Archive for truth

Dogen said there’d be days like this…

Posted in Asceticism, Beauty, Buddhism, Cults, death, Monasticism, Mysticism, Religion, Ultimate Reality, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2008 by wizardsmoke

The flowers, although we love them
Fade and die;
The weeds, although we hate them
Grow and thrive

Dogen Zenji

As I said the other day, at the end of the path, religions are actually obscuring reality, or keeping us attached to the world of suffering. They become like fences in front of the final destination, fences which we can see through but are encouraged to climb over in order to reach paradise or whatever. Yet if we know what we’re doing, we can see reality without putting up a fence to climb.*

But really, I don’t think religions are so crazy. Because all cults are just manifestations of the desire for concrete meaning, the basic impulse for tangible deep understanding. This cyclical search for meaning is a fundamental, natural occurrence — which makes it some kind of mysterious truth or idea in of itself.

Anyway, some obvious facts that have to be realized with the body in order to mean a thing:

  • what’s happening now telegraphs what is happening in the future
  • people die, get injured, and get sick every moment; eventually it will be your turn
  • the simplest things that we take for granted are also often the most mysterious things in life

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*Wizard Smoke assumes no responsibility whatsoever for potential spiritual damages incurred by his advice

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Symbols for Nothingness

Posted in Beauty, Buddhism, Christianity, Film, Folklore, History, love, Storytelling, The Arts, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by wizardsmoke

How many states were founded by anarchists? Why every one, because every questioner of the old order is the founder of the new order. — Head Wide Open

Whether or not the stories of Jesus or the Buddha are real, I don’t care. If I had to take a firm stance, I’d just say they are fiction. Not because they can’t be “proved” but because everything is fiction. There are certainly facts that can be recorded, but all interpretations of life are still some manner of fiction.

I suppose I can understand the historian’s impulse to catalog everything, to make sure things are properly remembered and not spun romantically or forgotten completely. But don’t historians have some lofty dreams (kind of like scientists) that if they could only show people what is real, what can be touched, humanity could learn from its mistakes? You know, the whole thing about how “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” This is all fiction too.

Although it’s said that “truth is stranger than fiction”, often fiction is more real than truth. Or it is the “other side of truth.” No, it’s not more true in an empirical fashion — it’s just more true in that it actually has life to it. It is the breath of the body. The problem with most people’s fiction (here referring to the perceptions we allow ourselves) is that it becomes static, blind, unchanging — as though the breath had stopped or were not spreading throughout the body (and then some people even deny the relevance of the breath).

I often wonder why humanity is so obsessed with storytelling. If you break down stories, you’ll find that all plots often involve some disagreement between two characters or parties. Friction, schisms, drama are all the apple of the artistic eye. Mankind’s greatest moments are still the products of its errors. A great love story has more broken hearts than fulfilled romantic wishes, and great war stories have less to do with heroism than a melancholy fondness for senseless carnage and loss.

But in the world of truth, there is no pleasure or pain. It’s perverse that our lives become fiction and novelties which we tell ourselves — which we pamper our egos with. But that’s no surprise, considering humanity prides itself on illusions of being divine creator and destructor. What else can explain the microprocessor and atomic bomb?

You can’t HANDLE the truth!

Posted in Mysticism, Philosophy, Reality Bites, Religion, Ultimate Reality, Uncategorized with tags , , on May 4, 2008 by wizardsmoke

What’s all this business about truth? How is truth even an idea? I mean, we have no conception of truth and yet it’s this constantly invasive succubus of the human experience. The apple of our collective eye: objective reality! And then even when it’s experienced, it can’t be communicated without a subjective explanation or presentation (to say nothing of the subjective impressions others would take from it). Pretty weird.

From what I’ve gandered, truth is tied up in belief. Like, truth can’t exist without some sort of substantial belief in its existence. So, truth is some kind of essence, some kind of boiled-down objective definition of things; it’s a definition humanity is obsessed with. This is why everyone humps the leg of science so much, (although actually math is the real objective deal) because we seek to find some sort of objective experience to agree upon.

Of course, science only creates an objectively agreed upon set of measurements, whereas we can never actually agree upon the nature of our experiences. Science isn’t going to tell us which composer is the best, or which person is the most compassionate or evil, or why we exist. Science can’t tell us what love is, where it comes from or how to cure love-sickness. And aren’t those the kinds of things we really really want to know?! Boo, science! Boo-urns!

So truth is an illusion. Unless… our illusions are holding us back from perceiving truth?! What’s funny to me is that none of this is worth writing about and contemplating, unless you’re getting a humorous kick out of it. Seriously, who are we kidding? We’re not getting anywhere close to truth in this post. If anything, we’re getting more confused. Especially with this guy on board.

Basically, you make your own truth. You make your own reality, The Secret, Oprah, blah blah blah. Eh… no, but seriously — you create the effluents of your mind and your abilities. Problem is, most people don’t know that and when they get a glimpse of it or see it prematurely, they just want stupid shallow junk out of it (hence Oprah’s promotional stance). Magic powers are actually for poor people (only ascetics have them, lolz!!!). You could also say they’re for people who possess a filthy rich imagination.

If ya believe in something strongly enough it can become true, right? The problem is people have weak belief. They believe in something desperately. They really want to believe they’ll go to heaven, they want to put their blind faith in someone else. Of course, at the same time if you believe in something long enough it colors everything that surrounds you. So…no matter how stupid and miserable your beliefs, they can still adapt to and manifest within your surroundings by virtue of the limited (or is that unlimited?) perception of your mind. Which makes you wonder why any religion is any better than another, since the individual is just placing the whole damn universe within the context of a limited religious view and then coloring the universe with that filter.

I can hear you now: “Oh Wizard Smoke, your observations are so quaint and obvious.”

Well then here’s a question, smarty-pants: after you realize that everything is just a matter of your own belief — that all actions and abilities are simply self-lulled states of hypnotic belief which are manifestations of cosmic potential — can you still believe in things? Or does that leave one completely empty? I mean, can you follow through with something without thinking there’s some fantastic goal or ending waiting for you after the task is done? Or is that the magical moment of hishiryo, where the notion of beginning and ending all drop away?