Actuality vs. Perception

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  • Tobiishi
    Member
    • Jan 2009
    • 461

    Actuality vs. Perception

    Excerpts from Practical Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill

    "The visionary is a mystic when his vision mediates to him an actuality beyond the reach of the senses."

    "None is condemned, save by his own pride, sloth or perversity, to the horrors of that which Blake called 'single vision'- perpetual and undivided attention to the continuous cinematograph performance, which the mind has conspired with the senses to interpose between ourselves and the living world."

    "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of facts; ...the universe in which he lives and at which he looks is but a construction which the mind has made from some few among the wealth of materials at its disposal."

    Thoughts?

    gassho
    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.
  • Tb
    Member
    • Jan 2008
    • 3186

    #2
    Re: Actuality vs. Perception

    Hi.

    Thus Come One Thus Gone One Thus One

    Mtfbwy
    Tb
    Life is our temple and its all good practice
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

    Comment

    • will
      Member
      • Jun 2007
      • 2331

      #3
      Re: Actuality vs. Perception

      "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of facts; ...the universe in which he lives and at which he looks is but a construction which the mind has made from some few among the wealth of materials at its disposal."
      Yep. But even facts are imaginary.

      Gassho
      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
      [/size:z6oilzbt]

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39459

        #4
        Re: Actuality vs. Perception

        Hi,

        Our Soto Way says that this world we live in is like a dream, yet as real as real can be (a real dream? )

        Zen Practice is an unusual form of mysticism, and unusual among Eastern Religions in general, for constantly bringing us back to the ordinary world in which we live. Oh, yes, we may step behind the curtain sometimes to experience its dreaminess, but then we come back to the drama and comedy on the stage. Life may be, to one degree or another, an illusion and bit of theatre ... but it is our play, the performance we are in ... so get on with the show.

        What's more, it is "ordinary" ... not because we suddenly get some mystical vision that makes ordinary life look like an unending trip to a land of harp plucking angels and heavenly choruses of Buddhas floating upon Golden Thrones and rainbow colored Lotus Leaves ... but because it is wonderfully ordinary, plain, uninspiring.

        Just being "ordinary" is a wonder, a miracle ... and both the beauty and ugliness of this world are this wonderful world itself.

        I wrote this recently elsewhere about folks who are only chasing after the mind-blowing experiences in our practice (and there will be those moments too, don't get me wrong) ...

        Some folks may consider a momentary opening to be "shallow" or "deep". And, yes it is true, such openings may come in tastes "big" "small" "long" "short" and beyond all consideration of size and time at all.

        However, all such passing glimpses are "shallow". All shallow, by necessity. The "depth" comes from the day to day slog of life: putting stamps on envelopes, gas in the car, a bandage on a child's skinned knee. People do not know what "enlightenment" is, thinking it some momentary bit of fireworks or unusual sensations outside our normal perceptions. A glimpse of interconnection and stillness is worthless without a return to our world of disconnection and chaos ... though, hopefully, we can learn to taste some of the stillness in the storm.

        People practice Zen for the fireworks. It is a shame, however, if they do not know where to find fireworks in the mundane, ordinary, just plain tedious disagreeable dangerous and dull. A passing opening or dropping away is no more than a visit to the wide, empty spaces of the Grand Canyon ... nice place to visit, but we can't and should not live there. The real learning is not there. Yes, we may wonder at the majesty and beauty, take a breath beyond space and time ... but we should not (and cannot) stay there forever while in this life. We must very soon get back in the car, get gas and head back into ordinary life. We have to be at the office on Monday, or there'll be hell to pay.

        Not that we do not value such experiences, but value walking the dog or making toast as much.

        There is no self. But the dog needs to be walked.
        And walking the dog is a miracle! The miracle of being alive just to do that.

        Gassho, Jundo
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Tobiishi
          Member
          • Jan 2009
          • 461

          #5
          Re: Actuality vs. Perception

          Originally posted by will
          "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of facts; ...the universe in which he lives and at which he looks is but a construction which the mind has made from some few among the wealth of materials at its disposal."
          Yep. But even facts are imaginary.

          Gassho
          OK, so if we were to rewrite that sentence, it would be "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of ______________..."

          Any ideas? The mind certainly has a wealth of materials at its disposal with which to "do," but what should it be doing?

          Me, I'm still practicing doing nothing. Gassho.

          And then I re-read my own post-in-progress and say to myself, "What should it be doing? Why, it should be giving up the distinction between doing and not doing... between imagination and reality, between "between this" and "between that,"...

