Sunday, September 18, 2011

My new translation of "Inscription on Silent Illumination"

This is my most recent translation completed today. 9/18/11.

Inscription on Silent Illumination

Mo Zhao Ming

By Zen Master Hongzhi Zhengjue of Tiantong (1091-1157)

In silent silence, forgetting speech.
In bright brightness, appearing in front.
When reflected upon, you’re wide open.
Where embodied, numinous.

The solitary illumination of the numinous
Illuminates within and returns to the wondrous.
The moon in the dew, the starry river,
The snowy pine, the cloudy mountain peak.

In the dark yet universally bright.
In hiding yet all the more evident.
The crane dreams the cold of mist.
The water contains the depth of autumn. 

The vast kalpas are empty emptiness
Appearances are all together identical.
The wondrous is preserved at the place of silence
Achievement is forgotten within illumination

What is preserved to preserve the wondrous?
Wide awake breaks up confusion.
The path of silent illumination,
The root of freedom from minutiae.

The unobstructed view is free from minutiae,
The gold shuttle, the jade loom.
The straight and the biased revolve,
The bright and dim are causally dependent.

Depending on nothing is the location of capability.
When at the foundation, turning around mutually.
Drinking the medicine of good views,
Beating the drum smeared with poison. 

Turning around mutually when at the foundation
Killing or saving life is on us.
From inside the gate emerges the body;
The tip of the branch bears the fruit.

When only silence is the perfect speech,
When only illumination is the universal response,
Response does not fall into achievement.
Speech does not involve listening.

The 10,000 phenomena infinitely connected together
Shine freely and articulate the Dharma
All that proving clearly.
Each and every one questioning and answering.

Questioning and answering, proving clearly,
Precisely mutually responding.
If within illumination you lose silence,
Immediately you see aggressiveness.  

Proving clearly, questioning and answering,
Mutually responding precisely.
If within silence you lose illumination
The muddiness becomes remaining things (dharmas).

The principle of silent illumination complete,
The lotus opens, the dream awakens.
The hundred rivers go into the sea.
The thousand summits face the highest peak. 

Like the goose choosing the milk,
Like the bee picking the flowers.
The reaching and attaining of silent illumination
Conveys our family of the [Zen] lineage.

The silent illumination of the family of the [Zen] lineage,
Penetrates to the top, penetrates to the foundation.
The body of emptiness,
The arms of the mudra. 

The one important event from start to finish,
By the manner of transformation is 10,000 differences.
Huo Shi presented an unpolished gem
Xiangru pointed out the flaw. 

To suit the capacities [of people] there are standards.
The great function does not strive.
Within the palace walls, the Son of Heaven.
Outside of the barriers, the General.

The foundation and affair of our family:
Within the compass, within the carpenter’s square.
Transmit it going in every direction.
It is not important to earn praise.

~The Chinese text at CBETA begins at T48n2001_p0100a25(00).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Archetypal Buddhism

Comment: I really found it interesting that after Buddha's awkening he didn't have that desire to save all beings. He had to be persueded by some diety to teach.

This is a great episode in the Buddha story. As I remember the story, it is not that "he didn't have that desire to save all beings," but that he had the desire yet didn't see how he could effectively communicate what he had experienced to anyone. He was at a standstill point of tension between the idealistic desire to save and the practical realities of how to proceed seeming insurmountable. Who of us does not experience this? His dilemma was that he directly perceived the timeless and wordless profound wisdom (prajna) and inherent intelligence (jnana), yet he felt that on the one hand he was incapable of putting them into words that could be understood by the people of his time, and on the other hand there would be no people who would be able to benefit from the words that he could formulate as opposed to just being made more confused by them.

The appearance of Indra, the "supreme diety" of this dimension, is the recognition of the archetypal truth that our motivation occurs only when an archetypal figure is constellated within mind. Without some kind of constellation (discrimination, differentiation) of an archetypal figure (i.e., a primary configuration of 4th shandha) there is no motivation for us to act. It is just as true to say that every one of our acts has as its motivating mental configuration one or another primary archetypal figure as its constellation or context. Without the primary archetypal figures of the 4th skandha there would be no fruition of consciousness as 5th skandha. The archetypal figures are the constellations in the firmament of our own mind which is the One Mind of No Mind.

In Buddhist terminology, every nirmanakaya Buddha has a samboghakaya Buddha as its intermediate progenitor and the dharmakaya Buddha as ultimate progenitor.

Consciousness depends on our personal complexes which in turn depend on our impersonal or collective archetypes. Self-consciousness is possible because the primary archetype of "god-self" formed in the nascent interaction of discrimination ("the 7th consciousness") where the ocean of concsiouness ("the 8th consciousness") is first stirred can become manifested in the derivitive ego-complex that organizes the reflectivity of consciousness (the 6th consciousness) in relation to the senses (the 1st thru 5th consciousnesses) into the experience of self-conciousness or self-awareness.  This  process develops over years so that sometime around age 6-8 we have a mostly developed self-consciousness based on the establishment of a self-image (ego complex) that is possible because of the "god-self" archetype having been constellated in mind.

Monday, September 12, 2011

“Full Moon on 9/11/11”

On nights like this the difference between myth and reality seems blurred.

The full moon crashes into me like a 767 crashing into the South Tower of Manhattan,

Strikes me like lightening splitting the Tower of the Tarot of Marseilles,

And my inner beings jump for their lives only to fall all the way down to the ground,

To be consumed by the swirling maw of dust.

Thankfully, no one is starting a revenge war against the moon in their name.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11: the Day Nothing Changed.

Again and again we are subjected to the worldwide propaganda machine that tells us 9-11 was the "Day that Changed the World",  the "Day of evil that changed the world forever",   "Opinion: A day that changed the world", etc.         

In fact, 9-11 was a day that changed nothing.  What I mean by that is that nothing changed because of the criminal attacks on 9-11.  Things change everyday, so of course change has occurred since 9-11. The Department of Homeland Security, the greatest government boondoggle in the history of the USA, was created, but 9-11 was just the excuse, not the cause.  We've been going down the road of the American Brand of Fascism since the middle of the 19th century and not one thing related to 9-11 has changed the direction of that road.  The fact that 9-11 has been used to hasten us along that road is in no way a change in our world. 

Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have been created, but they too were not caused by 9-11 or anything directly resulting from 9-11.  They were caused by government officials with their own agendas of profit-making and self-aggrandizement who have simply used 9-11 as their justification.  

9-11 was a day that 3,000 innocent Americans died in a criminal enterprise, and in our orgy of vengeance we have killed hundreds if not thousands times more innocent people.  But even that is not a change. Americans have relished such orgies of violence for a long time, such as the piled corpses in the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century ("Remember the Maine") and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 ("Remember Pearl Harbor"), just to name two examples in the long list of innocent victims of America's revenge fantasies made into manifest destiny. 

If in response to 9-11 the American people had come together to change our ways, then we could have said that 9-11 was a day that changed the world. But, no we did not come together to reassert the rule of law to track down the criminals behind 9-11, no we did not come to see as a nation that our own actions as a nation set the stage for 9-11, no we have not changed one thing about our foreign policy and how we resort to military might to maintain the American Empire and its War Racket for the protection of corporate profits.

No, 9-11 is not a day that changed anything in the world or how America does its business.  9-11 is a day that only confirmed and cemented all the worst in ourselves.  And today, 10 years later we witness the orgy of self-aggrandizement continuing without change in our orgy of American exceptionalism.