We Already Have Everything

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  • Jiken
    Member
    • Jan 2011
    • 753

    We Already Have Everything

    Reference desire,

    I was hoping for some insight regarding this concept or a point to something reference it on the forum. I couldnt find anything. Brad Warner in "Sit Down and Shut Up" in reference to desire in the Twelvefold chain wrote,

    "By reading its (his book) contents you’re making them part of your mental makeup. Or so you think. The funny thing is, though – and try getting your cranium around this one because its really worthwhile – if these ideas were not part of your mental makeup to begin with, you’d never have been able to understand them in the first place. What you perceive as words written on this page are just funny shapes that trigger images that already exist in your mind as the one that were in my mind when I wrote the words. But they’re close enough that we can communicate. Ultimately, though the ideas in this book don’t come from me or from Dogen or from Buddha. They come from you – from your previous experiences with similar words, from all the things your family and your teachers and the cartoon shows and commercials on TV told you about what certain concepts mean, and so on and on."

    So once this is realized nothing changes? We still need the "funny little shapes" to learn what we already know. having a hard time with this one.

    Mike
  • Hoyu
    Member
    • Nov 2010
    • 2020

    #2
    Re: We Already Have Everything

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry i can't answer this one, but i just wanted to say thanks. Because the excerpt you wrote from this book was so awesome i have to pick this one up to read more!!
    Not to take away from Mike's question, but if anyone else has read it i would love to hear their opinion of it as well.

    Gassho,
    John
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

    Comment

    • wes_d
      Member
      • Nov 2010
      • 8

      #3
      Re: We Already Have Everything

      Interesting, because Warner is telling us that we already knew about the funny little shapes that trigger the thoughts, or sequence memories to give us better understanding. So, I guess no insight gained? But, this paragraph, in itself is like one of those paintings of someone painting the same picture, and so on...

      I don't have much to add to this either, but just some random thoughts this brought up. Thanks for sharing, though, because those funny shapes you typed, both your own, and Warner's, inspired some interesting thought.
      Gassho.
      Wes
      Gassho

      Comment

      • Shokai
        Treeleaf Priest
        • Mar 2009
        • 6391

        #4
        Re: We Already Have Everything

        When you place the funny little shapes on a page you put them in slightly different order so that the concepts conveyed are shifted each time. I have ideas bonded to each of these symbols and concepts and I can confirm meanings in a dictionary to conform with society's agreement but, ultimately, the idea conveyed was originated from Dogen or Buddha. I bounce these thoughts around and come to a conclusion as to whether or not I think it's truth and in the end maybe you have altered the composite I call my world view. But, then again, wasn't that your objective? :? Certainly, every thing I read, see, hear, touch, taste or smell alters my world view in some way; assuming what Warner calls mental make-up is what i call world view. :roll: So, why does he put the onus on me. He's the one that started it!
        合掌,生開
        gassho, Shokai

        仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

        "Open to life in a benevolent way"

        https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

        Comment

        • Rich
          Member
          • Apr 2009
          • 2602

          #5
          Re: We Already Have Everything

          All those funny symbols which cause thinking and understanding are actually pointing you to non thinking so as Richard says everything you see, hear, touch , taste or smell alters your world view which is already complete so 'we already have everything'.

          I think I read that in some zen books once
          _/_
          Rich
          MUHYO
          無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

          https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

          Comment

          • Risho
            Member
            • May 2010
            • 3179

            #6
            Re: We Already Have Everything

            First, those funny little shapes have meaning to us because our brains are able to interpret them. Second, the way we interpret them, or bind them to ideas is based on our life experience (or world view as Shokai put it). Third, although words are used to convey meaning (originated by Buddha, Dogen, etc) those words may mean different things to each of us because, although the words are the same, our life experience that shape and give meaning to those words is different. Perhaps, that is what is meant by a teaching outside of hte scriptures.

