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Even the Slightest Thing Is Dust

 
EN
 
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12 October 2019 14:33
 

So do nothing?  Just be who you are?  How does this jive with climate change action?  Maybe I’m misunderstanding the quote.

 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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13 October 2019 09:35
 
EN - 07 October 2019 09:25 AM

What if my original mind is all screwed up?

It is. Not through the concept of ‘original sin’, but by imperfect evolutionary brain physiology or nature coupled with your upbringing and life experiences, nurture.

 
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13 October 2019 12:35
 
proximacentauri - 13 October 2019 09:35 AM
EN - 07 October 2019 09:25 AM

What if my original mind is all screwed up?

It is. Not through the concept of ‘original sin’, but by imperfect evolutionary brain physiology or nature coupled with your upbringing and life experiences, nurture.

Original sin had nothing to do with my post, but now I have to defend against this.  But I’m too lazy to do so because of my screwed up original mind. Zen!!!

 
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13 October 2019 13:39
 
EN - 12 October 2019 02:33 PM

So do nothing?  Just be who you are?  How does this jive with climate change action?  Maybe I’m misunderstanding the quote.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHnRIAVXTMQ 

Not knowing each other, suppose we’re both standing near this woman in the subway car, and we both get caught up in her mirth.  There it is.  That doesn’t mean that if there’s a power outage the train isn’t going to stop.  (cause and effect)  But for a few minutes even the slightest thing is dust and we get off the train feeling better.

“To understand or not to understand, both are mistaken views.”  -  Zen

Some adepts know how to effortlessly give the mind a break for a few seconds or a minute - a break from the usual challenges and vexations of this life.  You do the same with Jesus and that experience you had . . . but, as you know, in genuine mirth, even that vanishes for a minute or two.

 

 
 
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13 October 2019 18:36
 

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

 
Traces Elk
 
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14 October 2019 07:23
 
EN - 13 October 2019 06:36 PM

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

Reality is over-rated by some. I could call it something else, like Barber’s Adagio For Strings, but what would that prove?

[ Edited: 14 October 2019 07:26 by Traces Elk]
 
 
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14 October 2019 09:53
 
Traces Elk - 14 October 2019 07:23 AM
EN - 13 October 2019 06:36 PM

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

Reality is over-rated by some. I could call it something else, like Barber’s Adagio For Strings, but what would that prove?

None of it proves anything. It’s just a matter of saying “this what I experience, and this is what I believe.”  It may be that we are all in the gut of a celestial monster, in the process of being digested.  None of us has objective access to the big picture.

 
nonverbal
 
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14 October 2019 11:23
 

No word is the “best word” for anything of course, but some words carry ancient and obfuscating baggage which can tend to twist things up for the reader of—or listener to—that word. Reality is certainly one such word. That is, it contains so much nonsense in its recorded history as to be unreliable in current use in serious discussions, in my sadly singular opinion. Casually spoken or written, “reality” remains a terrific and useful word. But it means nothing specific enough for “serious” discussion (as though we’re serious discussers, right?).

Adagio for Strings reflects truly serious business.

 
unsmoked
 
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14 October 2019 11:27
 
EN - 13 October 2019 06:36 PM

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

Well, as the Beatles sang, “Nothing is real.”  That certainly seems to be the case at the quantum level but we don’t live there. 

Zen isn’t talking about ‘the vanishing of the mind’.  It’s only suggesting that you experiment with the quieting of the self . . . even for a minute . . . giving the mind a break from the usual clamor of the self.  That’s why I mentioned the contagious laughter in the subway car in yesterday’s post.  (shown in video)

Last night on CBS 60 Minutes there was a segment about experiments using psilocybin mushrooms to treat depression, addiction, etc.

If you took the time to watch this episode, you might notice that when the ‘self-centered’ parts of the brain are quiet, the mind has a chance to make all kinds of connections that are usually blocked by our usual preoccupations.

They aren’t advocating the use of mind-altering drugs.  I only mention this because it is scientific suggestion that when the self is quiet we might experience valuable insights that are usually blocked by the usual chattering mind.  I’m sure this is what your religious experience is all about.  Peace of mind where there might otherwise be anxiety? 

Years ago I mentioned to you that Zen suggests that we ‘shake Zen out of our sleeves.’  You or the others posting here could say to me, “You stink of Zen.”  That’s justified because in this moment of freedom I’m talking about, “Even the slightest thing is dust.”  Those people laughing in the subway car weren’t thinking about Zen, Buddha, or Jesus. 

Student:  Where is the Buddha mind?  (implying he or she doesn’t have it)

Zen master:  (pointing)  The pine tree in the yard.

I think you understand that if the student looks at the tree while wondering what the master means, he isn’t really seeing the tree.  Hence the magic mushroom -  “Oh my God!  The tree!  Hey everybody, look at that tree for God’s sake!”

(Believe it or not, this post was blocked because I provided a link to the CBS 60 minutes episode about psychedelic drugs, broadcast last night.  Google it yourself or try this and click on the image of Anderson Cooper sitting at a computer with a researcher:  https://www.google.com/search?q=60+minutes+oct+13+2019&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS693US693&oq=60+minutes&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.10743j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

 

[ Edited: 14 October 2019 11:36 by unsmoked]
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Traces Elk
 
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14 October 2019 11:42
 
EN - 14 October 2019 09:53 AM
Traces Elk - 14 October 2019 07:23 AM
EN - 13 October 2019 06:36 PM

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

Reality is over-rated by some. I could call it something else, like Barber’s Adagio For Strings, but what would that prove?

None of it proves anything. It’s just a matter of saying “this what I experience, and this is what I believe.”  It may be that we are all in the gut of a celestial monster, in the process of being digested.  None of us has objective access to the big picture.

