Jundo, I'd like to thank you for posting that. I recommend it be read all the way through.
Wow. There were so many things in that talk by By Zoketsu Norman Fischer, that I...
I have a lot of quotes (the notes are just what I thought/felt when reading it):
An interesting question.
How are we going to honor our actual lives, our own experience and conditioning, our uniqueness and particularity, without falling into the trap of being self-centered and partial to ourselves?
Didn't quite understand what he was talking about yet.
If we didn't express our priceless value, it wouldn't exist, and as long as we're alive, no matter what we're doing, good or bad, we are expressing our pricelessness.
The Sandokai says here that all beings have their own virtue or merit. As human beings, we have our own nature. Only when we live like human beings, who have a selfish human nature, are we following the truth in its greater sense, because then we are taking our nature into account.
Notice he says that our nature is to be selfish. And it's true. To be egotistical is a necessary aspect of a human being. We might complain to ourselves that we are egotistical and selfish, but actually it's kind of a necessary part of being a human being.
At this point I thought "Well, we could be like Dog and Cats as well, but humans have a skill for destruction (given the equipment we were blessed with)".
Dogs and cats have no special cage. They don't need any teaching or religion. But we human beings need religion. We human beings should say, "Excuse me," but dogs and cats don't need to. So we human beings should follow our way, and dogs and cats should follow their way. This is how the truth applies to everything.
Getting a little more closer to something here. Pointing to something that I think I kind of get.
And exactly because of our vulnerability, we spend our entire lives doing all that we can to make ourselves seem more and more important, safe, and valuable, as if we were the center of the entire universe. We are working constantly to protect ourselves against the anticipated onslaught of enemies, threats, and the biggest threat of all, time itself.
So to us the absolute principle - nothingness, emptiness, God, whatever we call it - is basically immense and frightening. We usually don't call it anything, because we would rather not think about it, although it is usually there anyway as a background of dread.
Don't need to be serious about questions and answers? Interesting.
You should be grateful for your selfish understanding, which creates many questions. They are just questions and they don't mean so much. You can enjoy your questions and answers; you can play games with them; you needn't be so serious about it. That is the understanding of the Middle Way.
So even our selfishness, even our grasping after what we already have, is worthwhile because it activates us, and it's part of this whole picture.
It activates us. Another interesting thing.
Hard to say anything here.
So each teaching, word, vision, or sound is itself, but also points beyond itself. So everything that arises touches this immensity.
So when it comes to religious teachings, you don't get entangled in them. You don't get so interested in them, and so passionate about them, that you start forgetting about your life, and then you have your head in the clouds, debating religious points and beliefs.Worse than that, personally identifying with the teachings, making them into a kind of a self that you cling to, in place of the previous lower grade self that you had before. Now the teachings are a very high class form of self clinging, and much more pernicious in a way, because now you feel perfectly justified in riding over other people, seeing them as being less than human, maybe even coercing them, oppressing them, persecuting them. And who knows, maybe killing them off? And you can do this because this is not a selfish thing. You're doing this for the sake of God's truth, or Allah, or Buddha. And this is much more noble than just mere naked self-interest. But in fact it is the worst form of naked self-interest.
(the rest of the quotes, I can't really say much):
The main point is to let go of all grasping at truth. Don't hold onto anything, especially the teaching, and especially the practice. Because the teaching that you can hold onto could never be the real teaching, because the teaching is really just life. Life as it really is. Not as we imagine it, but as it really is, right where we are.
But I realized that his line does not mean ‘Don't make standards up on your own.' What it means is ‘Don't hold onto any standards at all, whether it's yours or somebody else's.'
So there's the truth.
So it is with us. There is a way to go that is unique to each one of us. The path that you walk is unique to you, and at the same time, it is the ancient path of the ancestors. So we have standards, but they are neither self-centered standards nor slavish standards that we're sticking to. They're traceless standards, in accord with the moonlight falling on our bodies, in the place where we are standing right now.