Mantra found in cabin writing book from 13 years ago:
Nice to find what has long been here.
A Mirror Image
Thursday, August 6, 2020
An image is not of itself, nor is it for itself. It rather springs from the thing whose reflection it is and belongs to it with all its being. It owes nothing to a thing other than that whose image it is; nothing else is at its origin. An image takes its being immediately from that of which it is the image and has one sole being with it, and it is that same being. —Meister Eckhart
Sometimes it takes a mystic to translate another mystic for the rest of us. My dear friend, CAC faculty member, and modern mystic James Finley helps us understand Eckhart’s words. A slow, prayerful reading of this brilliant text will deepen your own insight:
[Meister Eckhart] says that the generosity of the Infinite is infinite and [that God] gives [God’s self] away as the reality of all things. And he says that our sorrow is that we do not know that we are the generosity of God. . . .
This is a paraphrase of Eckhart: Imagine you’re standing before a full-length mirror, and imagine the image of you is conscious, that it can think. And this image of you has been through a lot of therapy; it’s taken a lot of courses on being an insightful image. And it has come to a point in which it informs you that it doesn’t need you.
You say to the image of you, “Well, you know, this is going to be rough, really, since you’re an image of me.”
“No,” the image says, [after a pause], “I’ve worked on this; I’ve come to this point.”
And so, to gently help the image out, you step halfway off the side of the mirror; and half the image disappears. The image has a panic attack and goes back into therapy and says to the therapist, “I’m not real! I’m not real! I was working on my affirmations. I bolstered up my confidence, but I don’t know where I went. I buckled!”
Now, the image was real, but the image wasn’t real in the way that it thought it was real. It was real, but not real without you. It was real as an image of you. See?
Eckhart says, “The image owes no allegiances to anything except that of which it is the image.”. . . There is nothing that has the authority to say what it is except that of which it is the image. And so it is with us, Eckhart says, that we are the image of God. Without God, we are nothing, absolutely nothing. In being the image of God, we owe no allegiances to anything but the Infinite Love in whose image we are made. And the idolatry of diversions of the heart where we wander off into cul-de-sacs with the imagined authority of anything less or other than Infinite Love to name who we are: this is the problem.
(—from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations, 6Aug2020)
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The Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn wrote:
“Your mind is like the sea. When the wind comes, there are very big waves. When the wind dies down, the waves become smaller and smaller, until finally the wind disappears altogether and the sea is like a clear mirror. Then mountains, trees and all things are reflected on the surface of the sea. There are many thought-waves in your mind. But if you continue to practice don’t know mind, this thinking will become gradually smaller, until finally your mind will always be clear. When the mind becomes clear, it is like a mirror: red comes and the mirror is red; yellow comes and the mirror is yellow; a mountain comes and the mirror is a mountain. Your mind is the mountain; the mountain is your mind. They are not two. So it is very important not to be attached either to thinking or to not thinking. You mustn’t be upset by anything that goes on in your mind. Only don’t worry and keep don’t know mind.”
(—from Three Letters to a Beginner, by Seung Sahn)
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As we think about what we call “God” — as we think with what we call “mind” —there are premises and templates applied to the inquiry.
If there is only “itself” rippling and reverberating across the expanse of “itself” — then all talk of something “other” looking “at” something other than itself is rhetorical flourish.
Rather, the itself looking “as” itself into itself is self-reflection or self-inquiry with no-other as manifestation of what-is and what-is-coming-to-be within the field of emptiness that is Being-Itself.
Today is, in the Christian metaphor, the feast of Transfiguration. It is there, in a diaphaneity of clear sight, a transparent and traceless movement reveals the whole of things in omnipresence and infinite variety, each as itself, all as no-other.
A koan meetingbrook has held for its meditation has been:
Here is One-
Poetry as tsunami of restitution. (Just a phrase that comes to mind.)
This from a paper, Philosophy of Nothingness and Love:
Even though later Heidegger's poems touched existential matters, as they were detached in their form from a structured philosophy, they did not get recognition as such in Europe; moreover, they had become a proof, that Heidegger abandoned philosophy for good. Their content would include 'holy things', 'inspiration', 'holy chaos', 'pure heart', etc, and are filled with transparent, mysterious and lofty ideas. Obviously Heidegger did not do poetry for the sake of art, but he used it as a vehicle to reveal basic, grave and deep notions regarding existence. In summary, here are the main points from it.
1. The essence of fine arts lies not in their beauty, but in their power to convey truth about existence.
2. A human can but put into a frame of an existential model by words. Poetry is the highest form of art.
3. Even though poetry might look pure and naive, in reality it is the most dangerous and difficult work. A poet is exposed to an existential storm and God sent lightnings.
4. Poetry has the power to start the whole history all over again, save and establish awakening truth for the fallen humanity; it's the deepest gift one can ever get. (based on Heidegger's ontologic thought by Jiro Watanabe, Keiso Shobo, Tokyo 1985)
(--in Philosophy of Nothingness and Love, by Kiyokaza Nakatomi )
This poem by the New Zealand writer Nadine Anne Hura,
Rest now, e Papatūānuku
Breathe easy and settle
Right here where you are
We’ll not move upon you
We’ll stop, we’ll cease
We’ll slow down and stay home
Draw each other close and be kind
Kinder than we’ve ever been.
I wish we could say we were doing it for you
as much as ourselves
But hei aha
We’re doing it anyway
It’s right. It’s time.
Time to return
Time to remember
Time to listen and forgive
Time to withhold judgment
Time to cry
Time to think
Remove our shoes
Press hands to soil
Sift grains between fingers
Time to plant
Time to wait
Time to notice
To whom we belong
For now it’s just you
And the wind
And the forests and the oceans and the sky full of rain
Finally, it’s raining!
Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a koe
This sacrifice of solitude we have carved out for you
He iti noaiho — a small offering
People always said it wasn’t possible
To ground flights and stay home and stop our habits of consumption
But it was
It always was.
We were just afraid of how much it was going to hurt
— and it IS hurting and it will hurt and continue to hurt
But not as much as you have been hurt.
So be still now
Wrap your hills around our absence
Loosen the concrete belt cinched tight at your waist
And we will do the same
(--In Parabola article, The Natural Order of Things, by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, July 2020, )
There are so many ways to avoid what is true and starkly in front of us. Suchness calls out from its rooted manifesting hiddenness. What is, as it is, coming to be.
(for foggy Monday morning)
A harbor wave. The
restoration of something
lost. Sly poetry.