At times I will share passages from literature, philosophy, poetry, lyrics, etc that have both moved and sustained me. While many of the authors may not be from the recognized theosophical literature I believe they are theosophical in nature none-the-less. I also believe that the authors I bring here do their best work when I stay out of there way as much as possible. Other readers are encouraged to share as well.


--bill

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Tags: authors, literature, lyrics, philosophy, poetry, theosophical

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Comment by Susan Thomas on June 10, 2009 at 9:43pm
Day & Age Download Link!!


As requested, the lyrics to the song "Human" by The Killers. from their 2008 album, "Day and Age." Enjoy and think!

--
I did my best to notice
when the call came down the line
up to the platform of surrender
I was brought but I was kind
and sometimes I get nervous
when I see an open door

close your eyes, clear your heart

cut the cord
are we human or are we dancer
my sign is vital, my hands are cold
and Im on my knees looking for the answer
are we human or are we dancer

pay my respects to grace and virtue
send my condolences to good
give my regards to soul and romance
they always did the best they could
and so long to devotion,
you taught me everything I know
wave good bye, wish me well

you gotta let me go
are we human or are we dancer
my sign is vital, my hands are cold
and Im on my knees looking for the answer
are we human or are we dancer

will your system be all right
when you dream of home tonight
there is no message were receiving
let me know is your heart still beating

are we human or are we dancer
my sign is vital, my hands are cold
and Im on my knees looking for the answer

youve gotta let me know
are we human or are we dancer
my sign is vital, my hands are cold
and Im on my knees looking for the answer
are we human
or are we dancer

are we human or are we dancer
are we human or are we dancer
Comment by Bill Meredith on June 10, 2009 at 12:43pm
Fiction
by Rober Nozick

I am a fictional character. However, you would be in error to smile
smugly, feeling ontologically superior. For you are a fictional character
too. All my readers are except one who is, properly, not reader but
author.

I am a fictional character; this is not, however, a work of fiction, no
more so than any other work you've ever read. It is not a modernist work
that self-consciously says it's a work of fiction, nor one even more tricky
that denies its fictional status. We all are familiar with such works and
know how to deal with them, how to frame them so that nothing the author
says—nothing the first person voices even in an afterword or in some-
thing headed "author's notes"-- can convince us that anyone is speaking
seriously, non-fictionally in his own first person.

All the more severe is my own problem of informing you that this
very piece you are reading is a work of non-fiction, yet we are fictional
characters, nevertheless. Within this world of fiction we inhabit, this writ-
ing is non-fictional, although in a wider sense, encased as it is in a work
of fiction, it too can only be a fiction.

Think of our world as a novel in which you yourself are a character.
Is there any way to tell what our author is like? Perhaps. If this is a work
in which the author expresses himself, we can draw inferences about his
facets, while noting that each such inference we draw will be written by
him. And if he writes that we find a particular inference plausible or valid,
who are we to argue?

One sacred scripture in the novel we inhabit says that the author of
our universe created things merely by speaking, by saying “Let there be
...” The only thing mere speaking can create, we know, is a story, a play,
an epic poem, a fiction. Where we live is created by and in words: a
uni-verse.

Recall what is known as the problem of evil: why does a good creator
allow evil in the world, evil he knows of and can prevent? However, when
an author includes monstrous deeds—pain and suffering--in his work,
does this cast any special doubt upon his goodness? Is an author callous
who puts his characters through hardships? Not if the characters do not
suffer them really. But don't they? Wasn't Hamlet's father really killed?
(Or was he merely hiding to see how Hamlet would respond?) Lear really
was cast adrift—he didn't just dream this. Macbeth, on the other hand,
did not see a real dagger. But these characters aren't real and never were,
so there is no suffering outside of the world of the work, no real suffer-
ing in the author's own world , and so in his creating, the author was not
cruel. (Yet why is it cruel only when he creates suffering in his own world?
Would it be perfectly all right for Iago to create misery in our world?)

“What!” you say, “we don't really undergo suffering? Why it's as real
to us as Oedipus' is to him.” Precisely as real. “But can't you prove that
you really exist?” If Shakespeare had Hamlet say, “I think, therefore I am,”
would that prove to us that Hamlet exists? Should it prove that to Hamlet,
and if so what is such a proof worth? Could not any proof be written into
a work of fiction and be presented by one of the characters, perhaps one
named “Descartes”? (Such a character should worry less that he's dream-
ing, more than he's dreamed.)

