*Brian Wilcox. 'shy'. Flickr
A continuance of dialogues with a sage who did not see himself as a sage, but others did; from Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
* * *
Yesterday, you said something odd, that confusion is alive. Why is this so? How? Confusion seems only a mental state of mind.
Nothing is outside of life, all is life for living, and life has no cause. So, how could anything be dead? And how can anything be and be dead, which is a contradiction? The causeless cannot unbecome by a cause, for it has no cause. That is like a theist saying that God can unbecome God. How absurd! How could life become unlife? Life cannot become unlife. Animate and inanimate are illusions. Popular thought is a tree lives and a rock does not. Someone may say, "The tree died, I need to get it cut down." No one says, "That rock is dying." Who decided that? No evidence supports it.
So, when I see a corpse, that corpse is living? That sounds really weird, a living corpse.
Yes, and some would say saying a corpse is dead is weird. Even science can demonstrate a corpse is full of a diversity of living life-forms, is a community of vitality; in what we call physical death, nothing dies. Possibly we could say such appearance of physical death is a cosmic joke, with the joke being on us. To the unaided eyes, a corpse appears dead, under magnification in a lab, those same eyes see the living beings that comprise the living corpse. Since what makes up the corpse is living, the corpse must be alive, or living. As said the Zen nun and teacher, Shundo Aoyama, in her book Zen Seeds, "Everything is alive in the vast ocean of the Dharma world." And, yes, everything. She is absolutely speaking truth.
What if the corpse is burned to ashes?
That is transformation, from a form to a form; the ashes are only a continuation of the prior corpse, another living form. Ashes are as alive as the body you call your body. Life is unchanging in itself, while in relativity life is constant change, consistent transformation. The changeless gives rise to the changing. Science has demonstrated that what we call "I, me, mine, myself" actually disappears into the substratum nothingness every fraction of a second, to reappear. You are constantly disappearing and reappearing as the form you appear to be. The intelligent substratum, or living matrix, makes possible the replication of from formless back into form, after the dissolution. This like the dying over some seven years of all the cells of the physical body, yet the form retains continuity. How this continuity, unless some formless intelligence makes this possible? The self itself never controls dissolution and reappearance, and the changes occur so rapidly, the self thinks it has a continuity. The only continuity is change in the realm of form. Life is the continuity, not the self. As a manifest form, you are never older than a millisecond, while life is timeless.
What is the Dharma world the Zen teacher refers to?
"Dharma" in Buddhism refers to the teaching of Buddha, to truth, or to reality. The Dharma world is what is, for all participates and is unified in the one Truth, or Being. To say all is Buddha, this does not mean the historical man called Buddha. Buddha, before the Buddha, like the word Christ, before Jesus Christ, is the unspeakable presence out of which all Buddhas, all Christs arise. Everything is within the Buddhafield, or Christfield. Of course, quantum physics would speak of this in more modern terms. Some say the universe is holographic, some use the language matrix. Jesus spoke from this timeless knowing, "Before Abraham was, I am." Nothing can be outside, all shares in the one Intimacy we call life. Life itself, with all it manifests, arises from pure presence, a presence unaltered by the myriad appearances of phenomena. Appearances share in the life of Life, one. Life is a shoreless ocean, dive in and enjoy swimming there. At a point, theory drops, and all you are doing is swimming, enjoying the here-and-now sensation of you, the water, the sky, and so forth. So, thought drops, and you experience unmediated the intimacy of yourself as person being a manifestation of Life. Chogyam Trungpa threw water on some unsuspecting listeners. Why? That is waking up, to life, here-now. Being totally with the water in the moment of "splash!" is as awake as being in some so-called holy place in prayer.
Ultimately, there are no distinctions in life, life is a whole with parts, not parts making up a whole. There really is nothing mystical about this at all. The wise being is in union with life now, here, all of it, and what others call mystery is simply life to him or her. As Chogyam Trungpa wrote, in his Meditation in Action, "[W]hen one is able to overcome the romantic and emotional attitude, one discovers truth even in the kitchen sink." So, life as experienced by the wise ones may not be very appealing to the ego, for the ego wants something spectacular, dishes in water in a kitchen sink does not sound appealing enough for the ego which wants to experience life as otherworldly, fascinating, captivating, and, yes, mystical. Yet, life as life, to those awake by life to life, is a wondrous display of divine magic, for they are with life, not aloof from life in a need for an eventful life to please them or meet their demand for escape from the ordinary. Life as life, even in the kitchen sink, and outside it, is self-effulgently Glorious.
*Brian Wilcox. 'A Beautiful Arrangement'. Flickr
(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019
The theme of "Lotus of the Heart" is 'Living in Love beyond Beliefs.' This work is presented by Brian K. Wilcox, of Maine, USA. You can order Brian's book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, through major online booksellers.