Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Everyday Nirvana II

Scott Bradley


David Loy (in Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi) makes reference to Nagarjuna's observation that the everyday world is nirvana. Samsara is nirvana. Maya is nirvana. Delusion is nirvana. Buddha is a shit-wiping stick.

If we take a non-dual world view seriously . . . well then, all this differentiation between states of awareness and what not ultimately has to be revealed for the bullshit that it is. I choose to be vulgar here because vulgarity too is nirvana.

It is not that there are not possible awakening experiences, but that to think of them as somehow separate and other than taking your morning dump is to deny the non-dual nature of which they ostensibly consist.

Believing in 'enlightenment' we think there is something that needs to be achieved. Reality is in the future, not now. We are pulled out of our present. We believe we have to become someone else, experience something else, understand something else.

Yeah, yeah, we need to be enlightened here and now; it has to happen now. No. Nothing needs to happen. My fucked-up present reality is it. Fucked-up is nirvana. Rejoice and be glad.

"No-conditions-to-meet" is just this. Do you get it? (I'm trying, but can't say that I have.) It's true of you now. It's not true of some hypothetical buddha-nature or original-nature; it's true of the fucked-up you in your present fucked-upped-ness. Enough already with the abstractions.

Not fucked-up? Then you are either a sage or un-self-aware. If the former, I beg to be your disciple.

Thank you Darwin. I am a (not-so) hairless ape; a product of evolution without any known purpose; without any 'spiritual birthright'; without an ‘original nature’; without some back-door, sleight of hand preservation of my identity; without redemption or any need for redemption. And that is perfectly compatible with Loy's interpretation of a passage in the Zhuangzi to the effect that "everything is a manifestation of the Dao." Dao is this Happening and every happening, however momentary or ‘unspiritual’, is Dao; nothing else is on offer.

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

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