Interval 5,

by: Roger Weir

Interval 5

We come to Interval Five and what we're doing is we're pursuing something that transcends the forms that have limited us and the transcendence is not a going higher, but an expansion that is continuous. This was always very difficult to convey to men and women who had to work their lives in this world. The earliest way in which we were weaned away from this world was to go down below the world into caves. Into a subterranean access that took us out of the world, took us out of the surface of our lives and put us underneath. And it was extremely easy in those millennia to have a cognate sense that what was a netherworld was also the world after life. One is buried in the earth. So the going into the underneath, into the netherworld, was not only cognate of what occurs after life, but that quite obviously that what occurs after life is not an end to life, but an extension of life beyond this world. And so the netherworld and the afterlife together became a mysterious journeying and that mysterious journeying held its deep wisdom all through the Palaeolithic. From about 40000 BC to about 12000 BC, that was the wisdom norm for our species on this planet, long enough to be engrained. There was an epical change about 10000 BC, about 12,000 years ago, where instead of there being a retreat away from this world, a weaning away from this world, to go to a nether world, an underneath, there was the beginnings of a whole different outlook and that was to tame this world, to remake it, to recut it, in such ways that it augmented our life in the world. And so changing the world by taming it, taming the animals, taming the plants, taming the minerals, taming the metals, taming ourselves, all of this was a slow motion revolution that took quite some long while to deal with. The longest continuous record of that is in Jericho, along the Jordan River, what is today Israel, what is technically still a part of Jordan. And the woman archaeologist who first figured it out completely was named Kathleen Kenyon, known as Dame Kathleen. And she was a largish woman and she was an archaeologist for decades and her work at Jericho was the first to establish that continuously occupied for about 12,000 years. And that before it was a city it was an oasis site that had a raised ground, levelled platform, where obviously what was presented there was the religious, social, visionary centre of those people at the time 12,000 years ago. And it's the first time that one realises that instead of an under the earth, one now had a raised earth and instead of being an afterlife, it was a beyond the limitations of life. And instead of being under, it looked out and looked up. An outside platform raised is not only up in the sunlight, but is under the starlight, looks to the heavens now. And that the pattern of the heavens in some way is different from, but related to, the pattern of a nether world, of an underneath world. And in all of that time, again almost in our sense of a slow motion, wisdom became more and more interested in how these two come together to be a whole and that the whole somehow has a mysteriousness exactly where our world is. That our world is an interface of the great above and the mysterious below and that our world then, the only way that one can understand eventually, is that it is a permeable membrane between the two and that our comportment to this world must be one of men and women able to function in an osmotic membrane that goes both ways. And at that point civilisation developed as a third mode, not the Palaeolithic, not the Neolithic, but a third mode, the civilisation which was to have its focus, its wisdom focus on the ways in which we as a species use the membrane, third quality interface to relate the two and the Chinese phrase for that is, 'Man is the bridge between heaven and earth.' Or the Chinese phrase, 'Sageliness within, kingliness without.' So that the royal lineage aspect of man was an expansive heavenly realm and the complement to it was a sagely wisdom, wizard kind of innerness, that related to it through our lives. That raising of the earth to be not just a truncated mountain, or a truncated hill - and in many ways architecturally it was developed in that way - but it eventually came down to the interval text that we are using, which is called the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. The founder of Zen Buddhism in China...and 'Platform' here, the Sutra Ching, like I Ching, the sutra is called T'an Ching, t-'-a-n, T'an Ching and, 'T'an' means a, 'Platform,' a raised place from which one would speak and one would speak seated, one would teach. If you pronounced the Chinese character just a little different, not, 'T'an,' but take the apostrophe, the aspiration out of it, it's pronounced, 'Dan,' instead of, 'T'an.' 