Here I Stumble, Part I
by Scott Bradley
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.