Friday, April 5, 2013

Occupying Oneself III

Scott Bradley


In the previous post I spoken of occupying one's body as oneself. This is not a denial of mind or the 'spiritual', but of integrating all of this human experience into a whole. The implications of such a perspective have a profound effect upon how we understand and thus relate to our death. The dualistic belief that we are other-than this body is probably largely an attempt to alleviate our fear of death; we 'go on'. Such a belief, for those who can sustain it, is no doubt helpful. And let's face it, we need help. For those unable to invest themselves in such a belief, however, there is this more holistic perspective. Zhuangzi's "hiding the world in the world" is a metaphorical way of presenting this perspective. When we become the world (just as the world is Mystery), there is nowhere for "us" to be lost. All that is required is that we so entrust ourselves.

This does not involve guarantees. This is not some promise of the continuity of identity. It is simply an affirmation and acceptance of things as they are, however they are. There is nothing here to depend on. Nothing has to be 'true' for this to work.

To be one's body is to be the world. "From dust to dust" presents a psychological problem only when we fail to appreciate how wonderful dust is. Dust is God. Dust is Dao. Dust is everything. Is there anything that is not everything?

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

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