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Passions in Poetry

Satori?

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Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


0 posted 11-16-2004 07:25 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“A monk asked Tôsu (T’ou-tzŭ ), a Zen master of the T’ang
period:  “ I understand that all sounds are the voice of the Buddha.
Is that right?”  The master said, “That is right.”  The monk then
proceeded:  “Would not the master please stop making a noise
which echoes the sound of a fermenting mass of filth?”
The master thereupon struck the monk.

The monk further asked “Tôsu:  “Am I in the right when I understand
the Buddha as asserting that all talk however trivial
or derogatory, belongs to ultimate truth?”  The master said, “Yes,
you are in the right.”  The monk went on, “May I then call you
a donkey?”  The master thereupon struck him.

It may be necessary to explain these mondo in plain language.
To conceive every sound, every noise, every utterance one makes
as issuing from the fountainhead of one Reality, that is, from one
God is pantheistic, I imagine.  For “he givith all life, and breath
and all things” (Acts 17:25); and again, “For in him
we live, and move, and have our own being” (Acts 17:28).  If
this be the case, a Zen master’s hoarse throat echoes the melodious
resonance of a voice flowing from the Buddha’s golden mouth,
and even when a great teacher is decried as reminding one of
an ass, the defamation must be regarded as reflecting something
of ultimate truth.  All forms of evil must be said somehow
to be embodying what is true and good and beautiful, and to be
a contribution to the perfection of Reality.  To state it more
concretely, bad is good, ugly is beautiful, false is true, imperfect
is perfect, and also conversely.  This is, indeed, the kind of reasoning
in which those indulge who conceive the God-nature to be
immanent in all things.  Let us see how the Zen master treats
this problem.

It is remarkable that Tôsu  put his foot right down against
such intellectualist interpretations and struck his monk.  The
latter in all probability expected to see the master nonplussed
by his statements which logically follow from his first assertion.
The masterful  Tôsu knew, as all Zen masters do, the uselessness
of making any verbal demonstration against such a “logician.”
For verbalism leads from one complication to another; there
is no end to it.  The only effective way, perhaps, to make
such a monk as this realize the falsehood of his conceptual
understanding is to strike him and let him experience within
himself the meaning of the statement, “One in All and All
in One.”  The monk was to be awakened from his logical
somnambulism.  Hence Tôsu’s drastic measure.”

Daisetz T. Suzuki
Zen and Japanese Culture  

“bad is good, ugly is beautiful, false is true, imperfect
is perfect, and also conversely. “

until someone throws a corpse in the middle of the
room, or a lash bruised woman to be listened to
as she  begs to be returned to the pleasure of her master
where she belongs.  Have I got this right?  Satori?

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


1 posted 11-17-2004 11:29 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It's probably not the best thing to quote D. T. Suzuki on much of anything.

Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


2 posted 11-18-2004 12:16 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,


"It's probably not the best thing to quote D. T. Suzuki on much of anything."


Because?
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


3 posted 11-18-2004 03:50 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Actually, I hope to be going to temple soon, and John, I'll be sure to ask the meaning of this.

I'm afraid though, it will be well behind a few hundred other questions that I have on a list.

Can I ask you directly what your belief and point is, without offense being taken?

Why do you feel (and yes, I could direct this to many others here and elsewhere) a need to distance your feelings through quotation?

I promise, I'll take your feelings seriously.

Can you tell me, without reference to 'some other' great thinker, exactly what your point is here?

Y'never know, I might think you the greater thinker.

Some people need very simple language, John.

I'm one of 'em, and I'm not ashamed to ask for that.


Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


4 posted 11-18-2004 08:11 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

serenity blaze,


To tell the truth I’ve reached a point
that is almost beyond feeling or strong
opinion anymore, that time being and
resigned to the past.

I used the quotation because it coincidently,
(or miraculously depending on your point
of view), showed up in my reading and seemed
applicable to a sense I got from another
thread;  that is that one can talk or write
himself glibly into or out of anything,
or for or against any view or value.

