Monday, May 19, 2008

Name and Form

The other day I came out of meditation with this phrase arising in my mind:

"The past is the past, and the future is for delight"

To most people I talked to that day, this sentence represented a feeling of hopefulness about the future. To me, though, this sentence meant a framing for the idea of "Now" - without having to name it "the Present" or "the Now", as we all have been doing a lot lately in order to express the "place and time" where freedom, serenity, infinity and eternity are to be found. The thing is, though, that this "place and time of Now" is beyond place and time, which means we ruin it the moment we name it.

As it says in the Tao - that which can be named is not the Tao. The same can be said about the Present. That which can be named the Present, cannot be the Present. In other words, once a name is given, a direct experience eludes us. This is true for all things. Once you say "a tree" you are communicating with yourself or another about what you see before you, but communion, in the sense of a direct experience of the tree, becomes impossible.

The secret discovered in mediation is that form is what the brain does with the eyes - giving "words" in the form of form, to things that don't exist either in the way we see them. If we first stop naming things, and then stop seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling things - then we can come to know the truth of all things - in other words, commune and become one with the very source of our being.

The moment we call it stillness, we are once again, making way too much noise and causing new confusion. Then again - this kind of shouting may indeed be needed! At least that way we can work ourselves backwards from bad ideas, to good ideas, to no ideas and finally - silence.

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