Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are you P'ung?

Scott Bradley


Are you P'ung? Am I P'ung? Are we all P'ung?

P'ung is the vast bird that rises out of Mysterious Beginning and soars to Mysterious Return. Beginning as a vast fish K’un (roe) who has not-yet-begun-to-exist, a mere possibility of a fish, he transforms into a vast bird P'ung , who with the force of a hurricane rises up while harnessing the winds of Nature to take flight into existence.

Are you P’ung? All existence is P’ung. P’ung is existence. And what is existence? It is that vast arising from out of primal chaos, out of beginnings before beginnings, out of what has not-yet-begun-to-exist. It is Yang arising from Yin. To what end? To return once again.

Yet never does P’ung forget K’un. Never does existence forget its origin in non-existence. Nor can existence when self-aware be whole and complete except in remembrance of non-existence.

You are P’ung, but are you also K’un? You are also K’un, but are you living your non-existence while living your existence? Have you discovered that you “have not-yet-to-begun-to-exist”? Have you realized your head as nothingness, your spine as life, and your ass as death? This, Zhuangzi tells us, is the key to roaming and soaring in life. This is understanding how life and death are a single reality. This is how one becomes “identical with” the Great Openness. When everything embraces its nothingness, everything is complete.

My cosmogony may be off in a few details; blame it on Kuang-Ming Wu who has encouraged me to such flights of interpretive fancy. “This universe of freedom is that of creativity in polarity of tarrying and soaring . . . Only the bird can see things from above [soar] . . . The fish tarries and roams in water . . . The bird is predominantly striving; only fish can mutually forget each other in the rivers and lakes, darting and roaming around in self-enjoyment. . . . It takes both, the soaring bird and the roaming fish to be free and creative in the limitless universe” (The Butterfly as Companion).

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

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