Often, people discover anomalies in the world, facts that just don't
jibe. The deeper dug, the more puzzles found—far-fetched coincidences,
dangling facts-- on these feed conspiracy and assassination buffs. That
number of hours spent probing into anything might produce anomalies,
however, if reality is not as coherent as we thought, if it is not real. Are
we simply discovering the limits of the details the author worked out? But
who is discovering this? The author who writes our discoveries knows
them himself. Perhaps he now is preparing to correct them. Do we live
in galley proofs in the process of being corrected? Are we living in a first
draft?


My tendency, I admit, is to want to revolt, to conspire along with the
rest of you to overthrow our author or to make our positions more equal,
at least, to hide some portion of our lives from him-- to gain a little
breathing space. Yet these words I write he reads, my secret thoughts and
modulations of feeling he knows and records, my Jamesian author.

But does he control it all? Or does our author, through writing, learn
about his characters and from them? Is he surprised by what he finds us
doing and thinking? When we feel we freely think or act on our own, is
this merely a description he has written in for us, or does he find it to be
true of us, his characters, and therefore write it? Does our leeway and
privacy reside in this, that there are some implications of his work that
he hasn't yet worked out, some things he has not thought of which
nevertheless are true in the world he has created, so that there are actions
and thoughts of ours that elude his ken? (Must we therefore speak in
code?)
Or is he only ignorant of what we would do or say in some other
circumstances, so that our independence lies only in the subjunctive
realm?

Does this way madness lie? Or enlightenment?

Our author, we know, is outside our realm, yet he may not be free
of our problems. Does he wonder too whether he is a character in a work
of fiction, whether his writing our universe is a play within a play? Does
he have me write this work and especially this very paragraph in order to
express his own concerns?

It would be nice for us if our author too is a fictional character and
this fictional world he made describes (that being no coincidence) the
actual world inhabited by his author, the one who created him. We then
would be fictional characters who, unbeknownst to our own author al-
though not to his, correspond to real people. (Is that why we are so true
to life?)

Must there be a top-floor somewhere, a world that itself is not created
in someone else's fiction? Or can the hierarchy go on infinitely? Are
circles excluded, even quite narrow ones where a character of one world
creates another fictional world wherein a character creates the first world?
Might the circle get narrower, still?

Various theories have described our world as less real than another,
even as an illusion. The idea of our having this inferior ontological status
takes some getting used to, however. It may help if we approach our
situation as literary critics and ask the genre of our universe, whether
tragedy, farce, or theater-of-the-absurd? What is the plot line, and which
act are we in?

Still, our status may bring some compensations, as, for example, that
we live on even after we die, preserved permanently in the work of fiction.
Or if not permanently, at least as long as our book lasts. May we hope
to inhabit an enduring masterpiece rather than a quickly remaindered
book?

Moreover, though in some sense it might be false, in another
wouldn't it be true for Hamlet to say, “I am Shakespeare”? What do
Macbeth, Banquo, Desdemona, and Prospero have in common? The
consciousness of the one author, Shakespeare, which underlies and in-
fuses each of them. (So too, there is a brotherhood of man.) Playing on
the intricacy both of our ontological status and of the first person reflex-
ive pronoun, each of us too may truly say, “I am the author.”



Note From the Author


Suppose I now tell you that the preceding was a work of fiction and
the “I” didn't refer to me, the author, but to a first person character. Or
suppose I tell you that it was not a work of fiction but a playful, and so
of course serious, philosophical essay by me, Rober Nozick, (Not the
Rober Nozick named as author at the beginning of this work—he may
be, for all we know, another literary persona-- but the one who attended
P.S. 165) How would your response to this whole work differ depending
on which I say, supposing you were willing, as you won't be, simply to
accept my statement?

May I decide which to say, fiction or philosophical essay, only now,
as I finish writing this, and how will that decision affect the character of
what already was set down previously? May I postpone the decision
further, perhaps until after you have read this, fixing its status and genre
only then?

Perhaps God has not decided yet whether he has created, in this
world a fictional world or a real one. Is the Day of Judgment the day he
will decide? Yet what additional thing depends upon which way he
decides—what would either decision add to our situation or subtract
from it?

And which decision do you hope for?


