In Zen and other forms of Buddhism, you can read or hear people referring to "my master." I guess it is meant to express a sense of acknowledgment or thanks or awe or praise or comfort or humility or a time of learning ... something like that. I'm not sure.
But it occurred to me yesterday that the only one who might legitimately use the term "my master" -- the only one who might know what s/he was talking about -- would be the man or woman who was the equal of that which was described with the term. Anything else would be eyewash.
And if a man or woman were in fact the equal of "my master," then the use of such a term would undermine the actual-factual equation ... a kind of refined ego trip attempting to keep ego-tripping at bay.
None of this is meant to suggest either that I know what I'm talking about or that I stand at some convenient, protective, or critical distance. It just came to mind as being true.
Now, I guess, all I have to do is to find out if it is true. :)
I'm not the equal of my Master, but my Master is the equal of me.
With respect, Harry -- "equal" means "the same as." Two equals two, doesn't it? No if's, and's or but's. No squirming. No qualifiers. No excuses.ReplyDelete
So ... now what?
Two equals two, two equals two ones and two can equal three with a little bit of wine, some Barry White on the radio and a few of the right sort of softly spoken words.
Besides the unreality of two equals two...ReplyDelete
Outside of idealism a person may actaully be the sum total of their real actions:
Consider a nice Zen teacher compared to, say, a repeat axe murderer.
Harry -- If you try to parse this inhalation or try to explain this exhalation, I think you are likely to end up short of breath.ReplyDelete
Idealism, as you point out, is not enough. Only breathing is enough.
I don't know much about breath. It seems to look after itself.
Harry -- If the breath looks after itself, then the world looks after itself.ReplyDelete
No point in mucking it up, right?
G, Yes, indeed.ReplyDelete
Ever had a panic attack? With hyperventilation and all that?
I had a few when I was younger. I was so stupid I actually managed to muck up breathing!
I think 'not mucking up', really 'not mucking up', is very fine and very subtle. But I'm no expert.