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Monday, September 8, 2014

Bake the noddle:19_The place of enlightenment

Where would you find your illumination? How would you find it? How do you become an enlightened person? What makes you non-enlightened? Here is the end of T. S. Eliot’s Little Gidding:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

                                                                   The original intentions of Eliot or the interpretations of the poem don’t matter. Focus on what truly matters. Bake your noodle and try to find something that resonates with the words. Just forget everything you know about literature and focus on the words. What does it say about enlightenment? It doesn’t directly say anything at all. But do you find this to be an allegorical representation of finding enlightenment?

                                      I mean what makes you non-enlightened? What is the fundamental reason for your very existence? Do you have any absolute proof about your existence or sentience or whatever other than the thought that you exist?

It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a
lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.

-   Joshu Washes the Bowl, The Gateless Gate #7
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones,  p. 176
Translated by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki

Do you have any proof to say that you are not enlightened other than your thought of it? Just think about everything in a fundamental level. Why do you think that the answer wouldn’t be found in the very definition of your existence? Why do you think that the answers are “out there”?? What if you are overlooking the answer in the very attempt to search it? If all you are doing in your life is complicating things, would the answer to all enigmas be the simplest thing that is the very first thing to be overlooked?