24 December 2012

As above, so below: all dharmas are empty


What is the nature of the interior language of the self, perhaps the soul; this cloud of meaning that gathers within our brain, the music of thought, the montage of images, the symphonies of sound, theaters and cathedrals of memory, the smile of the mother, laughter of the friend, sigh of the lover, the taste of a kiss, the fragrance of a Christmas dinner?

There is the labyrinth within, the endless maze. Tibetan monks lost in arcane hierarchies of consciousness. The flesh burning in blue flames of siddhis within a frozen Himalayan cave. Hermes Trismegistus as above, so below. Can the mind perfect itself at the expense of the body? Source for yogic practice. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Issues in translation become emblematic: the vodka is good, but the meat is rotten.

All dharmas are empty.
 - The Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom: With the Divisions of the Abhisamayalankara By Edward Conze

23 December 2012

I am being trolled through dark waters

Anatomy of a Fish Hook

The process of abstraction, of making the thing, the experience of the thing, into a word; of making the territory into a map; the meal into the menu. It is understood the word is not the thing.

There is a sense, which opens a philosophical can of worms, that there are two lives: the one lived in world and the one thought about. My body, my flesh, my meat, seems a thing sunk down in the water, hook, line and sinker. Still, there is this line leading upwards to that which has cast me outwards into the wilderness of this world and that which will pull me back in over the years. The implication is amusing and terrifying: my flesh, my physical being in the world, is a lure, bait. I am being trolled through dark waters and bottomless depths in order to attract something other, some rough beast. At the core of me, I am crucified with a hook, turned over into a mark of question, that, at the moment of my annihilation, sink into the brain of the thing I have lured out of the depths, returning all things to the One.