To Err is Humane

yin-yang-spring-and-autumn-gloria-di-simoneIs there an expression of man,
That isn’t allowed within this realm
Of fool and genius, boor or naïf,
the yin-yang movements,  expressions of this fleeting moment?

The full spectrum is the banquet
In which our senses are dazzled,
And where we abide, and sit with kith and kin,
Regardless of propensity or style, drunk on love.

To see thine own error as folly
Is to forgive thy neighbor,
Is to see his divinity as imminent in these eyes,
And thus fences become a quaint contrivance.

Do they not but complement
And make whole, like puzzle pieces,
As every piece must fit, as puzzlers know,
To complete the obscured picture that began as pieces?

Celebrate the dropped ball,
The loose cannon, the missing number
In your equations, and you are free
Of distinctions, and the disability of striving for perfection.

In this freedom, all are set free,
And none are left out when out is in,
When error cannot be found in the lilt of birdsong
Or in humanity’s diverse and magnificent plumage.

The poet is imperfectly perfect, and dies,
In verse and verisimilitude,
But poetry is heard only once,
Never wrong–before it fades, and ceases into silence.


Relationship: Seeing Innocence

thsud00zWhat is Relationship? If you look at it from the “No two people ever met,” perspective (from Byron Katie), it gets stranger and stranger, but perhaps only better and better.

Whether it is relationship with family members, friends, coworkers or lovers, is there an element of defend and protect, or cherish and keep? Both of these interchangeable stances create the intractable difficulties we experience in all our relationships. Is it true that “Hell is other people?” Or, if you take out the judgment, expectation, fear, and all our assumptions about who all these other people are, what’s left?

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Much Ado About Nothing–The Bard Nails It

TragicComicMasksHadriansVillamosaicLast night in our tele-dialogue (or pentalogue) on At Peace With Not Knowing, we were discussing Steven Harrison’s Advaita-as-the-last-patch idea in the context of letting go of all conceptual frameworks, including non-duality. An understanding of the concepts, and a facility with the language, can be a stopping point—or a safe place to land–because we think we know something; because any concept is useful as a safe place to land or hide. Safety from what, I cannot be certain, except possibly from the perceived discomfort of not knowing, or worse, failing to understand or to “get it.”

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At Peace With Not Knowing

4169318053_561c68de17The topic being discussed on Wednesday’s Look-See is At Peace With Not Knowing. What does that mean? Not knowing and its relationship to peace is similar to a line from Faith Mind (published here yesterday):

“Do not seek for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.”

Science, philosophy, psychology, physics—all the ideas of yesterday become outmoded like the fabled myth of a flat earth. The string theory of today cannot hold, if we but empirically witness the historical falling away of one so-called truth after another. Conversely, in psychology, the adherence to behaviorism to the denial or a disinterest in genetics is to hold an opinion. To hold to a gold standard, whether as a metallurgist, an economist, or a moralist, is of course nothing more than opinion.

To espouse nonduality, Advaita, Christianity, Buddhism, or atheism is to have a perspective, an opinion—a way of perceiving and expressing that perception. Even to say, “We are all One,” is an opinion. Everything written in these pages is a way of expressing a perspective. It is not true, nor are these words or any of the above perspectives untrue, as long as they remain in the lightly-held realm of opinion, viewpoint, and perspective. There is nothing wrong with any of them as far as points of view go…until they are taken as hard-cold facts, as reality. Even unquestioned “consensus reality” is an opportunity for amusement rather than argument.

So what does this have to do with peace? The argument, the conflict, the separation of families, friends, tribes, and nations is what arises from cherishing opinions. Seeking and presumably finding truth is taking a stand, and then having to defend the very ground you stand on, even if only to yourself.

Matter is…mind is…enlightenment is…the truth is…the way to truth is… none of these things are known. Yet the attempt and the assertion of certainty in these matters keep us from equanimity, a relaxed uncertainty that allows us to see without “the smallest distinction” that heaven and hell are set apart only because we have made such a distinction. If knowing for certain pits us for or against this or that, we thus have something, sometimes everything, to defend and protect.

What if not knowing is the source of The Buddha’s smile? We don’t know. I don’t know. Letting go of the need to know feels like the deepest peace, releases the deepest and longest-held sense of contraction. The fist opens to reveal welcoming palm.

If you wish to join Beth Bellamy and I in this discussion on Wednesday, contact me here. We will not figure anything out; we will not become certain of anything, but we might very well smile, and be at peace by and by.

Faith Mind: All You’ll Ever Need…?

sunsetpic2Each line is a gentle persuasion, a nudge, an irresistible morsel of wisdom. The deepest peace is in every line. It takes only one, perhaps, to point towards the end of you and your suffering. Read, and see.

Verses on the Faith Mind by The 3rd Zen Patriarch, Sengstau

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. Continue reading