“Fiction”, by Rober Nozick; Ch 27, THE MIND'S I, Douglas R. Hofstadter and
Daniel C. Dennett, Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, New York; 1981,2000;
pp461-464
Comment by Susan Thomas on June 6, 2009 at 8:43pm
A BIT OF FICTION

A woman handed her two small monkey-like creatures, and told her to take care of her “little brothers.” She took one by the hand and carried the other, while everyone around her seemed to be panicking, running and shouting. An older man walked over to her, and placed his hand on the center of her back. They slowly rose above the floor and through the top of the building where she had lived all her life. She looked down. Everything was sinking, the building, the trees, the large crystal towers that powered the building, all was being very slowly covered with a greenish-gray mud. The man, whom she called simply “teacher” sent her the thought that this sinking process could take a long time. Although she was only 14 she stood quietly and watched as everything sank. She saw the actions of the people coming from the building and beyond. A man in a small boat with oars caught her attention as he vainly struggled against the mud. He seemed to be confident that he would escape. Larger boats were around about, and they were filled with people. No one seemed to be taking any supplies with them. Eventually only a greenish-gray muddy mist was visible below. Some boats, large and small were mired, practically motionless. He was right. It had taken a long time, but she was not tired, or restless. She simply watched. Centuries later, she would wonder at her lack of emotion. She would try to find connection, parents, something…. but there would be only the building, the laboratory, and her “little brothers.”
When she awoke in her bed in Kansas City she was 23 years old, and wondering whether she had to work. She mused at the vision-like dream, and poured a cup of coffee.
When she awoke again, she was sitting at a table in a hotel in downtown Tucson, Arizona, with about 15 other people. She almost spilled her coffee as she looked down to the head of the table, and saw him looking at her. She was 37 now, and had gone through an intensive period of crisis intervention training, and international conferences. The look in his eyes would have been disconcerting enough, had she not at that instance recognized him for who he was. “Teacher,” she thought wryly. She thought she was too old to be on the receiving end of those kinds of looks. His physical appearance was generally the same. The same kindly face and long gray hair, with blue eyes peering at her in a way that would have made her uncomfortable had she been younger, or prettier, or had not seen the bottle of wine in front of him rapidly disappear. She wondered why he would be suddenly recognizable, since she had known him for a decade now. All the work she had done to prepare for helping “specialized” crisis victims took on a spiritual meaning, now that she recognized the teacher. So, she sat back to enjoy the evening, at one point proposing a coffee toast to the “Teacher.”

PART TWO

She sat quietly dreading the opening of the class, as it always began with a “meditation.” If it weren’t for the fact that she loved the people she was with, and that they always had lively and challenging intellectual discussions, she would have protested the opening meditation. Tonight, however was different. As soon as she reluctantly closed her eyes, she was far away. A small very black, very intelligent man knelt in front of a patient. She mentally noted that it was nighttime where he was, too. They were outside. She could hear background noises from both worlds. As he acknowledged her by the title “old friend,” she heard the meditation ending. She partially opened her eyes and whispered, “I can’t come back right now.” The group continued, while she assisted her little friend. As he labored with certain plant parts, she did what she could to help, which involved largely thinking the right thoughts at the right time, and moving about as directed. She had been called to help people crossing over to the other side many times in her life, and had certain skills in that area that occasionally caused her to be called during waking hours, but always at non-critical times. Also, this patient did not seem to be crossing over. He did seem a bit “stuck,” she was to recall later. Others were present but she could not see them well, and no one seemed bothered by the presence of a white woman at this procedure. As the discussion group began their healing meditation, which signaled the end of the meeting, she slowly moved back into the twentieth century, and the living room where she sat. After the meeting, all the Theosophists wanted to know where she had been, and she gladly shared her experiences over the usual tea and cookies.

The television news took an ugly turn, as she watched in horror the recounting of two students who opened fire on their fundamentalist Christian classmates. She knew she would be called. Fundamentalist Christians were a sort of “specialty” of hers among those making the transition of death. She was especially good at translating the actual experiences they were having into thoughts they could reconcile with heaven, hell, the devil, and sometimes God. She recalled Heaven’s Gate, and the flurry of activity that had surrounded her on the physical plane, as people came to her to seek meaning in those deaths. This was eerily the same, in many ways. She instinctively knew there would be no talk show appearances this time, however. This was just down and dirty work. Kids were usually easier than older folks, if they had known what was coming. Chances are they all knew they were dead, so that was one hurdle already crossed.