This moment I am reminded a story.
There was once in Rhode Island a very
intelligent and successful artist.  
He came from a wealthy family and
was personally handsome
which further assured opportunities
and successes.  He was very popular.
Women were more than willing to pose
as his nudes which was something of
a specialty.  In the midst of his paradise
there appeared a woman in one of his
many relationships.  In an uncharacteristic
nude she appears sitting on a dark floor
with her arms wrapped around her legs,
below the knees, which are pulled up against
and hiding her breasts; she sits in darkness
except for a light source from directly above which
dimly yet starkly illuminates her face
which appears gaunt and unsmiling.  No one knows
exactly what happened, but sometime later
she completely disappeared.
Shortly thereafter, the artist closed his
gallery, cut off all contact with friends
and relatives and abandoned the comfort of his
affluent residence to live in a one room
wooden shack behind a bankrupt motel that had been
converted into apartments for the indigent.
He shaved off all his blond hair and went
to work as a menial night janitor at the university
where he had graduated with honors,  
which was not far away.  People in the neighborhood
would only occasionally see him but he kept
distant, to himself, and was notably silent.
He was in that situation for a number of years.
One night he put a revolver in his mouth
and blew the back of his head off.  His filthy
one room was found to be littered with
empty liquor bottles, a thin stack of old canvases,
(no brushes or paints), a few negatives, (including
of the woman), and a large collection
of valuable stocks and bonds which is
all the relatives took away from the
scene of his death.  One of the old canvases
was his youthful confident self-portrait which was
very skilled except for the one ear showing
which was oddly blurred and deformed.
His name was George.
  
See, that’s how my mind works these
days; flying from one thing to the next.
    
John

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


5 posted 11-18-2004 08:26 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Uh, because Suzuki is generally not respected in the field of Buddhist studies.

To put it bluntly, he doesn't get it.

One quick anecdote: In an introduction to one of Suzuki's books, it is reported that Heidegger read Suzuki and said, "That's what I've been trying to say all along"

In Heidegger's notes, he says, "Not Buddhism, the opposite."

The general point that all things are one distract from the very real disagreement concerning what one should do with such knowledge.

Buddhism isn't exactly unified, you know.

Suzuki tries to explain everything and, as a result, explains nothing.
Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


6 posted 11-18-2004 08:36 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,

"Daisetz T. Suzuki
Zen and Japanese Culture"

"Zen" on which his understanding
and scholarship continues to be revered.
You’ll have to show me a few sites I can
read in support of an otherwise contention.

John
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


7 posted 11-18-2004 08:45 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you John, and while I may not understand how your response applies, I do understand the part about "that is how my mind works these days--flying from one thing to the next."

If you can describe what my mind does as "work"--that's pretty much what my mind does too.

bumblebee

And Brad, I really have been invited to Temple with some friends (Doi and Chou) and I think before I investigate the philosophies, I'd like to first inhale the ritual. But trust that I will bookmark this thread.

And thanks both, for answering.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


8 posted 11-18-2004 09:20 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm confused.

Did you not read what I wrote?

Don't give me sites. Give me aurhorities?

Do you not understand?

Zen means meditation. What is the proper school?
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


9 posted 11-18-2004 09:34 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Brad, I'm not even sure if you're addressing me, but I tell you what?

All I'm looking for here is a bit of peace in the foxhole, preferably without the bullet in my head.

sigh

I'm that frigging tired, yanno?

and I don't mean that as hostile, I don't mean that as anything. I just want other people to quit trying to kill MY people.

Peace in a foxhole.

That's all I'm asking...
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


10 posted 11-18-2004 09:46 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Then tell this guy to stop playing Buddhism.

It's that simple.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


11 posted 11-18-2004 09:51 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

smile.

John?

Stop playing Buddhism.

(I swear Brad, I'm willing to try anything at this point.)



and I really should go sleep...that might be enough at this point, huh?

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


12 posted 11-18-2004 07:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,

Seem to be getting worked up.

And it further seems there’s a disagreement
as to Suzuki’s merit:

“Zen Buddhism
by DAISETZ T. SUZUKI

Amazon.com
The premier metaphysician of the 20th century, Martin Heidegger, once said in regard to D. T. Suzuki, "If I understand this man correctly, this is what I have been trying to say in all my writings." Roman Catholic writer Thomas Merton, analytical psychologist Carl Jung, social psychologist Erich Fromm, avant-garde musician John Cage, writer and social critic Alan Watts, poet Gary Snyder -- all influential in their own rights, claim a debt to Mr. Suzuki and his writings, the most representative of which are gathered here in Zen Buddhism. An intellectual understanding of Zen begins with this book.”


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/03   8548349X/qid=1100823608/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-1639118-9779910?v=glance&s=books


John

P.S. There’s also a drifting away
from the purpose of the quote.


Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


13 posted 11-20-2004 01:47 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yeah, maybe a little.

But c'mon, it bothers me that I point out the Heidegger reference, tell you it's false, and then you proceed to use it as an example of the respect this man deserves?

Look at those names again. There's not one Buddhist scholar among them. It's kind of like quoting Ezra Pound as an expert on Chinese language.

But fair enough, I got myself into an argument in many ways very similar to this one about a year ago. I said some nice things about Deborah Tannen, and a sociolinguist jumped on my case for it. Now, I still think Tannen has said some useful things, but given the popular nature of her work, I have no doubt that she doesn't have the whole story.

If you find something useful in his work, go for it. But don't use him as an example of Buddhism as a whole. There isn't such a thing.

 
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