Tuesday, October 2, 2018

beginning and end again

If there is an end, there must be a beginning.

If there is a beginning, there must be an end.

If there is a beginning, there must be a "before."

If there is an end, there must be an "after."

From this, I think it can reasonably be concluded that there are neither beginning nor end, neither before, nor after ... sort of.

Or, alternatively, there are both beginning and end, before and after ... sort of.

And the tricky part is probably that there is nothing tricky about any of it. To the extent that any of it seems tricky, to that extent exactly, things get flummoxed and silly and "sage." It is important to either dive in or leave things alone. But "tricky?" Forgetaboutit! It's just plain.

The Zen teacher Ummon said approximately, "When you can't say it, it's there. When you don't say it, it's missing."

No tricks up his sleeves.

1 comment:

  1. A random surprise,

    Master Ummon’s saying and doings have continued to inspire for almost 1100 years.

    However, given the misuse of loans in popular culture, it’s undoubtedly helpful to understand the state of Ch’an Buddhism in the late 9th and early 10th centuries.

    Ummon’s teachings have a certain “magical” appeal but one must be careful. As a commentator said, “Ummon's school is deep and difficult to understand since its mode of expression is indirect; while it talks about the south, it is looking at the north.”

    BTW - your approximate quote is more Lao Tzu than Ummon. I like Lao Tzu, too. I also like Kwai Chang Caine.