In quiet zendo
Candle burns before Buddha
Bell, incense, Han clap
High level dumb shit
Up is not up, down not down —
Nor is the law law
I was reading Don Paterson's book of poems, The Eyes, A Version of Antonio Machado (c.1999) when I found online this poem by Paterson and a commentary by Martin Collins:
The LieAs was my custom, I’d risen a full hourbefore the house had woken to make surethat everything was in order with The Lie,his drip changed and his shackles all secure.I was by then so practiced in this choreI’d counted maybe thirteen years or moresince last I’d felt the urge to meet his eye.Such, I liked to think, was our rapport.I was at full stretch to test some ligaturewhen I must have caught a ragged thread, and torehis gag away; though as he made no cry,I kept on with my checking as before.Why do you call me The Lie? he said. I swore:it was a child’s voice. I looked up from the floor.The dark had turned his eyes to milk and skyand his arms and legs were all one scarlet sore.He was a boy of maybe three or four.His straps and chains were all the things he wore.Knowing I could make him no replyI took the gag before he could say moreand put it back as tight as it would tieand locked the door and locked the door and locked the door
(Poem by Don Paterson)
Comments by Martin Collins:
The ritual is a great way of opening as it frames the way we approach a lie - as something that requires maintenance. It makes me think of Don Draper in Mad Men constantly working to hide the fact that he isn't who he says he is and removing all traces of evidence(As an aside Don Paterson said that he had been watching Mad Men and one of his conclusions was that Don was the one person everyone wished they were - I completely disagree but that is another rant).I particularly like the fact that the lie is a child, because it shows a sense of innocence. In all honesty it is we that confer importance, whether white or dread, upon a lie and is meaningless and unknowing in itself which makes it seem all the more fitting.The fact that it questions him, perhaps a metaphor for the why our lies question our identity. Why do we feel a need to support the lie? What does it tell us about ourselves? What we need to hide or more importantly protect? But then again the point we often don't attempt to confront the lie we hide from it and lock the door and lock the door and lock the door.The final line that is ace with its furious repetition, like scouring skin with soap until it is raw to get some unseen dirt out. It also manages to maintain the rhyme scheme which I am pretending isn't there...
The poignancy lingers.
My lies are also well cloaked and muted.
Today in the Christian calendar is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. A good timing. Yesterday I learned some old news that filled me with sorrow -- a dead former student, killed by a current prison friend, the connection sixteen years later made. Only sorrow for both. For the "no reply" of a muted mind. For the gagged silences walking around with and within us.
(pour les pertes)
Learning to suffer
each unexpected lesson
assigns deep reading
These days I suspect 97.5% of Christians do not understand one of the primary archetype symbols of their narrative metaphor.
The cross -- radical compassionate suffering -- equivolated by stark empty wholeness.
Allowing what-is to become/be itself.
Letting creation arise.
Practicing don't-know mind.
... ... ...
* "The bijective correspondence between points on two lines in a plane determined by a point of that plane not on either line has higher-dimensional analogues which will also be called perspectivities." (wikipedia)
We use the word “mindless.”
As if the “sinner” is unwilling to have “thought” of God.
There’s no account of God that moves through the sinners mind, no thought, no thinking.
Here, thinking is looking into what is here, looking into what is longing to be manifest, apparent, transparent, diaphanous.
Instead, defilements. Kleshas.
Le pécheur irrite de plus en plus le Seigneur ; dans sa fureur aveugle, il ne tient compte de rien ;
Dieu n’est jamais présent à sa pensée. Ses voies en tout temps sont pleines de souillures ;
The sinner irritates the Lord more and more; in his blind fury, he does not take into account anything;
God is never present in his thought. Its paths at all times are full of defilements;
(—de Psaume 9 (2), Mercredi, Prime, https://www.barroux.org/fr/spiritualite/ecoutez-nos-offices.html)
The mind is clouded. Perhaps deliberately. Often intentionally. Certainly, throughout, carelessly.
Let’s suggest that thought is the travels of mind, the mind traveling through instants of existence, moving through experience as it presents itself moment to moment.
Thought need not be limited to conceptual or logical analysis.
Thought is looking at, a gaze of inclusion, a wandering of wonder through this and this and this.
We say there is a suffering of reality. Patior (Latin) translates as: suffer, permit, allow, endure, bear, experience, tolerate, submit, abide.
Can it be said that unwillingness to suffer reality — (and here I mean core root reality, not the diversion from reality, the distraction from reality, the disdain of reality that permeates contemporary delusive and aberrative behavior) — but that which is referred to as the really real, the underlying ever-present origin/wholeness without which there is not anything that ever has been, that is, that can possibly ever be.
When the philosopher says of our current maladaptive way of being in the world — that we are not yet thinking — perhaps he is saying that we do not yet see, are not yet looking, will not yet allow Reality to be (what it actually is) as it is.
This echoing resonance of the ancient dialogue from Exodus (Hebrew Scripture) wherein the intimation of Yahweh is received as “I Am Who Am” or, “I shall be there, as who I am, shall I be there” — begins the process invitation of thinking/seeing.
This invitation to thinking/seeing is gateway through illusion and distortion. It says, somewhat like The Who’s Tommy lyric: “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.”
Reality — or “God” — longs to be seen, felt, touched, healed.
We might have to learn to reorientate the words “God saves” to “Save God”.
As in Nikos Kazantzakis’ title, perhaps our true vocation is to become “The Saviors of God.”
Delusion, anger, and greed poison us.
Sanity, love, generosity and compassion heal us.
“Suffering” is not what we think it is.
Thinking, or seeing through reality, is our courageous, kind, engaged “suffering” — allowing what-is, the really real, to be there, to be here, with, for, as us.
Take this into account.
This is my prayer, that you’ll always be there!
Perhaps we might speak of this?
If you'd like?
“The world of things entered your infant mind
To populate that crystal cabinet.
Within its walls the strangest partners met,
And things turned thoughts did propagate their kind.
For, once within, corporeal fact could find
A spirit. Fact and you in mutual debt
Built there your little microcosm - which yet
Had hugest tasks to its small self assigned.
Dead men can live there, and converse with stars:
Equator speaks with pole, and night with day;
Spirit dissolves the world's material bars -
A million isolations burn away.
The Universe can live and work and plan,
At last made God within the mind of man.”
(― Poem by Julian Huxley)
Go ahead, do begin.
I'll be here to follow on.