Saturday, February 17, 2007

(2) From feeling to thinking

According to the World Book Encylopedia: “The primary colors in light are red, green, and blue. When red and green lights are mixed, the result is yellow light. A mixture of blue and green lights forms blue-green light, and blue and red lights form purple light. Combining all three primary colors in light in the proper proportions results in white light.”

As it is with mixtures of red, green and blue light, so it may also be with feeling, thinking, and action in sitting-meditation -- the reality of practice is likely to involve no clearly defined red, green, and blue, but mostly a lot of murky yellow.

Originally light is pure, like nothing, but when we think about light we call it white and analyze it into red, green, and blue.

There are two kinds of thinking, at least -- thinking, and thinking about. Thinking in sitting-meditation, thinking that concrete state beyond thinking, is not thinking about.

Gudo Nishijima taught me when I was in Japan how to think ABOUT things, in four phases, following Gautama's four noble truths -- the truth of suffering, of origination of suffering, of stopping suffering, and of the way of stopping suffering.

That is why I write now of red, green, blue and white; of feeling, thinking, action and enlightenment; of four Alexander directions; of four vestibular reflexes responsible for regulating postural tone.

There is no red, green, blue and white; no feeling, thinking, action and enlightenment; no four directions; and no four reflexes.

In 1906 Sir Charles Sherrington wrote of the fiction of simple reflex. The four reflexes, then, are a convenient fiction, along with the four categories of feeling, thinking, action and enlightenment.

There is no somersault.

Or is there?


Post a Comment

<< Home