Saturday, January 18, 2014

Skillful means, part II

So we move on, into an unknown; and if is truly structureless, unknown and fully unknowable, as every great master of the inner mysteries from Dogen to Meister Eckhart would have it, why should we organize... discuss it... even bother with it at all?

It is the great mystery of order, that we must forever go beyond it as we encounter it, if we would discern a larger Truth. And it is that Truth, not order, that we seek. There is a sense, in all of us, that Truth- that is, real meaning- ultimately lies behind (or above, if you will) any order we can scry; and even if that truth turns out to be, like the wizard of Oz, a poser—a scam—well, even that is in itself a more important truth than the one we began with, for the very fact that it is true; and it lies one step beyond the illusions we feed ourselves, which can take both the form of a universe with God and a universe without Him. 

As Ibn al Arabi would have it, both concepts are equally true and equally false at the same time, because they, like all conceptions, belong to human beings, and the Reality, the transcendant perfection, from which mankind and all it can know emerges is, lawfully, forever beyond every conception it can manufacture.

We live and breathe as expressions of that mystery; and though we seek to break it down and organize it in our outer action, every man... even the committed atheist... must sleep at the end of each day and enter a night of dreams which he cannot explain or grasp; elemental entities which defy all the sciences together in each single and instantaneous act of their creative genius.

Whether we like it or not, even if we spend the day denying this good darkness of the soul, each night we must enter it. 

And that darkness, that unknown, also dwells within each man all day as the sun shines, though he admit it not... This is the stuff reality is made of, fabrics so strange we cannot test them with ideas, even though we must clothe ourselves with them as we live and breathe.

Seek we must; for who can be comfortable with questions such as these? They demand answers, even if we know we cannot find them; and each question becomes, in our hearts, a mountain we climb simply because it is there.

We are by nature climbers; and we know this, because if we were not, there would be but one valley filled with man and his ideas; and there are many.


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