It’s worse than that, even. Why do you think anyone ever used the words “big picture” or “reality” as if there was one? There’s one by definition, but that’s not saying much.

unsmoked - 14 October 2019 11:27 AM

It’s only suggesting that you experiment with the quieting of the self . . . even for a minute . . . giving the mind a break from the usual clamor of the self.

So they say. The way some people talk about themselves, we can see why somebody might suggest they try quieting some of that clamor. Failing that, it’s better to be alone than in bad company. A wise fellow named Dolph Sharp published a book called I’m OK, You’re Not So Hot.

unsmoked - 14 October 2019 11:27 AM

I only mention this because it is scientific suggestion that when the self is quiet we might experience valuable insights that are usually blocked by the usual chattering mind.

That’s not a scientific suggestion, if the insights are only valuable to a single individual. That’s a definition of valuable that needs some work.

[ Edited: 14 October 2019 11:58 by Traces Elk]
 
 
proximacentauri
 
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14 October 2019 13:08
 
EN - 14 October 2019 09:53 AM
Traces Elk - 14 October 2019 07:23 AM
EN - 13 October 2019 06:36 PM

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

Reality is over-rated by some. I could call it something else, like Barber’s Adagio For Strings, but what would that prove?

None of it proves anything. It’s just a matter of saying “this what I experience, and this is what I believe.”  It may be that we are all in the gut of a celestial monster, in the process of being digested.  None of us has objective access to the big picture.

This is probably the #1 rationalization of religious types and I’ll admit that I may have thought the same thing in a former life. We could entertain an endless discussion about the possibilities of alternate realities or the chance that we’re all living in a simulation, or whether a ‘creator’ exists. But that’s all pure speculation at this point. The only method we have of discerning objective reality is science. And science has served us well thus far with respect to our “objective access to the big picture”. Religious belief? Not so much.

 
unsmoked
 
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15 October 2019 11:39
 
proximacentauri - 14 October 2019 01:08 PM
EN - 14 October 2019 09:53 AM
Traces Elk - 14 October 2019 07:23 AM
EN - 13 October 2019 06:36 PM

But how do you know that in the vanishing of the mind for a minute or two you have experienced reality?  It all comes back to faith.

Reality is over-rated by some. I could call it something else, like Barber’s Adagio For Strings, but what would that prove?

None of it proves anything. It’s just a matter of saying “this what I experience, and this is what I believe.”  It may be that we are all in the gut of a celestial monster, in the process of being digested.  None of us has objective access to the big picture.

This is probably the #1 rationalization of religious types and I’ll admit that I may have thought the same thing in a former life. We could entertain an endless discussion about the possibilities of alternate realities or the chance that we’re all living in a simulation, or whether a ‘creator’ exists. But that’s all pure speculation at this point. The only method we have of discerning objective reality is science. And science has served us well thus far with respect to our “objective access to the big picture”. Religious belief? Not so much.

“Even the slightest thing is dust.” 

Q:  What ‘dust’ got between Jesus and the ineffable?  The Torah?  No dust?  He was free and clear in touch with reality?

Yuanwu comments:

“In general, to study the Path and seek out the Mystery, you must have a great basis in faith.  You use this faith to believe in a deep sense that this matter does not lie in words or in any of the myriad experiential states.  In fact, in truth, the Path [reality . . . the ineffable] is right where you stand.

(He continues)  “Put aside the crazy and false mind that has been concocting your knowledge and understanding, and make it so that nothing whatsoever is weighing on your mind.  [like the Torah, or the New Testament, or Buddhism, or Zen etc.]  Fully take up this matter in your perfect, wondrous, inherent nature, which is fundamentally pure and quiescent.  Subject and object are both forgotten, and the road of words and thoughts is cut off.  You open through and clearly see your original face.  [no dust between you and the ineffable].  Make it so that once found it is found forever and remains solid and unmoving.”

(Yuanwu quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu’ - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary}

 

 
 
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19 October 2019 12:56
 
Skipshot - 06 October 2019 03:09 PM
EN - 05 October 2019 04:32 PM
unsmoked - 05 October 2019 11:27 AM

Original mind - It is simply what you are before thoughts arise, before habits, effort, and aspirations arise . . . 

“You should put everything aside right away and penetrate through to freedom on that side.  That is why it is said, “Even the slightest thing is dust - as soon as you rouse your intellect you are assailed by the demons of delusion.”  -  Yuanwu

(Yuanwu quoted from the book, ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu, translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

photo - a beluga makes an ‘enso’ (Zen circles of enlightenment)

Once again, I have to gently point out the internal contradiction of this manner of thinking.  In order for Yuanwu to make the statement attributed to him above, he had to “rouse his intellect” - otherwise he could not have made a coherent statement.  So in writing this he was, by his own admission, “assailed by the demons of delusion.”  So how can we be sure that he was not deceived in writing it?  And if he ever actually penetrated through to freedom, how did he remember it?  Because in order to remember anything, you have to “rouse your intellect”?  Reason is a bitch, unsmoked.

unsmoked is passing on a warning to intellectuals to be wary of intellect since it can tie you in knots, as you must be quite aware, counselor.  That is all.  Zen tells us to beware of reading too much into Zen, as you just did.

What if Jesus had considered the Old Testament stories as ‘dust’?  Then, if a disciple asked him, “Are you the Messiah?” - Jesus could reply, “Messiah?  What’s that?  Something written by a superstitious priest or story teller?  Something written to confuse people for generations to come?  Something that will have superstitious people still arguing with each other two thousand years from now?”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Testament_messianic_prophecies_quoted_in_the_New_Testament

“Once the people are bewitched, their bewitchment lasts a long time.”  - Lao Tsu

 
 
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