that we do not know the true nature of things."

Can we in fact "know the true nature of things"? I don't think so, but neither do I think it matters. What does seem clear, however, is that we can have an experience wherein we might believe we have come to 'know' the true nature of things, and that is certainly worth having.

But again, does it matter whether it is or is not? Why would that matter unless we believed that it should? But if we believed that it should, then we would be 'grasping' for something, some 'ground', something upon which to depend.

It's all subjectivity, of course. Pure subjectivity. It's not about something out there, but about that of which the mind is capable of experiencing in and as itself. What does Reality have to do with it? Perhaps everything; perhaps nothing. But once again, why should that matter? Surely, we are not in search of The Answer?

This experience of Dao is one of vastness. Zhuangzi describes it as "the vast wilds of open nowhere." Boundless. Limitless. Indefinable. Nowhere. Undifferentiated. It contains all things, yet there are no things. In what way can we participate in it? We cannot. We can only be it. But to be it is not to be any specific someone.

I blabber. What possible point could this post have but for me, together with you, to meditate on this Dao? Perhaps we might get an inkling. Perhaps we might get more than that.

But Seng-Ts'an does give us some practical instruction. It is in the absence of grasping and rejecting, of choosing, of preferring, of liking and disliking that this experience arises. We might also try that. He also tells us that if we can manage to do so for even a moment, we will have more than just an inkling.

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

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