            Gassho,

            Risho

            P.S. I think Richard already said this haahahah oh well, it made it make sense to me :mrgreen: Thanks Shokai
            Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

            Comment

            • Jiken
              Member
              • Jan 2011
              • 753

              #7
              Re: We Already Have Everything

              Wow. That really deepens it for me. The explanations helped. It is far bigger and more amazing than I was able to understanding. Makes everything so personal and shared at the same time. Thanks guys.

              Comment

              • JohnsonCM
                Member
                • Jan 2010
                • 549

                #8
                Re: We Already Have Everything

                "By reading its (his book) contents you’re making them part of your mental makeup. Or so you think. The funny thing is, though – and try getting your cranium around this one because its really worthwhile – if these ideas were not part of your mental makeup to begin with, you’d never have been able to understand them in the first place. What you perceive as words written on this page are just funny shapes that trigger images that already exist in your mind as the one that were in my mind when I wrote the words. But they’re close enough that we can communicate. Ultimately, though the ideas in this book don’t come from me or from Dogen or from Buddha. They come from you – from your previous experiences with similar words, from all the things your family and your teachers and the cartoon shows and commercials on TV told you about what certain concepts mean, and so on and on."

                So once this is realized nothing changes? We still need the "funny little shapes" to learn what we already know. having a hard time with this one.
                Hmmm. I agree and disagree with some of what is written here. The funny shapes are needed yes, because we must communicate and a standard has to be reached or we all just sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to one another, the old Tower of Babel problem. But, when I write the word “chair” maybe you think of a rocking chair where I see a recliner.

                In my opinion, the concept of what the funny shapes mean are already in my mental make up, but the ideas – the living, breathing, interpretation of those concepts strung together from the view point of another person or from many people, comes from the person thinking them. Going back to Jundo’s old “you can’t tell someone exactly how vanilla tastes” thing, you can conceptualize the funny shapes that make up “vanilla” and have an idea of what that is, and “taste” and have an idea of how that works; but when you stop an think about the idea of trying to explain the taste of vanilla in the context that Jundo presents it, you have to stop and say, “Wow. That’s true. I really can’t tell another person what vanilla tastes like.” That resides only with them.

                The idea that we are only what we learn is incomplete, because then knowledge would reach a standstill. We would never be able to realize enlightenment or drop the self, because for the most part those that taught us have not done so either. There are also the examples of many koans (true or not makes little difference) where you read “and the master, hearing thus, became greatly enlightened.” Enlightenment might always be within us, but the concept required the correct push, the needed snap of something beyond what your current ability to conceive was capable of.

                I guess what I’m saying is that the “source” (for lack of a better word) of the concepts and ideas that we learn through our study of the Way might have always been there with us, but the ideas on stringing them together in such a way that they create the possibility of freedom, might not. Either way, nothing changes is kind of correct. The world becomes no different then it always was, but your understanding of it grows into something profound. The funny shapes become the finger pointing at the moon, just don’t mistake one for the other.
                Gassho,
                "Heitetsu"
                Christopher
                Sat today

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39456

                  #9
                  Re: We Already Have Everything

                  A bit of the chicken and egg about this, perhaps. I am not sure I follow it. People have been debating such things since before Plato.

                  In any event ...

                  But, when I write the word “chair” maybe you think of a rocking chair where I see a recliner.

                  ...I really can’t tell another person what vanilla tastes like.” That resides only with them.
                  Sit in the chair, taste the vanilla. I would not think it too central to our Practice to think whether either was in your head before or not.

                  In fact, most traditional Buddhist views hold that that our entire experience of reality is a dance, constantly changing, of data from outside us entering the senses, then recreated in whole or part as images in the mind ... interpreted and categorized and judged and labeled, piled high with aversion and attractions. In fact, it is such an interrelated dance that we cannot even say that it is a matter of "inside you" or "outside you" ("inside" and "outside" are not really apart, thus "mind" is not inside or outside ... and even the experience of "you" is a product of this process) ... nor something happening just in the present and apart from the existing knowledge and experiences of the past or our vision and anticipations of the future (in fact, even the ideas of "past" "present" "future" are products of the process). All constantly changes too ... such that our experience of vanilla and chairs and words and "you-ness" is never quite the same even as a moment ago.