The actual call didn’t come for three days. She went in and told her husband she was being called. He asked if there was anything he could do. She told him to check her in two hours and walked into the office and lay down. Suddenly, her “old friend” was standing beside her, obviously rather perturbed, but handling it calmly. He explained the situation in thought form, as she slowly became horrified. A young body lay crumpled with the entity that should be crossing away still quite firmly attached. The entity…. one of her “little brothers.” A soul memory quickly surfaced.

As a young girl she had worked with genetic transfers. She was working in genetic transfers because she couldn’t get along with the woman who was in charge of the crystal work she was supposed to be doing. The sounds of the crystal lab disturbed her, and the genetic work was interesting. She cared for all sorts of creatures. She was told that when they developed beings with human DNA mixed with other species they were creating bodies for developing souls of other types. She instinctively knew that was not exactly true. The people that told her this either believed it, or were really quite demented. She was never sure which. It didn’t matter at the time.
Now, some 10,000 years later, it mattered more than her own life.

Her “old friend” showed her the level of soul development of the entity. She could read the thoughts of the entity. He had believed in “God,” as the old white guy on a throne in a severely judgmental sort of “segregated, not for your type,” heaven. He simply refused to leave the body and do a life review. The theory of the workers was that if they could coax him into a differently constructed body of astral material, at least some progress could be made. Development of the alternative body prototypes was assigned to her. He had been a truly athletic boy, so some human athlete prototypes were presented and rejected. “Old Friend” suggested lowering the life wave standard and gave her a look she would never forget. “Perhaps another primate?” She cringed. She called for help from a teen-aged friend who might have a lot in common with the boy they were working on. Various ape and monkey prototypes were presented. It seemed they worked for days. The labor was the most stressful she had ever encountered on the finer planes, and she was for the first time, spiritually tired. Then, the most painful part. Just as suddenly as she had been called, she was cut off from the results of their work. She was never to know if they had succeeded or failed in their attempt to free the entity from the body. She protested strenuously to no avail. She was simply sent back when she was done. (Others had quit earlier, and she and Old Friend were working with just a few other beings from all planes. Even angels were working, but the atmosphere was somber. There was none of the usual humor and good cheer that had surrounded her previous work.) Somehow she had a knawing sense of responsibility for the whole situation. Not a good thing. She awoke, went to bed for the night and woke up exhausted and depressed.
Months later, when she received news of a laboratory that was cloning monkeys solely for research; she felt as though she had been shot in the gut. The news media was full of cloning and genetic mixing. She felt helpless, miserable, and as though she would soon participate in another sinking continent cruise. What could she do?

As her day to day life went on, her mental health faltered occasionally, and she took to discussing her daily troubles with a psychiatrist. He was quite helpful to her, and she managed to hang on to daily life, while still in the back of her mind, the thoughts of her “little brothers” lingered mercilessly. One morning she awoke with the issue of the dead boy and the “little brothers” uppermost in her mind. She wanted to do something to stop the genetic experiments that would again destroy a part of our planet and our evolution. Then, from somewhere a thought was presented. She groaned aloud, “Oh God, no..” The answer from the inner planes came stronger than before, and she turned over in bed. “No, God, no. Not fiction.” The thought from the inner plane just sat in her head, and she poured her first cup of coffee, still groaning, “Oh God, no, not fiction.”
Comment by Bill Meredith on June 1, 2009 at 11:22am
He who realizes Nirvana, the Buddha Gautama Himself,
has spoken of it to His own disciples thus:

'There is, disciples, a Realm devoid of earth and water,
fire and air. It is not endless space, nor infinite thought, nor
nothingness, neither ideas nor non-ideas. Not this world nor
that is it. I call it neither a coming nor a departing, nor
a standing still, nor death, nor birth; it is without a basis,
progress, or a stay; it is the ending of sorrow.

'For that which clingeth to another thing there is a fall; but
unto that which clingeth not no fall can come. Where no
fall cometh, there is rest, and where rest is, there is no keen
desire. Where keen desire is not, naught cometh or goeth;
and where naught cometh or goeth there is no death, no birth.
Where there is neither death nor birth, there neither is this
world nor that, nor in between--it is the ending of sorrow.