          And at this point I realize I have the title of Jundo's Monday sitting to thank for my current state of mind, and Fugen for repeating it on this thread.

          I think I will shorten the quote rather than substitute words- I will simply say "...man dwells..."

          gassho again

          and once more for good measure.

          PS- it took me so long to write this post that Jundo snuck in front of me! So pretend mine is first ( :wink: )

          And I agree that walking the dog is a miracle, as well as bagging the poo and accidentally sticking a finger in it.

          Gassho for the third and final time.
          It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

          Comment

          • will
            Member
            • Jun 2007
            • 2331

            #6
            Re: Actuality vs. Perception

            ...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of ______________..."

            This.

            Gassho
            [size=85:z6oilzbt]
            To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
            To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
            To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
            To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
            [/size:z6oilzbt]

            Comment

            • will
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 2331

              #7
              Re: Actuality vs. Perception

              Deleted by Will
              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
              [/size:z6oilzbt]

              Comment

              • will
                Member
                • Jun 2007
                • 2331

                #8
                Re: Actuality vs. Perception

                I think I misunderstood the quote.

                I thought it was affirming facts, as appose to presenting them.

                Gassho
                [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                [/size:z6oilzbt]

                Comment

                • Kevin
                  Member
                  • Oct 2007
                  • 113

                  #9
                  Re: Actuality vs. Perception

                  Originally posted by Tobiah
                  OK, so if we were to rewrite that sentence, it would be "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of ______________..."

                  Any ideas?
                  As I worked that challenge over in my mind, I winnowed the sentence down. There is nothing to put in that blank that is right, so remove until "...man dwells... in a world", But, no, that's not entirely right either, is it? It is true, but incomplete. So, remove until "...man dwells...". But, no, that's not quite it either, is it? So, remove until "...dwells...". But, no, still not quite there.

                  So, remove until "......"

                  Still not right.

                  " "

                  Not yet.



                  Ah, yes. But, still not.



                  AND

                  "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of ______________...".

                  Yes, that may be the closest we can come in this medium.

                  Gassho,

                  Kevin

                  PS. And, Jundo...

                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  However, all such passing glimpses are "shallow". All shallow, by necessity. The "depth" comes from the day to day slog of life: putting stamps on envelopes, gas in the car, a bandage on a child's skinned knee. People do not know what "enlightenment" is, thinking it some momentary bit of fireworks or unusual sensations outside our normal perceptions. A glimpse of interconnection and stillness is worthless without a return to our world of disconnection and chaos ... though, hopefully, we can learn to taste some of the stillness in the storm.

                  People practice Zen for the fireworks. It is a shame, however, if they do not know where to find fireworks in the mundane, ordinary, just plain tedious disagreeable dangerous and dull.
                  Thank you for this. I have sought this for so long, hoping, but so much in our world tries to rip our eyes from this truth, to focus them instead on the fireworks, to make us believe that our lives are incorrect, incomplete, improper (how many ways can we translate dukkha?). But, no, this, I now see, is why we call zazen our "practice". For in zazen, we practice a skill that we hope to be able to bring to "our world of disconnection and chaos", our world of dukkha. We resume our roles in our own plays, but with a little more awareness of the sets, the stage, the lighting, etc. The dukkha is, likely, still there, but we can embrace it with more compassion now, I think. As Shunryu Suzuki says,

                  Originally posted by Shunryu Suzuki in Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness
                  We practice our way with things as they naturally occur, going with people, suffering with them, helping to relieve their suffering, and encouraging them to go on and on.
                  This applies equally well to ourselves as to others, I think.

                  Gassho,

                  Kevin

                  Comment

                  • Tobiishi
                    Member
                    • Jan 2009
                    • 461

                    #10
                    Re: Actuality vs. Perception

                    As I worked that challenge over in my mind, I winnowed the sentence down. There is nothing to put in that blank that is right, so remove until "...man dwells... in a world", But, no, that's not entirely right either, is it? It is true, but incomplete. So, remove until "...man dwells...". But, no, that's not quite it either, is it? So, remove until "...dwells...". But, no, still not quite there.

                    So, remove until "......"

                    Still not right.

                    " "

                    Not yet.



                    Ah, yes. But, still not.



                    AND

                    "...man dwells...in a world of imagination rather than a world of ______________...".

                    Yes, that may be the closest we can come in this medium.

                    Gassho,

                    Kevin
                    The nail has been hit on the head _/_
                    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

                    Comment

                    • will
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 2331

                      #11
                      Re: Actuality vs. Perception

                      No nail.

                      No head.

                      Gassho
                      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                      [/size:z6oilzbt]

                      Comment

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