Monday, February 1, 2010

For the love of not knowing

Compared to the Galapagos turtle we live for just an instant compared to the fruit fly we live for an eternity. But turtles and fruit fly are not curious, and they don't have to Know. We do.

We ask how karma works, how one becomes a Buddha, what is a Bodhisattva's nature and what is the nature of nirvana. Since we think we need to know for almost three thousand years Buddhist monks and scholars have attempted to give us the answers to these questions and more. Fueled by the imagination of man strapped to the powerful engine of his intellect all the schools and types of Buddhism have generated their own answers to these questions.

Even some Zen scholars have made the tragic mistake of believing there is a rational, logical expressible answer to everything. We end up with wonderful statements like:

"The Buddha Nature is eternal, Bliss, the self, and the pure, The Buddha nature is non-eternal, non-bliss, non-self and non-pure."

Well that straightens that out-- right...

Somewhere in the distant past a Zen student asked a Zen master to show him the nature of time, the Zen master said "of course!" and then proceeded to kick the student in the testicles. " You will note how time slows, expands and almost stops, said the zen master."

"Of course!" says the student, as he keeled over, and of course he was instantly enlightened. And thus the Koan was born!

We must get over the idea that we can know everything and that there is a logical rational verbally expressible answer to all our questions if we are to proceed in Zen.

This dose not mean we abandon our desire to understand, nor that we simply accept what ever we are told. to the contrary we doubt, we doubt and we doubt. We swim out into that ocean of emptiness miles from shore and never look back.

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