'Dan,' like, 'Tao' is, 'Dao.' Dan Ching means, from the Sanskrit, 'D?na,' 'Gift, giving, charity,' in the sense that one gifts and gives. So it's a gift teaching from a raised platform, put into a Sutra. It is one of the greatest documents in planetary wisdom history and it brings together, in a very interesting series of concentric, parentheticals, to a point of spherical implosion, by which the radiance that comes out from it has an infinite expansion. And an infinite expansion in particular if one expresses it in a mathematical term. If you take a binomial term, like an equation, E=MC2 and you expand the entire binomial in terms of the coefficients, the pairedness, of all of its elements, one comes out eventually with an expressive infinity as the array that will spin out from that mathematically. Not only expand to infinity, but it will come into an integral that slips inside of one and becomes zero. Zen is both the zero and the infinity all the time, every time, everywhere, paired together. That's an extraordinary aspect and the easiest way to understand it in terms of a mnemonic is that in the five phase energy cycle of classical Chinese Taoist wisdom, the Tao is not the Tao, but simply Tao and it has no designatable numeration. And so in terms of ancient India wisdom, its designation would be zero. And what emerges out of that zero is oneness, in the sense that it emerges iteratively, vibrantly, all the time as oneness, so that any aspect of anything is the indefinite onenesses of it. And that this is rather mysterious when you apply it to the mind. One of the great intellectual mystics of the twentieth century, Uspensky, who studied under Gurdjieff, once diagrammed the sense of I-ness as a circle that has an indefinite, little ones within it. That our I-ness, our oneness, is that there are almost an infinitesimally, innumerable onenesses that in any constellation together, are always a resonance of one anyway. And that if one goes to the zeroness of counting, the zero always punctuates each number so that its unity will remain with it and become elemental. So that in-between one and two ones is a zero which you do not see, which you do not count, but is constantly there in-between the iterations of oneness. And if you add three ones, three, in-between the two and the three, there's a zeroness. And you can count them in a set of nine and when you get to ten, it is now the one and the zero. The zero now appears. And if you count all the way through the developments of each oneness of each number, all the way to 99 and when you get to 100 there are now two zeros. So that the zeroness is a power, it is an ordinal dimension to the onenesses of existence, in all of its fundamental thusness. In classical Buddhism the thusnesses that are really ones, they are really there, the Sanskrit word for that is, 'Tathata,' 'Tathata.' And the zeros that are accompanying tathata all the time and occasionally ordinally disclosing the powers of them, is ??nyat?. 'Zero, void, empty,' but empty in the sense that it is consistently a full Tao that participates all the time in whatever powers of being there are. And that it is capable, as a function of our wisdom beings, that we can perfectly balance the zero and the one and that when we do, our sense of two, our sense of two is not dualistic, but is paired. It's a paired Tao Tê and that the Tê will carry invisibly the Tao, but it will also have a paired nature, a yin yang nature this time. But the yin yang nature will be ratioed, it will be proportioned by an interface of a zero Taoness there, so that between any two human beings of our kind, there is a Tao that is capable of being a membrane of ratioing us together into a higher order of oneness. And that any number of Homo sapiens sapiens can be brought together in a community where all of their zeros are similar and the same and all of their onenesses contribute together to a resonance of an ordinal, higher, expanded oneness. And that the basis of that community is not political, it is not social, it is not even universal, it is real.
And so the quest for a reality became increasingly refined and by the time of Hui Neng, a great, huge, parenthetical condensation had reached the point of an implosiveness that changed the world when it came out. He lived in the late 600's AD, he died in 713. And as I showed last week, when he died he did not get buried, he yogically petrified his body to the consistency of anthracite coal and it's still there in the temple at which he did, seated still in the teaching chair. He's still there. The difficulty is that his Chinese is extremely refined, even though he was illiterate, he could not read and he could not write, he never could. He was born a poor boy peasant in south China. He grew up in blue collar working conditions and he had no idea that he was special and certainly no idea that he was extra special. And one day at some deliveries, mundane, what cart driver delivery men? He overheard an old monk reciting the Diamond Sutra. Its real title is The Diamond Cutter Sutra, Vajracchedik?. It means, 'One who is able to cut the jewel out of the raw crystal.' And when he heard it, it was - to use a phrase - crystal clear to him. When he heard it he understood it perfectly. And so he asked the monk, 'Where can I learn about this?' And he said:
The greatest master of this is named Hung-jen and he's in a whole other part of China, but nobody can get to see him because he's surrounded by the best monks in China and he's the Fifth Patriarch. He's the inheritor of the whole lineage of enlightenment, from the historical Buddha up until our time. And in fact he's old now and he's getting ready to pass the lineage to a new Patriarch.