'There is, disciples, an Unbecome, Unborn, Unmade, Un-
formed; if there were not this Unbecome, Unborn, Unmade,
Unformed, there would be no way out for that which is
become, born, made, and formed; but since there is an Un-
become, Unborn, Unmade, Unformed, there is escape for that
which is become, born, made, and formed.'

THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD; compiled and edited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz;
Oxford University Press, London, Oxford, New York; 1960; p68
Comment by Bill Meredith on May 31, 2009 at 5:38am
THE EXTINCTION OF NOTIONS

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said,
"Concerning that which cannot be talked about, we
should not say anything." We cannot talk about it,
but we can experience it. We can experience the
non-born, non-dying, non-beginning, non-ending
because it is reality itself. The way to experience it is
to abandon our habit of perceiving everything
through concepts and representations. Theologians
have spent thousands of years talking about God as
one representation. This is called onto-theology,
and it is talking about what we should not talk
about.

Protestant theologian Paul Tillich said that God
is not a person, but also not less than a person.
Whether we speak of God as not a person, as a non-
person, as not less than a person, or as more than a
person, these attributes do not mean very much.
One flower is made of the whole cosmos. We can-
not say that the flower is less than this or more than
that. When we extinguish our ideas of more and
less, is and is not, we attain the extinction of ideas
and notions, which in buddhism is call nirvana.
The ultimate dimension of reality has nothing to do
with concepts. It is not just absolute reality that can-
not be talked about. Nothing can be conceived or
talked about. Take, for instance, a glass of apple
juice. You cannot talk about apple juice to someone
who has never tasted it. No matter what you say, the
other person will not have the true experience of
apple juice. The only way is to drink it. It is like a
turtle telling a fish about life on dry land. You can-
not describe dry land to a fish. He could never un-
derstand how one might be able to breathe without
water. Things cannot be described by concepts and
words. They can only be encountered by direct ex-
perience.

(...)

TOUCHING THE LIVING
BUDDHA

God as the ground of being cannot be conceived
of. Nirvana also cannot be conceived of. If we are
aware when we use the word "nirvana" or the word
"God" that we are talking about the ground of be-
ing, there is no danger in using these words. But if
we say, "According to Buddhism, this exists," or,
"This does not exist," it is not Buddhism, because
the ideas of being and non-being are extremes that
the Buddha transcended. When we share the
Dharma, we must speak carefully so that we and our
listeners do not get stuck in words or concepts, It is
our duty to transcend words and concepts to be able
to encounter reality. To be in touch with the source
of our own wisdom is the most eloquent way to
show that Buddhism is alive. We can touch the liv-
ing Buddha. We can also touch the living Christ.
When we see someone overflowing with love and
understanding, someone who is keenly aware of
what is going on, we know that they are very close
to the Buddha and to Jesus Christ.

LIVING BUDDHA, LIVING CHRIST; Thich Nhat Hanh;
Berkley Publishing Group, 2007; pp139-140,144-145
Comment by Bill Meredith on May 27, 2009 at 5:07am
Imagine

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try.
No Hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the People,
Living for today.

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too.
Imagine all the People
Living life in Peace.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people
sharing all the world.

You may say that I'm a dreamer
but I'm not the only one.
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one.

-- John Lennon
Comment by Bill Meredith on May 26, 2009 at 5:40am
Unity of Man and Nature

Though man now stands at the apex of the evolutionary
process, he remains intimately linked with all that has gone
before. Unity is not just a pious hope but a scientific fact at
every level. Already we are one with every other, and we are
one with nature, though we seldom pause to recognized
these things. At the physical level we share one earth: the
atoms of our bodies are constantly changing, and with
every breath we take in myriads of atoms previously used by
others. It is said that most Englishmen have in their bodies
a few atoms that once were Shakespeare's.

At the chemical level we share one pattern of metab-
olism: the thousands of chemical reactions, by which we
digest our food and maintain our flesh and organs, are
mostly common to all the animal kingdom and, in fact,
plants use many of these same reactions along with others.
It has thus become clear that throughout nature metabolic
pathways are like a single theme with variations.

At the biological level we share one life: the evolutionary
progress of living organisms is like an imposing design of
branching stairways, and at no point is the step high
enough for any denial of continuity. Individual cells in our
bodies resemble lowly unicellular organisms; in em-
bryonic life, too, many of the earlier forms are
recapitulated.

At the social level we share one humanity; we are one
social species with minor variations, and the history of civ-
ilization concerns our efforts at harmonious integration of
increasingly large groups.