                  And though this be so ... you better make sure the chair is actually "there" when ya seek to sit down in it, or you will have the very real "mental creation" of your imaginary "you" tumbling in the artificial "present" onto its "simulated backside". :shock:

                  Something like that.

                  Gassho, J
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Omoi Otoshi
                    Member
                    • Dec 2010
                    • 801

                    #10
                    Re: We Already Have Everything

                    Originally posted by Brad
                    By reading its (his book) contents you’re making them part of your mental makeup. Or so you think. The funny thing is, though – and try getting your cranium around this one because its really worthwhile – if these ideas were not part of your mental makeup to begin with, you’d never have been able to understand them in the first place.
                    Whose mental makeup? The mental makeup of the deluded little ordinary self? Or of your true nature, your universal Self, the Big Self? :?

                    Originally posted by Brad
                    What you perceive as words written on this page are just funny shapes that trigger images that already exist in your mind as the one that were in my mind when I wrote the words. But they’re close enough that we can communicate. Ultimately, though the ideas in this book don’t come from me or from Dogen or from Buddha. They come from you – from your previous experiences with similar words, from all the things your family and your teachers and the cartoon shows and commercials on TV told you about what certain concepts mean, and so on and on."
                    In Yogacara Mahayana buddhism there are three aspects of the Mind. See for example Buddhist thought by Paul Williams. The constantly changing flow of experiences is called the dependant aspect, the substratum of consciousness, the ultimate reality, the constantly changing dance. What you experience when reading Brad's book could perhaps, according to Yogacara, be the funny shapes called letters triggering a reaction in your consciousness (the visual consciousness, the mental consciousness, the tainted mind and the constantly flowing substatum consciousness)? The substratum for this experience would then already be there, ever flowing, ever present, but also ever unseen and ever hidden as long as there is the constructed aspect (delusion, polarised subjects and objects) and the tainted mind that mistakes the substatum consciousness for a self. When one is rid of all delusions, there is the third aspect, the perfect aspect, which is the absense of the constructed aspect from the dependant aspect. Without the object-subject duality there is only the experience of the pure dependant aspect where everything is as it is, nothing unseen, nothing hidden.

                    A good author should use skilful means to put the right funny shapes on the paper according to the current state of mind and enlightenment of the reader, to trigger a glimpse of something real, something true, something pure.

                    I don't mean to tell anyone that this is the truth, just poitning at one philosophical way of looking at things.
                    Similar reasoning could probably be used in regard to Buddha nature, which I presume would be more Zen. :wink: And I think it may be wise to separate what is important to your practice, as Jundo says, and what is interesting but probably meaningless philosophical debate. If the Buddha could have told us the truth he would have. He couldn't (or wouldn't out of compassion?) so instead he showed us a Way.

                    Gassho,

                    /Pontus
                    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                    Comment

                    • JohnsonCM
                      Member
                      • Jan 2010
                      • 549

                      #11
                      Re: We Already Have Everything

                      In Yogacara Mahayana buddhism there are three aspects of the Mind. See for example Buddhist thought by Paul Williams. The constantly changing flow of experiences is called the dependant aspect, the substratum of consciousness, the ultimate reality. What you experience when reading Brad's book could perhaps, according to Yogacara, be the funny shapes called letters triggering a reaction in your consciousness (the visual consciousness, the mental consciousness, the tainted mind and the constantly flowing substatum consciousness)? The substratum for this experience would then already be there, ever flowing, ever present, but also ever unseen and ever hidden as long as there is the constructed aspect (delusion, polarised subjects and objects) and the tainted mind that mistakes the substatum consciousness for a self. When one is rid of all delusions, there is the third aspect, the perfect aspect, which is the absense of the constructed aspect from the dependant aspect. Without the object-subject duality there is only the experience of the pure dependant aspect where everything is as it is, nothing unseen, nothing hidden.