So Hui Neng showed up at the monastery, had an interview and Hung-jen looked at him almost dismissively and said, 'But you speak Chinese in a southern dialect. You're a barbarian. You can neither read nor write and you can't talk straight. You talk with a truck driver's broken Chinese from the south. Who do you think you are?' And Hung-jen said, 'I've only come to witness the Buddha-nature and I don't see any north or south in the Buddha-nature at all. I don't see any barbarian or sophisticate in it.' So Hung-jen said, 'Well, just hang around the monastery, you can do some jobs.' And after a little while he had a lay disciple, not even a lowly monk, a lay disciple, tell him that his job to stay there was to work in the threshing room, where they thresh rice to get the hulls off. And so for eight months Hui Neng worked the pestle treadles, husking rice. What's interesting, because in Japanese especially, the character for rice has the number 88 in it. If you do not know, in Chinese, eight eights is a mystical number. Eight times eight is 64, the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching etc. In the Japanese character for rice the 88 means that this rice has gone through 88 hands to come to you. That the fundamental bread of nutrition in the Far East is that it is a co-operative effort, otherwise none of us are going to be able to eat, to be nourished, to live. So here's Hui Neng threshing the rice for eight months and at that time the Master's Dharma Hall was on a corridor and facing to the south, was a big, huge, long wall of this corridor and they were going to put murals there, Chinese landscapes. And Hui Neng says in the T'an Ching, in the Platform Sutra, 'They were going to put in the three sections of that corridor illustrations to the Lankavatara Sutra, one of the High Dharma Jens, like the Diamond Cutter Sutra, whereas the Lankavatara is from the early days of the Prajnaparamita, from about the time of Plotinus, whereas the Vajracchedik? is from time a little bit later, couple of centuries later. And that in these three sections, the central section was going to be the passing of the dharma and the robe to the new Patriarch. Now, the word for dharma there in the T'an Ching can also be pronounced in such a way that it really means, 'The Bowl,' because the imprimatur of a Patriarch was that they were robed and they carry a bowl. The bowl is where you get your sustenance from this world; whatever is put in it is what you have to work with, to live. And the robe is whatever you put together, with that you teach. The classic Buddhist robe is always the rags picked out of the castoff bins every spring and so this patchwork of rags was sown together by a monk during the rainy season in India in the spring and you made a new robe every year. And so one of the few things that you're able to carry with you, is a needle alongside of your bowl and the robe that you made. That was about all you had in classical days. And the needle was usually kept in like a lapel of your robe and you would carry that around. One time when a kind of a Kurosawa Yojimbo High Dharma monk showed up, Aryadeva, in a new city and the ruler of the whole kingdom sent for him. Aryadeva just took his needle out and dropped in the glass of water and said, 'Give this to him. I don't show up for you, you show up for the teaching. This is High Dharma, this is not opinion, this is not popularity. I convey reality. If you want in on it, show up.' Hui Neng realised that the central portrait of the passing of the robe and the bowl, the dharma of life is the nutrition of it, the way in which you will live in this world to maintain that, the robe, the teaching, the gifting of it. That portrait of the passing of the robe and bowl was in the middle, set within a Chinese landscape of the Lankavatara Sutra, not just a landscape, but a landscape of the High Dharma, on which the heavenly and the nether context of the portraiture of the world is expressed in art. And when we come to our Art, starting next week, the two projects that we have is to make two paintings, one a landscape and the other a portrait. Our self-portrait in the middle of our landscape is the time-honoured High Dharma way of presenting the complementarity of the ordinality, not of where you are, but wherever you choose to be. You have an array of infinity of worlds on all levels. One of the High Dharma Sutras used to say, 'Do not despise the dust motes in the air. Each dust mote is a whole universe in itself and has beings without number within it.' The deepest koan experience I had in Zen, decades ago, when Suzuki Roshi in San Francisco walked into the darkened auditorium, zen-d?, I was the only person sitting in the darkness for a long time and the shaft of sunlight that came from the freshly opened door and before it closed all the way and as he passed through and all the dust motes in the air followed him, like magnetic particles. And later that day I was in Berkeley at a lecture at the University campus, of Thomas Hornbein, who'd been on the American expedition to Mount Everest and he had lost his fingers and toes due to frostbite because they went for the first time up the South Col, which was at that time unclimbed and the most difficult approach to Everest. Then he got up there and the vision I had later on in meditation was this hooded peak of Mount Everest, with a blizzard