Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Lions surround family in burning car"--from news gathered by the Weather Channel.  In game preserve, park wardens save mother and children, video of a family style van engulfed in flames.  Little more is told.  No pictures of lions sitting expectantly on haunches surrounding the vehicle.  Dialog of sentient beings the lions?  Hey, what do you think we should do?  Ah, nothing.  Tourist dollars keep us safe.  Wouldn't pay to do anything more than express a little curious interest.  Besides, it will be a story on the Weather Channel.  But we don't need the coverage.  We'll just play it cool.  Terrible thing, fire like that.  They'll come to save them.  No worries.

Born Free tells the story of the dignity of these creatures, and revisiting, following up, the lions come and sit respectfully at the man's cairn gravesite.  (Poachers killed him.)

The story of Prince Gautama is the story of all of us.  Young fellow, in his particular case, raised in ease, with pleasures given to him, an exaggerated case.  He practiced the arts, probably was a literary young fart writing poetry and whatnot, music, swords, whatever.  Consorts to school him in pleasures.  But all of it details as far as his greater accomplishment as Buddha, awakened one, enlightened being.  The final truth of no mind.  No mind, only light within.  No need for any story.  Only thing to tell is a general guide of how to live in accordance with that, supporting that ultimate reality.  Thus, no engaging in story, which perhaps is the point of  the Zen branch.

A few stories to illustrate, to teach the point, but otherwise, get right at it.  Meditate, clear the mind.

We crave narrative.  Our minds love the habit of qualifying things, labeling, nailing down, discussing.

Chekhov's Black Monk, the specter haunting the protagonist of a famous story, perhaps representing that there is no story to tell, that it's all relative, nothing to nail down ultimately, no judgments to be made that really last.

I think of my egoless father…  How with such great love and tolerance he put up with my presence, placed little need for a narrative upon me…  And that is love, the way we feel it, when we sense that great agelessness, the need for narrative no longer pressing up against us or our relationship, passive in a way…  telling us, as maybe the lions said to one another, 'no mind.'

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