The billboard on the side of the interstate reads: ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Jesus Lives!’ And there’s a phone number below to call for further exegesis, xxx-FOR-TRUTH.
I’m not tempted to call, and the billboard disappears behind me.
Metaphor: ‘A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable,’ reads my onboard dictionary.
We are dealing in vagaries and abstractions here. At bottom we are talking about Life and as such our words, abstractions themselves, static synaptic memory bites stored away in our brains for use in thinking and communicating, are insufficient for the task at hand.
The living reality, the experience, at the heart of the matter here is impossible to relate using words. The mystics, the seers, the genuine poets and artists have always known this, and have always struggled with it.
Listen to how Krishnamurti put it:
“…but bear in mind that the word is not the thing, and that the description, however detailed, however intricate, however well-reasoned out and beautiful, is not the thing described.”. –Krishnamurti, You Are The World
Or this, from D.T. Suzuki:
“No abstract dialectics here, but a fact of living experience full of flesh and blood.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen
But as I said in my last post, we live today in an age of abstractions and rationalism. And the rationalistic systems are spreading rapidly across the globe, insinuating themselves into every nook and cranny. Sure, there are pockets of resistance large and small, but make no mistake, the process is in full career.
I scroll farther down my ever expanding Quote file and find this:
“At the beginning of the intellectual awakening we thought we achieved a grand feat in arranging reality within the frame of time and space. We never thought this was really preparing for a spiritual tragedy.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen
I’d say this ‘spiritual tragedy’ has been well documented these last couple centuries. But gazing out upon the world I wonder ‘what about the physical one taking place, the social one, and the living one—especially in the face of the environmental one looming all around us?’
Ahh, but don’t be fooled, the Cafe isn’t a place of despair.
Zen, and the Cafe for that matter, are about living in the moment. I now sit in the bunk of my truck with the snow covered plains and tree clad hills of Utah out the windshield. The sun is climbing in the sky and there is a bank of cloud which looks to be dammed up behind a dark berm of hills to the south.
There is a guitar behind me whispering “Don’t worry, just play!”
Very Zen that:
“Don’t worry, just play.”
Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Life is ALL there is!