Sunday, October 9, 2011

Here I Stumble, Part I

Here I Stumble, Part I
by Scott Bradley

Summarizing the Zen experience, Foyan says, "It's just a matter of reaching the source of mind."

That seems straightforward and easy enough, at least as something to grasp, but here I stumble. I always stumble at something fundamental whenever I study these things. And without the 'fundamental' that particular door is shut. I do try end-runs, however. If I have difficulties with these ideas, then there is something to learn about myself and my path in them. And I presume to say that sometimes it feels like bringing Zen to Zen. Perhaps the greatest power of Zen is its self-immolating character. Always it must return to No-Zen to be Zen.

It might be that you have no problems with statements like the one above. What I write here is not intended to question that. I'm just working things through for myself in the context of my own history and chosen path.

If I am to attempt to reach the source of mind, I must first assume there is such a source. Yet if the source of mind is the brain, an electro-chemical and material thing, then that dispenses with a discussion of mind as something transcendent. It's not that I believe that the mind is the brain, but that I simply do not know one way or the other.

It may well be that I have fettered myself with this refusal to pursue metaphysical concepts, to embrace and act upon ideas such as a source for mind. But without the will to believe, I have little choice but to follow this path. So, I'll just see where it leads. And then I will die, and none of it will have mattered.

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


  1. answer for yourself that if the source of mind is brain where this brain came from and you'll see that this sticking point is no where near where you should really have been placing effort. It is a tiny whirlpool.

    the brain is a dead lump. Stand up.

  2. I think a way of putting what I was trying to say earlier is the story of the cart and its parts.

    The story where the one person removes various parts of the cart asking, is this still a cart.

    The brain is nothing alone and neither are a heart brain combination, neither is a body alone without, air, land to stand...

    Can we really say that it took all of these parts to make for conciousness?

    All these dead individual lifeless parts? Doesn't sound like Tao to me.


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