of electronic particles blowing like a blizzard off the top of it. Mount Everest is where Milarepa had his monastery. The Head Monk, Shenxiu, wrote his little verse, his little haiku-like verse to receive the dharma lineage and become the Sixth Patriarch and he talked about, 'Polishing the mirror so that no dust could collect on this mirror of the reflective mind.' And coming back from the threshing room later that night, early in the morning, Hui Neng passed and he had someone read to him, one of the co-workers, what this little verse was there in the central part where there's gonna be the portrait of Shenxiu getting the big cheese. And Hui Neng said to him, "Can you write for me, 'There is no mirror. Where is the dust gonna collect?'" And so Hung-jen, early in the morning - if you're a Taoist Zen master you get up long before dawn - came out and read the two verses and right away searched around to try to find who had written the second verse. When he found out it was the illiterate rice thresher, he called him in before dawn, he gave him the robe folded up and the bowl and he said, 'You better get out of the monastery, 'cause they're gonna come after you 'cause this is a power structure, with thousands of monks, hundreds of monasteries. It's international, big time stuff. Nobody's gonna pay attention to you as the Sixth Patriarch.' And so Hui Neng went back and carried his robe and bowl and for many years worked as a labourer. And so the carrier of the dharma lineage of the world worked as a truck driver for another good, long while, until finally he was brought to the point to where everyone began to realise that he was it. The carrier of a lineage is not always the one that has the cover articles, not always the one that has the fame at the moment. My Taoist degree, given to me 40 years ago, just quietly. My whole, advanced degree, was just held quietly. The really beautiful, rare, old scroll presenting the Hui Neng lineage needs to be rematted obviously. You're being given exactly what is real and has been forever. It is not an opinion. When Hui Neng finally got himself together, he, in his T'an Ching, taught extensively about pairs and pairs of opposites and how there are 36 pairs, making 72 in pairedness, that are in three groupings. And that this is a very High Dharma shape of expressiveness, in terms of not just a symbol, which is a mental thought structure, but of a prismatic art structure that generates historical, High Dharma, kaleidoscopic, conscious energy and that energy sustains in its nutritive, the cosmos. One doesn't have any problem meeting God anywhere in the cosmos; every dust mote, every cluster of galaxies, is a part of the expressiveness that is indelibly, permanently, eternally, real. Deeper than what is, more primordial than one, more expansive than any kind of algorithmic coefficient that one can have.
The translation of the T'an Ching that I use is Philip Yampolsky from Columbia University. But Yampolsky learned to do his translation because for ten years in New York City, at Columbia, the greatest dharma teacher from the whole East Asia tradition taught there. His name was D.T. Suzuki. And D.T. Suzuki lived to be almost 96 and he had begun his whole dharma teaching career in Chicago in 1897. His Zen master in Japan had D.T. Suzuki translate into Japanese from English, a book called The Gospel of the Buddha by Paul Carus. A German immigrant to the Chicago of the 1890's, when a lot of Polish and German immigrants went there. Like the Italian and the Irish went to New York City, the German and Polish in the 1890's went to Chicago. And Paul Carus set up in LaSalle, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, he set up a school called the Open Court, which had a publishing company, the Open Court Publishing Company and he wanted somebody who would come and help translate the Tao Te Ching from the Chinese into the English. And young D.T. Suzuki, his Zen master, Soyen, sent him under condition that he would have his first moment of enlightenment, his first satori, before he went. And that if he didn't have his first moment, not only could he not go, but he would have to commit hara-kiri. 'You're either going to be real, or you're going to be really dead.' How about that as a koan? His previous Zen master, who had passed away, had given him a koan, the sound of one hand clapping, whereas Soyen Shaku, to trigger the satori, the moment of initial enlightenment, gave him the koan Mu. Mu is, 'Does a dog have Buddha nature?' And if you don't know, you will not be able to understand what the answer is and if you're not infinitely conscious, you will not be able to even know whether you know. And so it becomes a regressive screw that burrows into the structure of mental thought, until every aspect, every tension in the structure of the symbolic mental thought world, is wrapped up in whether this is realisable or not. And of course, naturally and supernaturally, there is no answer in terms of question. That there is no question is the of the dilemma permanently. One of the great translators of D.T. Suzuki in France, Hubert Benoit, who was Aldous Huxley's psychotherapist in Paris, wrote a book. And in The Supreme Doctrines: 'There is no answer to what is wrong with you, that there is nothing wrong with you is the actuality and it doesn't need a question or an answer.' Let's take a break.
