When Pirsig expounds on Quality being the front of train, I think I understand what he is trying to say. But by the very act of trying to explain what Quality is, he fails miserably. Because Quality has no meaning, it is not objective or subjective, it is simply nothing. Everything is nothing, nothing is everything.
Why do we continue to try to explain what doesn't need to be explained? Why do we try to show what doesn't need to be shown? More to the point, where is the train going?
When Lao Tzu tries to explain the Tao, he succeeds to a certain extent. He doesn't pretend that words can replace the actual. He uses words to paint the space around the Tao. What can we do but paint the space around our lives? We have no control over life, the tao, the infinite, our bodies. We have actually have no control whatsoever. There is no such thing as control. Shunryu summed up Buddhism thusly; Everything Changes.
And of course, if everything changes, nothing remains the same. If nothing remains the same, nothing is what is was, or will be. What does it matter, though, in what context do these words give meaning to our lives, and if they do not, what is the value of utilizing them?
My thrust is this: Words create meaning, without words meaning exists independently. Independent meaning does not rely on justification or explantation. Meaning just is, as we are, infinitely complex, always changing.
Why assimilate into specific practice? I would say because by doing so you create form around nothing, and with this form you can peak into the nothing and understand what it is. A friend commented that she thought samsara and nirvana are the same. In Zen, maybe this is so, because Zen is the unity of all things. In Christianity, Heaven and Hell must be separated for the theology to create meaning in the minds of the saved. Without this separation, the Christian reward of heaven has no meaning. So without this construct of heaven and hell firmly in place, there is no meaning behind Jesus Christ sacrificing himself for the world's sin. Without sin, the whole thing falls apart as well. So without these words, and the serious implications they imply for you and I, none of this would exist. So Language creates all of our systems, and binds us to them.
Sometimes it feels good to get outside of language. Become a natural mystic. Feel the present moment through my bones and in the breeze. There is nothing that is not natural in this world, nothing that comes from nothing. When you see the world in a dewdrop, you have achieved something. When you see yourself in another person, you have achieved something. When you forget yourself in samadhi, you have started down a path. When there is nothing left to lose you may have understood something worthwhile. When love ceases to be a heart and becomes the glue, then life has meaning. But before meaning, understanding. The natural mystic opens the body and spirit to the everything. The understanding is primal, pre-language, pre-evolution, pre-birth. The patterns coalesce to illuminate but can only be glimpsed if the natural mystic resides inside. The natural mystic is the seed of humanity.
If Time & Space cease to be the factors that determine life's choices, what happens?
But then again, that's all a bunch of hokey pokey. Today is a beautiful day, and I can't wait to enjoy a walk down to the river.
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