Saturday, September 10, 2022

It is All Transcendental

"The syntactical nature of reality,
the real secret of magic,
is that the world is made of words.
And if you know the words
that the world is made of,
you can make of it
whatever you wish.
There is a transcendental
dimension beyond language...
It's just hard as hell to talk about!
Reality is, you know,
the tip of an iceberg of irrationality
that we've managed to drag
ourselves up onto for a
few panting moments before
we slip back into the
sea of the unreal.
It is the imagination that
argues for the Divine Spark
within human beings.
It is literally a decent of
the World's Soul into all of us.
We live in condensations of our imagination.
The main thing to understand is
that we are imprisoned in
some kind of work of art.
There is no mundane dimension really,
if you have the eyes to see it,
it is all transcendental."

Terence McKenna (1946 - 2000)

Friday, September 09, 2022

The Sage's Heart-Mind Mirror

"It is its own source, its own root. Before Heaven and earth existed it was there, firm from ancient times. It gave spirituality to the spirits of God; it gave birth to Heaven and to earth. It exists beyond the highest point, and yet you cannot call it lofty; it exists beneath the limit of the six directions, and yet you cannot call it deep. It was born before Heaven and earth, and yet you cannot say it has been there for long; it is earlier than the earliest of time, and yet you cannot call it old.
The sage is still not because he takes stillness to be good and therefore is still. The ten thousand things are insufficient to distract his mind - that is the reason he is still. Water that is still gives back a clear image of beard and eyebrows; reposing in the water level, it offers a measure to the great carpenter. And if water in stillness possesses such clarity, how much more must pure spirit. The sage's heart-mind in stillness is the mirror of Heaven and earth, the glass of the ten thousand things."

Chuang Tzu (c.369 B.C. - c.286 B.C.)

Thursday, September 08, 2022

The Subtle Gāthās of Rock and Water

"Zen master Jingcen of Changsha [Zhaoxian] was once asked by a monastic, 'How do you turn the mountains, rivers, and great earth and return to the self?' Changsha said, 'How do you turn the self and return to the mountains, rivers, and great earth?'

Commentary. Responding to the myriad things from the perspective of the self is delusion. Manifesting the self from the perspective of the myriad things is enlightenment. From ancient times to the present, people have regarded the myriad things as separate from themselves, not realizing that the universe is the body of the Buddha—this very body and mind itself. What do you see when you behold the mountain? Can you see the real form of truth? What do you hear when you listen to the river sounds? Can you hear the subtle gāthās of rock and water? Or are you trapped in the superficiality of sound and form? Mountains, rivers, and the great earth are ceaselessly manifesting the teachings, yet they are not heard with the ear or seen with the eye. They can only be perceived with the whole body and mind. Be that as it may, how do you turn the self and return to the mountains, rivers, and the great earth? What is it that you are calling mountains, rivers, and the great earth? Indeed, where do you find your self?"

John Daido Loori (1931 - 2009)
The True Dharma Eye 

Monday, September 05, 2022

Landscapes and Time

"I start with two proposals. The first: Landscape is time materialized. Or, better, Landscape is time materializing: landscapes, like time, never stand still. The second: Landscapes and time can never be out there: they are always subjective.

The first: In contemporary Western discourse... landscape may be defined in many different ways, but all incorporate the notion of time passing. Thus landscape as solid geology (as in a granitic landscape, a karst landscape) speaks to evolutionary time, aeons of time: all history in a grain of sand. Landscape as land form or topography (a desert landscape, a riverine landscape), again, has great time depth but may involve human interventions, human histories. With landscape as mantled (as in a landscape of peat and moor, a tropical landscape) the processes quicken, sometimes invoking seasonal transience. Landscape as land use (an arable landscape, a country house landscape, a plantation landscape) speaks of things done to the land action and movement, the effects of historically specific social/political/cultural relationships.
The time that passes in these scapes is not uniform. Sometimes a linear notion is implied: units of time clipped together, uniformly ticking over as the years, centuries, millennia, and much more, go by.
The second proposal follows from the first. Landscapes and time are not objective, not a given, not neutral... This is not to say that the world does not exist outside of human understanding, of course it does. When we have bombed ourselves out of existence or made the world unlivable for human beings, the world will (probably) still exist and will go on changing. The point is simply that it is we, through our embodied understanding, our being in the world, who create the categories and the interpretations: Human beings cope with the phenomena they encounter by slotting them in to the understanding of the world which they have already developed: nothing is perceived without being perceived as something. If there was no person, there would still be rocks, trees, mountains but no one to recognize them as such or to call them by those names"

- Barbara Bender, Time and Landscape

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Luminous Beings

"'Don’t try to hurry,' he said. 'You’ll know in due time and then you will be on your own, by yourself.' 'Do you mean that I won’t see you any more, don Juan?' 'Not ever again,' he said. 'Genaro and I will be then what we always have been, dust on the road.' I had a jolt in the pit of my stomach. 'What are you saying, don Juan?' 'I’m saying that we all are unfathomable beings, luminous and boundless. You, Genaro and I are stuck together by a purpose that is not our decision.' 'What purpose are you talking about?' 'Learning the warrior’s way. You can’t get out of it, but neither can we. As long as our achievement is pending you will find me or Genaro, but once it is accomplished, you will fly freely and no one knows where the force of your life will take you.' 'What is don Genaro doing in this?' 'That subject is not in your realm yet,' he said. 'Today I have to pound the nail that Genaro put in, the fact that we are luminous beings. We are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We, or rather our reason, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in our lifetime.'"

Carlos Castaneda (1925 - 1998)
Tales of Power 

Saturday, September 03, 2022


"Every act of experience, whatever it may be that is experienced in the proper sense as it comes into view, has eo ipso, necessarily, a knowledge and potential knowledge having reference to precisely this thing, namely, to something of it which has not yet come into view. This preknowledge is indeterminate as to content, or not completely determined, but it is never completely empty; and were it not already manifest, the experience would not at all be experience of this one, this particular, thing. 

Every experience has its own horizon; every experience has its core of actual and determinate cognition, its own content of immediate determinations which give themselves; but beyond this core of determinate quiddity, of the truly given as 'itself-there,' it has its own horizon. This implies that every experience refers to the possibility... of obtaining, little by little as experience continues, new determinations of the same thing... And this horizon in its indeterminateness is copresent from the beginning as a realm (Spielraum) of possibilities, as the prescription of the path to a more precise determination, in which only experience itself decides in favor of the determinate possibility it realizes as opposed to others."

- Edmund Husserl (1859 - 1938)
Experience and Judgment 

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Ephemeral Sights

"This is life. It is everywhere, and it is here for the taking. I am alive and I know this, now, in a more profound way than when I am doing anything else. These sights are ephemeral, fleeting treasures that have been offered to me and to me alone. No other person in the history of the world, anywhere in all of time and space, has been granted this gift to be here in my place. And I am privileged, through the camera, to take this moment away with me. That is why I photograph."

- Bill Jay (1940 - 2009)

"And so castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually."

- Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970)

"All is ephemeral, both what remembers and what is remembered."

- Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180)