Let's come back to Interval Five. We're bringing ourselves through phases, we're weaning ourselves away from a thought structure that has itself magnetised to types, to structure of types of things. We're weaning ourselves from that to phases that flow and gel. And the gelling is of such a nature that it then reflows and then regels and the first time that it gels, it gels out of a field, the second time that it gels, it gels out of a stream. Existence gels out of the field of nature, but the structure of the mind gels out of the flow of experience. It is the stream of experience that irrigates the way in which the structure of the mind will obtain its integral. A symbolic thought structure is always integral, but that integral is only halfway there to the real. So when you find all over the world that such and such a place is integral, we've got the integration down there in the sixth grade and need to do the next six grades in order to graduate and get into university level. The next six grades are a differential ecology and the differential ecology is extremely important. One of its most difficult qualities is weaning ourselves away from the be-all assumption that a thought structure, with its ideas, is the complete show. One of the aspects that it uses in order to co-opt anything else to itself, is expressed by the word, 'Theory.' Something theoretical is supposed to be the mental plan of what it is when it's altogether in the mind. Theory does not take place in the mind, in a thought structure. 'Theoria' means, 'Contemplation,' theory is a visionary process and only becomes theoretical when the visionary process of consciousness exchanges centres with the thought structure of the mind and becomes then an interface between the imagination and the memory. There one can speak of a theory of symbolic structure. But theory in its origin is in the field of consciousness, much like the field of nature and the field of nature of nature gelling in such a way that existence, existentials, really occur. What really occurs in the conscious ecology are forms of person, forms of spirit, which are art forms. So that what comes out of a conscious flow, differential process theory, theoria, is the prismatic art form of a spiritual person who can use a poetic. And it turns out that one of the most interesting poetics in the conscious reality of this planet, is mathematics. Mathematics is an art form, not a symbol form. The symbols that are used are used in such a way that they go through the field of conscious visioning and re-emerge completely transformed, so that a mathematic then is actually an art language that is used to express something rather beautiful, rather personal. And one finds in the history of math, that almost all of the wonderful procedures that are used, are named for someone who originated them, like the Pythagorean triangle, or the Penrose transform, or whatever. There is such a thing as a little monograph called Was Pythagoras Chinese? Written by two professors at Penn State. Penn State is not in Philadelphia, but in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. And they say, 'Of course Pythagoras was Greek, he wasn't Chinese, but the originator of the Pythagorean triangle, so-called, could very well have been Chinese.' They say:
Often centuries and thousands of miles separate the appearance and isolated reappearance of the same mathematical, or scientific theory. It is now acknowledged that the Pascal triangle method of determining the coefficients of a binomial expansion, was known in Song China 300 years before Pascal was born. And that the root extraction algorithm credited to the nineteenth century British mathematician, W.G. Horner, was employed by Han mathematicians of the Third Century AD. If then these mathematical processes are to bear the names of the men or women who devised them, surely we can now say that Pascal and Horner were Chinese and so too with the method of the Pythagorean triangle.
One of the deepest, mysterious confusions here is actually the lack of refinement and expansion on a very large scale and I'll try to give you a nutshell of this. Pythagoras was a mathematician in the sense that the inner circle of Pythagoreans were called, 'Math?matikoi.' The outer circle of Pythagoreans were called, 'Akousmatikoi,' from, 'Acousmatic.' Those who have come to the ability to hear are those for whom the language is now visionarily alive. They can hear what is being said and because they can hear what is being said, their creative imagination is juicy, their remembering has vitality, electricity and if you have something electrically juicy, it can really do stuff. And what the akousmatikoi really did, after five years, was they were able to see with the conscious forms of their person from spirit forms what the ratios, the proportions really were. That things are not only existential, but they're ratioable, they're proportionate to their resonances of sets, their sets that are resonances in a harmonic. And so one was able with the spiritual eye to see the differential forms, which is an art capacity and when one has that capacity and sees another person who is able to see in that way, the pairs of eyes of those two persons see each other seeing each other. This seals a very interesting kind of a conscious whirlwind, mutual whirlwind, where the spiralling is no longer destructive, or suspicious, but goes out with a great energeia and goes in with a great dynamic, so that you get a moment of mutual recognition, better known as love. And one learns that you can do this, not only with other persons, but with animals. You can really get to know an animal who really gets to know you. It can be done with plants. I learned the old Chandogya Upanishad when my first co-meditators were giant sequoias, so it's nothing to me except just ordinary that you would meditate with the forest. The ancient Sanskrit term for that is, 'Forest gone.' Not just far out, 'Forest gone,' you're there with the forest. When we get to the great artwork of Max Ernst, he always painted these surreal, mystical forests and over them would be this kind of cosmic, circular, not sun or moon so much, but with a hole in the centre of it and when you look at that form, the ancient Chinese form, from 5,000 years ago, is that this is the form of heaven as a differential, prismatic form and the Chinese name for that is a, 'Pi,' spelt p-i, but pronounced, 'Bi,' b-i. The whole circularity of a cosmic mandala, which will have a centre that may not be physically open, but may be presenting openness, extends then that the remit of that cosmic circularity is not circular, but infinite. So that the centre of it is also available for any degree of zeroness, to be ordinally, not ordinarily, but ordinally distributed through the entire context, the entire field, of what it is. This is a High Dharma state. Communities that are engendered in this way are indefinitely resonant, so that once a community of men and women is established in this way, they will have a resonant life forever after, no matter where it is. And can be tuned in, can be picked up.
