Monday, October 20, 2014

The clockmaker's dilemma, part II

So there's this "system," this game plan, consisting of a teaching; a form. It isn't quite adequate; and there are even teachings that take the form of espousing no form, admonishing us, with words, not to engage in the use of words. The contradictions are striking; yet they get swallowed whole. People discuss them in all seriousness without appreciating the irony; and for the most part, it seems as though the ironies, the contradictions, are not understood exactly because these teachings, forms, and words are all outward aspects of an inward form.

The outward parts are evident enough; they can't be any other way. Trying to tell them not to have words or not to have a form is futile; that is their very nature in the way of their outwardness. So already, if I tell outwardness not to have a form, I am misunderstanding the nature of inwardness and outwardness, and mixing them. I might as well tell ice not to be cold, or the sun to emit darkness. This simple and inescapable point is entirely glossed over, because it sounds so much more mysterious, impressive and important to speak about not speaking and utter words about the banishment of words. People widen their eyes in awe and amazement; how profound it sounds!

This focus on making the outward what it is already not and can never be distracts us from turning our inner eye inward, because we are so involved with the outward and how we ought to deny it, banish it, change it—in other words, basically, devalue and diminish it. This via negativa of the outward may purport to turn us towards the inward—but I doubt it. We cannot make the leopard change its spots; instead, we might want to consider the idea that there is another leopard, which is spotless.

It's this inward form, this unseen mechanism of Being- which is not a thing, but a force-that marks the increments of time and change, and sets the measurements from which all outwardness flows. Getting into touch with that may indeed be formless and wordless—but this makes no shame of forms and words, it simply reminds us that they are not quite enough. Alone, they are partial.

We can't get rid of them; but they can be incorporated—taken into the body of Being—rather than expropriated from the outwardness they rightly belong to.

To have outwardness incorporated, taken into the body, is another way of saying that I allow my outwardness to come into me as an impression, not rejecting it or judging it, but allowing it.

I let my clockmaker do his work; it is an intimate work.


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