Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Meeting Buddhas on the road...

There was on the news the other evening (possibly one of CNN's After Jesus angst-fests) the story about a woman whose house was blown away in three successive years by hurricanes or tornadoes, or whatever — so she took her collection of Blessed Virgin Mary statues and buried them in a field.

If I ever win the lottery, maybe I'll buy that field. It reminds me of the old Zen story, the admonition about meeting Buddha on the road, to wit: "Kill him."

This is the kind of thing about Zen that never makes sense. Killing the Buddha, of course, is the crime which landed one of Buddha's disciples in The Hell Called The Unending. In all my scraping through mystical nonsense, the only one who's ever got it right is Thich Nhat Han, or at least he's invariably the one I call as witness to a realization I had myself, personally, a few years ago.

That is, "Mind is No Mind" is not properly translated. It is simply an abstract logical formula, an assertion that X is inseparable from whatever is not X (the irreducible axiom in Buddhist thought, the inescapable illogic demanded by Gödel's Theorem, that makes this worldview work is Mind Only). In other words, a cat is not a cat — but by this (thanks, Master Hanh) is meant that a cat is NOT JUST a cat — it is also everywhere a cat goes, everything a cat does, even everything you think about a cat or cats or Catness. Inside and outside are permeable. Stuff the cat (the taxidermist's art, or the Victorians') and place it under glass, and there you go, not a cat!

There's no Buddha in the news these days. So... If you meet the Buddha on the road, you, my friend, are hallucinating and your best course is to just stop it. You're projecting your buddha-fantasies onto thin air. Actually, since the world is Mind Only, you're POPULATING the world reflection with unnecessary fantasias about yourself. Don't do that.

This is why the Bardo is so terrible, I think. When you die, you no longer participate in the mutual world co-implicate (that reflection of other minds whose other eyes once viewed this world at least as well as yours did), at least for awhile. If you have connections (friends, lovers, family, relations... anybody?), you plug in again, maybe on a higher plane. If you don't... Well... You tell yourself stories until you can't stand it. It's solitary, and they don't call it Stir for nothing. Then it comes...


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