One of the qualities in Hui Neng is that when the monks are finished listening to master's sermon, in this case, Hung-jen, they go back to their individual little cells, their little rooms. The place where they are gathered together to hear a sermon happens periodically and for the rest of the time they are meditating by themselves. They will have the same shape, whether it's in south China, or it's in Glastonbury, England. The old, original Glastonbury was a series of 12 little, circular meditation huts, around a central hall where they all came together every seven days, but that the sermon on the seventh day was not so much given by someone, but that they would sing together as a choir, they would sing a hymn together and then they would eat together and then they would go outside and sing a hymn of thanksgiving as a hymn of praise to the stars. This is exactly the form that the meditation community outside of Alexandria, the Therapeutae community, a Pythagorean originate community, had, from the very foundings of Alexandria, some 2300 years ago. Its impress is so permanent that anytime there's a community of men and women who come together in this ratioable, proportionate way, they rediscover, they retune, they refine this shape. 400 years ago there was a great, huge movement in Europe to try to get back to the origins of the Christian experience, back to the primitive Christianity, the early, the first Christians. And in doing so, on the Continent, in Germany, after about 90 some years of experimenting with trying to find ways to come back to this, they found that there was a need to put a community of these young people into primordiality, into primordial world that was not the labyrinthine, cluttered up Europe of its day. And so in 1694, 41 of these young men went to the New World, they went to Pennsylvania, they went to Philadelphia, which at that time was much smaller than even downtown Philadelphia is today and they went to a creek, the Wissahickon Creek, which is in a park in Philadelphia now and in that park the leader of this group, named Kelpius, lived in a cave right off the Wissahickon Creek. It's still there, it has a nice gated door now. And they built a two storey building, the bottom of it was square, where all the different, little cells, the little rooms of the individuals were, all 40 of them. And the second storey was round and it was a communal dance hall, choir place, banquet meeting. So that they would do the Round Dance of Jesus and they would sing the kind of hymnals that were characteristic of the time, like the Psalms, the Psalms of David. 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want' and so forth. And then eat together, have a banquet together, have a communal meal together. And that this pattern is not only there in Philadelphia of the 1690's, it's there in the China of the 690's, it's there in Alexandria of the minus 300's and many places that one would go to in the world, you will find this structure again and again. Not a structure of the mind, but a shape of spiritual community which is an art form and the persons who are in that are resonances of the entirety of the community in and of themselves, not as individuals, but as pitch pipe tones that have all of the music wherever they are, or wherever they are together.
