Sunday, March 17, 2013

The One Revealed I

Scott Bradley

Each thing reveals the One, / the One manifests as all things. / To live in this Realization / is not to worry about perfection or non-perfection. / To put your trust in the Heart-Mind / is to live without separation, / and in this non-duality you are one with your Life-Source.
Xin-Xin Ming (Seng-Ts'an?; Richard B. Clarke, translator)
Zhouzi asks Wen, "Tell me Wen, have you ever seen an insect that failed to be an insect?" "Each thing reveals the One", have you discovered the One in an insect? There are, no doubt, profound philosophical complications that arise when we attempt to unite a name with a thing, but should we forge ahead and do so, these complications fall away. Experiencing the unity of an insect in-itself, its absolute is-ness, we cannot but experience it in ourselves. Experiencing oneness in ourselves, we cannot but experience it as the One.

Unlike the insect, we are self-aware and, consequentially, experience ourselves as becoming, rather than being. Sartre expressed this difference as being-in-itself and being-for-itself. This latter requires that we in some way be separated from ourselves: "Being-for-itself is a being such that it is what it is not, and is not what it is." (Being and Nothingness) This is descriptive of the human experience; it is not intended to make metaphysical assertions. The experience of unity in ourselves, and consequentially of the One, is a transcending of the implications of both being in- and for-itself; logically mutually exclusive, the simultaneous experience of both is realization of the One.

These are the words. If indeed all things reveal the One, then we needn't look far to put it to the test.

Like insects, we are passing phenomena, and it is as such we experience Oneness. Unlike Zen, of which the Xin-Xin Ming is perhaps the earliest known expression, philosophical Daoism does not suggest that our experience of being guarantees a continuity of being. Rather, our oneness is with the ever-transforming; static Being, the guarantor of identity, is utterly alien to Daoism. Philosophical Daoism does not declare, "I Am". To do so would be to make a metaphysical assertion for which it finds no ground, in either logic or experience.

So also with the One: "When such dualities cease to exist, Oneness itself cannot exist." Oneness is an experience, not a thing.

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

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