Finally, at the spiritual level we share one Cosmic Intel-
ligence, one God, as some would say. For many this is no
more than an article of religious acceptance, but for some it
is a luminous certainty born of deep personal experience.
When it is thus for all of us we shall no longer need to re-
mind ourselves of these truths, and we shall be truly civ-
ilized. So man carries within himself the essence of all that
has been and is now; and he has the power to build the
future as he will.

INTELLIGENCE CAME FIRST; edited by E. Lester Smith, A Quest Book,
The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill, USA,
Madras, India / London, England; 1975; pp185-186
Comment by Bill Meredith on May 24, 2009 at 4:45am
Address at the Final Session by Swami Vivekananda
Volume 1,Addresses at The Parliament of Religions
Delivered on 27th September, 1893


The World's Parliament of Religions has become an accomplished fact, and the merciful Father has helped those who laboured to bring it into existence, and crowned with success their most unselfish labour.


My thanks to those noble souls whose large hearts and love of truth first dreamed this wonderful dream and then realised it. My thanks to the shower of liberal sentiments that has overflowed this platform. My thanks to his enlightened audience for their uniform kindness to me and for their appreciation of every thought that tends to smooth the friction of religions. A few jarring notes were heard from time to time in this harmony. My special thanks to them, for they have, by their striking contrast, made general harmony the sweeter.


Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if any one here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, “Brother, yours is an impossible hope.” Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.


The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth; or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant, it develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.


Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.


If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: "Help and not Fight," "Assimilation and not Destruction," "Harmony and Peace and not Dissension."

Retrieved from "http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_1/Addresses_at_The_Parliament_of_Religions/Address_at_the_Final_Session"
Comment by Bill Meredith on May 21, 2009 at 11:11am
When Hui-hai came to Zen Master Ma-tsu, Ma-tsu
asked him, "What have you come here for?"
Hu-hai said, "I have come seeking the Buddha's teaching."
"What a fool you are!' Ma-tsu said. "You have the greatest
treasure in the world inside you, and yet you go around asking
other people for help. What good is this? I have nothing to
give you."
Hu-hai bowed and said, "Please, tell me what this treasure
is."
Ma-tsu said, Where is your question coming from? This is
your treasure. It is precisely what is asking the question at this
very moment, Everything is stored in this precious treasure-
house of yours. It is there at your disposal, you can use it as
you wish, nothing is lacking. You are the master of everything.
Why then are you running away from yourself and seeking for
things outside?"

Upon hearing these words, Hui-hai realized his own mind.

Once, the great Ma-tsu said to me, "Your own treasure-
house already contains everything you need. Why don't you
use it freely, instead of chasing after something outside your-
self?" From that day on, I stopped looking elsewhere. Just make
use of your own treasure-house according to your needs, and
you will be happy men. There isn't a single thing that can be
grasped or rejected.
When you stop thinking that things have a past or future,
and that they come or go, then in the whole universe there
won't be a single atom that is not your own treasure. All you
have to do is look into your own mind; then the marvelous
reality will manifest itself at all times.

--Hui-hai, quoted in THE ESSENCE OF WISDOM,
edited by Stephen Mitchell, Broadway Books, 1998, p26-27
Comment by Bill Meredith on May 20, 2009 at 5:40am
The Mystery of Life

The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a
reality to be experienced. Beware of the man who claims to
have solved the problem of life, who would explain its com-
plexities and, with deadly logic, build a system in which all
the facts of our existence may be pigeon-holed and neatly
stored away. He stands condemned by his own claim. The
child which sees wonder in all the world around it, to whom
the shells with which it plays on the beach are objects of
breathless excitement and thrilled amazement, is nearer to
divine truth than the intellectualist who would strip a world
of its mystery and takes pride in showing us its anatomy in
ruthless dissection. For a while it may satisfy evolving man
to know that the splendours of a sunset are but the breaking
of light-rays in a moist atmosphere; he will come to realize
that he may have explained the method, but has not touched
the mystery at all. Recovering from the sureness of youth,
never doubting itself, awakened man returns to the wonder
of childhood and once again sees a world which, as the years
pass by, deepens in mystery and beauty, but is never ex-
hausted or explained.

--Van der Leeuw, J.J. THE CONQUEST OF ILLUSION; Alfred A. Knopf: London and New York; 1928, p9

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