Here's an illustration from the early 1940's, from New York City. It was a Japanese American publication called Cat's Yawn, and this is a Daruma figure, Bodhidharma, the first Patriarch of Zen Buddhism in China, as a little doll and the caption is, 'They call it my Zen, but I don't know anything of it.' Saying what something is and defining it, is a deceptive mode unless one keeps a little notch that this is an appearance and its appearance is viable as a presentation of possibility, but it is not at all a trigger for an identification that then takes precedent over actuality. The really deep understanding of Hui Neng comes from D.T. Suzuki's The Zen Doctrine of No Mind: The Significance of the Sutra of Hui Neng. Published in 1949 in London because after the Second World War, it was apparent to many people in the world that this is a very serious kind of breach that has happened. Not that a world war is the serious breach; the First World War was even more catastrophic in that kind of central ripping up of tradition. What was serious is that the Second World War ended with atomic bombs. And by August of 1945 it was apparent that the Pandora's box had been opened and no one was gonna put the genie back into the bottle. The only resolution of it is an expansion that no longer is frightened by the tyranny possibilities of a masculine, runaway authority and commandeering and that the tunability then of the pairedness, of the gender of human being, needed to have a rebalancing. And when we get to our Art phase, starting next week, one of the most, first, poignant realisations of this is in the film...one of the four films we're using, by Howard Hawks, called The Big Sleep. The Big Sleep, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as the tuning pair, was first finished in 1945, in January of 1945 and was finished with the editing process by March of 1945 and was set to be released and shown and a couple of conscientious people are always those in Hollywood. And the agent for Lauren Bacall, Charles Feldman, realised that this was going to be an inopportune releasing and maybe jeopardise the career of Lauren Bacall. She'd become a hit the previous year in 1944, in Howard Hawks' film of Hemingway's To Have and Have Not, with Bogart, Walter Brennan in it and many others. But she had starred in a film with Charles Boyer that in the meantime she was castigated for being very shallow, too young - she was only 19 - couldn't act. And Feldman said, 'Let's have' - in a letter to Jack L. Warner, who could make things happen - 'Let's have Howard Hawks reshoot the scenes with Lauren Bacall, to bring her role up to a par with Bogart's in the film.' And so in August of 1945, when the atomic bombs were first used, Howard Hawks went back, brought the cast back, here in Los Angeles...the Warner Brothers lot's just through the Quanga Pass and reshot many of the scenes, more than a half dozen, three quarters of a dozen of the scenes, to bring Lauren Bacall's role up to an equanimity, a parity, with Bogart's in the film. And when The Big Sleep was finally finished and edited in December 1945 and released then early in 1946, it was a revelation of the way in which a work of art by hugely conscious individuals...the screenwriters for The Big Sleep are William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett, the director Howard Hawks, Bacall and Bogart and many of the people involved with it, highly conscious, conscientious people of the time. It is a work of art that for the first time shows a great promise that there is a complicated mystery in the world that can be resolved without understanding every single detail of it. Because one of the criticisms of it was that were many loose ends in The Big Sleep and they wrote to Raymond Chandler, whose novel it was, his first novel, 'Who kills the chauffeur?' And Chandler wrote back and said, 'I don't know. No one has ever figured it out.' And there are many other loose ends in The Big Sleep; it continues to be one of the great works of art at the dawn of the atomic age. That the mystery can be resolved in ways that we can go on to live without having to make every detail iron out by a structure of thought. It is like a benediction that life can go on beautifully and expansively, even though we don't understand every aspect now, at the moment. We'll work with it, we'll carry the mystery with us, we'll carry our zeros with us as we go along. And at some threshold of expansion, in a retrospective, it will have sorted itself out in a way to present a further resonance of it, which will again engender further mysteries in a new past where we understand what those were and they're nothing compared to the new mysteries that are now here. Like the website showing that the south pole of Saturn is a hexagon in the clouds, 60 miles deep and 15,000 miles across, out of an atmosphere of winds like a hexagon. These are all indications...the second edition of The Zen Doctrine of No Mind was published in 1958, because by that time what was esoteric in the 1940's, Zen Buddhism had become a cause celèbre in world literature because of the Beat Movement. The Beat writers were so featured that the Chicago Review, here of the summer of 1958, features on the cover, Zen, D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac. And when you go into the table of contents you find there are articles here, not only by Watts and Suzuki and Kerouac, Philip Whalen, who was a Beat poet, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who was an American woman from Chicago, who married a Zen master. And in fact was...outlived her husband and was one of the founders of the First Zen Institute in New York, which had a First Zen Institute branch in Kyoto and here the First Institute, Zen Institute of America in Japan. Can you imagine? 