It has occurred to me that we humans are a very strange species indeed; as if we didn’t already know that. We are very quick to judge and be suspicious of people who have lived a bit, and maybe committed what society deems to be “crimes”. But, it has been said many times before; the world is paradoxical and we also have a thing called relativity. We only know things that we judge to be “good”, because we have also judged other things as being “bad”. This is the nature of relativity and judgement.
Hypothetically, if you lived on a council estate in South London and you had a couple of kids in their early teens, who would you want guiding them at the local youth club? Would you want someone who can describe what a cream tea tastes like and who may be able to describe what the inside of a church looks like? Or, would you want someone who has been down the rocky road of life, experienced dark times; maybe even gotten on the wrong side of the law, but who has come out the other side? Someone who can apply their life experience to the lives of others and help them in the process. Someone who recognises that look on the face of a youngster that says, “help me”.
The thing with life is that it is meant to be the way it is; our world couldn’t function any other way. The Divine play of life is a complete process; we cannot filter out the things we judge to be bad or wrong. All is experience and all experience has relevance regardless of the way things may seem to be on the surface.
In the above-mentioned hypothetical situation, I know who I would want guiding my kids; but then again, that’s just my judgement.
What’s the difference between a lunatic playing the piano and a concert pianist playing the piano? After all, they are both playing the same notes. The difference is the same as between Zen and organised religion. Like the concert pianist, the Zen person is in flow; everything is in order; there is acceptance of “what is”. When a madman plays the piano, the notes may be the same, but they are bashed out at random; he is just playing fragments. This is the same with organised religion; it is a fragmented series of stories that are someone else’s experience. These stories have been packaged and pedaled to the masses in the hope that the masses will believe blindly.
To practise organised religion, you need the three Ds; doctrine, dogma and deity. All are creations of the mind and are therefore of the ego. The only purpose they serve is to keep the individual in ignorance. The religious person is constantly seeking the unseekable; something that is in the future, whereas the Zen person knows there is nothing to seek. The Zen person knows that spiritual awakening is the understanding that you are already awake.
Listen to the music of silence, it will tell you everything you need to know.
Fancy a bit of blasphemy? Well, you’re out of luck because it doesn’t exist.
Oh, go on then, it does… but only in people’s heads. How can you insult a deity that is apparently above and beyond anything we can imagine? Being “insulted” is something that us humans feel because of the presence of our egos. It’s the relative opposite of feeling smug due to being praised. In fact, there isn’t even a deity to blaspheme against. There is however, Infinite Consciousness; which transcends the human condition, is therefore without ego and cannot be disrespected. Even if we try we cannot insult consciousness.
The only deity that’s of any relevance is the one you can see when you look in the mirror. Don’t be fooled by religious dogma!
Here’s a picture of a rainbow for you; completely random! Wishing you sunshine and happiness!
Here, for your enjoyment are a few pics from my recent visit to Westonbirt Arboretum, which is just four miles down the road from me. Incredibly, even though I’ve been there a couple of times before, it was when I … Continue reading →
Wow! What a statement, “out of my mind”. There was a time when that was all I wanted to be; but it usually involved engaging the help of some really good drugs or a rather cheeky red. These days being out of my mind has a whole new meaning. I’ll rewind a bit first.
I remember when my true self was in the early stages of emerging. I was quite involved with Spiritualism, and meditations were wonderous experiences with crystals, colours, angels, animals and spirit guides etc. I remember thinking that I had really arrived somewhere; not realising that the experiences I was having, although very pleasant, were of the mind. The universe soon blew away any delusions of grandeur that I had about having “arrived”. I believe it’s fashionable to refer to these kind of meditations as “visualisations” these days.
It was some years before I was to learn the true meaning of being out of my mind. But eventually, Zen found me, introduced me to a state of “no-mind”, and took me in a whole new direction. These days I very rarely meditate in the traditional sense, but quite often experience myself being nothing more than an observer as the shenanigans of life play out before my eyes.
However, I also find myself as confused as ever, as the universe (or whatever you want to call it) constantly highlights all the things that are still holding me back. I am incessantly reminded of all my personal prejudices (as much as I try to deny them); they are constantly there, glaring at me, almost tormenting me and daring me to give them up. They say that awareness, where there once wasn’t any, is half the battle. But the universe is truly relentless in its efforts to completely send me out of my mind.
The humble potato. As you can see, this one is in mid-peel…
I recently found a cyber-friend of mine on another well-known social media site (you know who you are!), and on viewing her page, I came across the most wonderful post. I liked it so much, and it provoked so much thought within me, that I wanted to share it with you here. I am not quoting word for word, but I think you will get the gist; it concerns peeling potatoes; or as I like to call them, “spuds”. It goes something like this..
Religion based spirituality – Peeling potatoes, thinking about God.
Zen spirituality – Peeling potatoes.
At first glance you would think that the religious person is a goody-two-shoes; thinking about God whilst engaged in a fairly mundane task. However, unless you have an understanding of Zen and are able to look deeper into what is being said, there is a good chance that this is the only conclusion you will draw.
In the first example, the person’s mind is active; and is therefore giving life to the non-existent ego, or false self.
In the second example, the person is simply Being and is therefore at one with “All That Is”.
It has occurred to me that Zen is the direct experience of our own Divinity.