                      A good author should use skilful means to put the right funny shapes on the paper according to the current state of mind and enlightenment of the reader.

                      I don't mean to tell you that this is the truth, just poitning at one philosophical way of looking at things.
                      Similar reasoning could probably be used in regard to Buddha nature, which I presume would be more Zen. :wink:

                      /Pontus
                      One thing I'd like to say. These funny shapes are just a vehicle to help us on our way. Once we reach the other shore, we abandon the boat. I think getting stuck on this point might be "picking the boat up and taking it with you, once you've reached the other shore."
                      Gassho,
                      "Heitetsu"
                      Christopher
                      Sat today

                      Comment

                      • Omoi Otoshi
                        Member
                        • Dec 2010
                        • 801

                        #12
                        Re: We Already Have Everything

                        Originally posted by JohnsonCM
                        One thing I'd like to say. These funny shapes are just a vehicle to help us on our way. Once we reach the other shore, we abandon the boat. I think getting stuck on this point might be "picking the boat up and taking it with you, once you've reached the other shore."
                        Yes, I think that is very true. That parable of the ferry boat is wonderful. But I would guess that letters can also fetter you to delusion, if the means aren't skillful. I added a few lines to my original post before I noticed your reply.

                        Originally posted by Jundo
                        Sit in the chair, taste the vanilla. I would not think it too central to our Practice to think whether either was in your head before or not.
                        In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                        you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                        now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                        the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                        Comment

                        • Taigu
                          Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                          • Aug 2008
                          • 2710

                          #13
                          Re: We Already Have Everything

                          Is the wind moving?
                          Is it the flag that moves?
                          Or the mind?

                          Old koan. Right now. Pick one up, you have already lost your way. Don't pick any, what are you doing here baby?
                          Pick up three? Who said they were three?
                          Who is watching the flag in the wind? Or is it the flag watching you?

                          These funny shapes are just a vehicle to help us on our way. Once we reach the other shore, we abandon the boat.
                          Sutra are mountains and rivers, mountains and rivers are sutra. No boat thing. No helping. No "us". Nobody understands the parable of the ferry boat. It is not a parable. Not a boat.
                          Between the flag, the wind and you, not a single speck of dust!

                          gassho


                          Taigu

                          Comment

                          • Omoi Otoshi
                            Member
                            • Dec 2010
                            • 801

                            #14
                            Re: We Already Have Everything

                            Originally posted by Taigu
                            Is the wind moving?
                            Is it the flag that moves?
                            Or the mind?
                            The wind is moving, the flag is moving, in the mind. The mind is moving. Mind is everything.
                            Everything is moving. Flowing like a torrent. And yet everything is still in this precise moment. :?

                            Who is watching the flag in the wind? Or is it the flag watching you?
                            Who is reciting Buddha's name?

                            Sutra are mountains and rivers, mountains and rivers are sutra. No boat thing. No helping. No "us". Nobody understands the parable of the ferry boat. It is not a parable. Not a boat.
                            Between the flag, the wind and you, not a single speck of dust!
                            Only emptiness.

                            Gassho,
                            In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                            you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                            now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                            the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                            Comment

                            • Taigu
                              Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                              • Aug 2008
                              • 2710

                              #15
                              Re: We Already Have Everything

                              Omoi-Otoshi,

                              Thank you. Don't use your head though. Lots of :? . Out of the heart-being-just-this, move and be in stillness.
                              Chew my stupid words a bit more longer, and those of Dogen even longer. Learn from children, small things, useless things. Open the open.

                              Thank you for your patience


                              gassho


                              Taigu

                              Comment

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