1959. The ecology of this infinite pretzel coming back, the First Zen Institute of America in Japan, run by an American woman from Chicago, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, Zen: A Method of Religious Awakening. And her classic book among many is A History of the Koan, the Zen koan. A marvellous, marvellous person. Watts, by the way, his first book, published when he was 21 years old, is called The Spirit of Zen. He was just 21, he didn't know anything about Zen. He'd read a couple of books of D.T. Suzuki. By the time the Evergreen Review came out, the Evergreen edition of The Spirit of Zen was reprinted, Watts had apprised himself of a great deal of Zen and his first interesting Zen publication, published in Stanford, California, was just simply called Zen, 1948. And one sees that from the late 1930's to the end of the 1940's, Alan Watts had come up enormously in capability, in facility, in understanding and largely due to D.T. Suzuki's works. In the Chicago Review the very last article is called 'Zen and the work of Wittgenstein,' by Paul Wienpahl. Already Alan Watts' 'Beat Zen, Square Zen and Zen' from this issue of the Chicago Review, was reprinted by City Lights and Jack Kerouac finished a novel called The Dharma Bums. This issue of the Chicago Review also has poems by Gary Snyder, who was a Beat poet who left the United States and in 1956 went already to Japan, to study Zen in Kyoto. So D.T. Suzuki was like the focus of a huge transformation. He was like Gandhi, or Schweitzer, or, as we will see, [1:14:46 Chi Pi-shi]. D.T. Suzuki, Einstein, one of the five white-haired, planetary magases of the twentieth century, who managed to live a very long time and do a very great, huge service for all of us in opening up and opening up and expanding and constantly expanding the sense that nobody used to really know, but you have the opportunity to know even more than they didn't know and to pass on to others who will come along and know a lot of what you don't know and have more mystery and more questions to pass on etc. And that mankind in this way flowers into, not just a flower, or a field of flowers, but star systems full of blossoms. By the end of the twenty first century, not only will there be a way of Zen, but there will be a nature man and woman quality of understanding that there is a great deal of bouquetness in new ways of community that are not thought structures. They're not brain aneurisms, they're not social impresses that we have to obey. One of the qualities of D.T. Suzuki, is that his wife, Beatrice Lane Suzuki...there's a great little book on the Mah?y?na, is actually a very beautiful presentation. Her books on animal rights and so forth, from 100 years ago, are extremely impressive in understanding that our humanity is a humaneness that gains richness and dimension by including more and more variety of human beings. There are any number of ways to be human and the humanity of a kaleidoscopic history is that everyone is included. Each person that comes through in this way is a revelation of something new and possible and to be treasured for that possibility. It's not about tolerating further additions to a mental structure, it's about appreciating the art of living and the science of being. One of the most interesting interviews in the Chicago Review is an interview that was later promoted in a New Directions 17 reader, Thomas Merton Wisdom of the Desert, where they found that the earliest Christian monasticism is very much like the earliest Buddhist monasticism. In fact, they're like dead ringers for each other. They're like mirror images for each other and not surprising because the Mah?y?na was seeded twice in India, by Hellenistic, Greco, Egyptian emissaries. One went to south India and one to north India. The one who went to south India was St. Thomas and the one who went to north India was St. Bartholomew, who's known in the New Testament, in the Gospel of John, as Nathaniel. The meditator under the palm tree, that Jesus said, 'I saw you meditating under the palm.' He was sent to Gandhara. At that time it was one of the up-and-coming Greco-Buddhist kingdoms and a later king of that, about three generations later, Kanishka, expanded so that all of north India and parts of Afghanistan, as far as the Bamiyan Valley, were extended in a Kushan Empire that went all the way into Central Asia, the complete Gobi Desert to the reaches of China, in the far, far, the Far East of the East. It is at this time that the Mah?y?na transcended itself as a Buddhist, exclusively Buddhist matrix. And in the capital of Tang China, when it was first established again as the capital of the Tang, the greatest of all Chinese dynasties, in the 600's, about the time of Hui Neng, a great, huge stela was raised in Chang'an, by [1:20:13 Tang Tide Sang] himself. Talked about the great cosmic religion that is home everywhere in the world. A copy of that stela was taken to Japan, outside of Kyoto, Mount Hiei and put was there by K?b?-Daishi, K?kai, as he's known in Zen and that the foundation of a very close to a Christian, Hellenistic, Jewish quality of artistic person, spiritual form presentation. When one hears of this and goes to Mount Hiei, that Koyasan Temple that's on the top, after all these long steps of cracked stone wind through the pine forest to the top and one has to bend down for the low threshold doorway going in, one finds it empty. There are no images, there are no altars, there is no one there, but the openness of the emptiness that is real, because you carry that with you as one of your spiritual zeroings, all the time. The only other place on the planet that had a branch of Koyasan Temple is here in Los Angeles, in Little Tokyo. It's the only place in the world that had a resonance that brought back from the east of the East, to the farthest west of the West. And Kyoto and Los Angeles were tuned together at a time when things like The Big Sleep were being released and one of the figures who first wrote about this comprehensively was Manly Hall, who did a beautiful little booklet on the Koyasan Temple and its cognate with Kyoto. There is such a thing as American Zen, there is such a thing as a Mah?y?na that has a Hermetic America root. The fact that this occurs and has occurred and is occurring, is a living vibrance of that. More next week.


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