Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Gap Revisited

A contributor to this blog named Floating Weed, who turned out to be a student of Michael Luetchford by the name of Michael Tait, even though I haven’t met him, has taught me a lot about my own unreal tendency. MT, like me, is quite a convincing clever cloggs who tends to think he has understood what he hasn’t truly realized at all.

I have written on this blog about the 2nd law of thermodynamics, aka time’s arrow. But if I truly realized the tendency that energy has to flow spontaneously out, why would I worry so heavily about transient states of the body-mind? If I truly realized the direction of time’s arrow, why would I fret about past mistakes?

I have written of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the ultimate theory of gravity. But if I were truly clear in regard to gravity, then why would the effort to sit upright cause me to pull my head back and down?

I have written of Newton’s 3rd law of motion. But if the principle of antagonistic action had truly entered my skin, flesh, bones, and marrow, then why would the idea of lengthening cause me to narrow? Why would my eyes tend to stray from the mid-line?

I have metioned quantum physics, quoting the principle that quantum physics deals not with certainties but with probabilities. With this in mind, I investigate the potential which I have to make an autonomous decision: I form an intention to move and yet decide not to do anything. By this means, I have been taught, I can allow the possibility of an action taking place. But the truth may be that I have never truly allowed, even once in my life, an action to take place. Like the hypocrite Jews, Christians and Muslims of which the world is full, I say “Thy will be done,” but don’t really mean it. I want God’s dice to be loaded in my favour.

These instances of non-realization, I have argued on this blog, are all a function of the ear, the original organ of stillness.

Pop psychologists, dabblers in Buddhist meditation, and readers of Zen literature, tend to latch on to the idea that true realization is right here within the grasp of everyone here and now, if only we would wake up to the wisdom that they have realized from their psychological or meditative insights and wide reading.

Alfred Tomatis, FM Alexander, Zen Master Dogen, and Gautama Buddha, to name four examples, were not like that. Those four guys all understood something profound about the human ear -- the original organ of both outer and inner listening, of both movement and stillness.

Those four understood that cheap intellectual understanding is never enough.

Sitting-zen practice cannot be like that. It can’t be a matter of cheap intellectual understanding. It has to be real.

This is why, in his rules of sitting-zen, Master Dogen cautioned us so clearly and strongly against un-reality, against the arising of any gap, against false pride in our understanding -- a tendency which causes us to poke our head in while almost completely losing the vigorous road of getting the body out.

It is a tendency that I have, it is a tendency that Michael Kendo Tait evidently has, and it must have been a tendency that Master Dogen also had -- or else how would he have known it so well?

It is not a tendency to be denied or hated, in self or others. It is something to be seen as it is. In our continuing quest for nothing, it is just a bit of something, a bit of something to drop off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you lost sight of the fact that Zazen is a fancy term for sitting on a cushion?

Why does all this other stuff need to be added to it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Really to sit in the full lotus posture, truly upright and still, head shaved, body wrapped in a traditional robe: this is the one great matter.

It is totally beyond what a dabbler in Zen and psycho-babble calls “sitting on a cushion.”

Difficulty in realizing true uprightness and true stillness is primarily a vestibular problem, not a psychological problem. But Zen practitioners today don’t understand.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007  
Blogger Jordan & The Tortoise said...


Could the vestibular and psychological be interconnected?

Take care.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Hi Jordan,

Yes, that is the right question to ask -- and in asking it, you got the order the right way round.

Glad to see you are still alive and kicking.

All the best,


Tuesday, July 10, 2007  

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