Above all, don’t wish to become a future Buddha;
Your only concern should be,
As thought follows thought,
To avoid clinging to any of them.
- Dogen (1200 – 1253)
I ask because I no longer wish to cling to any thought. I wish no longer to be tied to belief. What remains?
What remains is inquiry. We ask in order to enter the question, not to find answer. To be called into question is great reprieve from prison of certitude.
I no longer know "why". Still, I am invited into what "why" investigates. We read. We listen. We watch. We ask. Then, as if some magical portal manifests from nowhere, we are invited into the question itself.
The question itself!
Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.
(poem The Magi, by W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
Most explanation is unsatisfactory.
T.S. Eliot contributes:
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death?
There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
(from poem, The Journey of The Magi, by T.S. Elliot )
Death might be the letting go of knowing and entering the question of Being.
For which, there is no answer.
Only (some say) Being Itself. Some say -- God. What do you say?
I don't know what to say, nor why I have nothing to say. But we have to say something.
I say -- Wisdom attends.
Each one of us.