Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I experience life


Today I'm tired again, and I have been wrestling business problems that behave like irritated live alligators. So instead of solemnly shouldering the blog and tackling whacking great philosophical problems, I'm just going to relax and enjoy myself.

I was considering the below this morning, after another straight-up shot of Dogen, and I thought it might be interesting to sketch it out on paper. ...er, blog.

Let's examine the title phrase of this post. "I experience life."

We might all agree that this experience of life flowing into us comprises everything that we are.
From a certain, perhaps we might say objective scientific point of view, this appears to be true.

However, a great deal appears to be true which upon very careful examination turns out not to be true at all, because its premises are false. The fact is that most of us rarely pause to examine our premises. Mr. Gurdjieff pointed this out frequently.

Because premises are necessary, we take them for granted. That is where mistakes begin. So, in the spirit of Mr. Gurdjieff's relentless questioning, let us examine each word in this particular phrase.

The word "I" is already in error. It presumes a division between subject and object which does not exist in the real world. Everything is already a subject, and everything is already an object. Subjects and objects are one thing. It is only consciousness as we experience it that divides them into arbitrary classes--which cannot exist in Truth: Truth is classless and without division.

So in place of the word "I", we should use no word, but just breathe in and out.

The word "experience" is in error. "Experience" presumes the possibility of an alternative. if there is "experience," there is also "no experience," and there cannot be "no experience." Try to imagine no experience, if you can. Imagine non-existence.

Go ahead. Find it.

Furthermore, this word limits the immediate moment by turning it into a concrete object. Time is not graspable: no sensed moment can be a thing. In fact, there are no things.

Tricky, that one.

Hence, in the place of the word "experience," we should also use no word, but just breathe in and out.

The word "life" is in error. "Life" imposes limits which fundamentally cannot exist. There is life before life, and there is life after life, so everything is life. Even things that do not appear to be life are life.

Perhaps we could try to substitute the word "Dharma," or, "reality." But even these words are a few tiny letters or brief vibrations within the atmosphere which are unable to touch the infinite sea of Truth which everything exists in.

Whenever we use words, it seems, we begin in error.

As with music, perhaps we could begin in silence,

...and breathe in and out.

May your trees bear fruit, and your wells yield water.

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