“A Zen master was once asked, ‘What is the most valuable thing in the world?’ He answered, ‘The head of a deadcat!’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because no one can put a price on it.’ The realization of the unity of the world is like this dead cat’s head. It is the most priceless, the most inconsequential thing of all. It has no results, no implications, and no logical meaning…The whole notion of gain, whether it be the gain of wealth or the gain of knowledge and virtue, is like stopping the pangs of hunger by gobbling oneself up rom the toes. Yet we do it anyhow, for it really makes no difference whether it is one’s own toes or roast duck: the satisfaction is momentary…This is why the Buddha said to his disciple Subhuti, ‘I gained absolutely nothing from unsurpassed and perfect Awakening.’ On the other hand, when there is no expectation, no looking for a result, and nothing gained by this ‘head of dead cat,’ there is quite suddenly and gratuitously, quite miraculously and unreasonably, more than one ever had sought.
This is not a matter of renunciation and repressing desire–those traps which the clever and cunning lay for God. One cannot renounce life for the same reason that one cannot gain from it…There simply is no wrong attitude to the Tao because, again, there is no point outside it from which to take an attitude.”
So, we can take our stances or get stuck in apathy just as much as in zeal. Or. And. We can strive or surrender our way towards enlightenment, gain it and come “away” from the quest or arrival of “knowing/not-knowing” knowing we are always left with one thing and one thing only. And it sustains without making even the slightest bit of logical sense: Presence. Being. Love-ness.
We fight only those battles that threaten our being-ness, our very well-being, our heartbeat living pulsing organism self. We stand aside and away from those battles that wage war against a peace that never dies. We retreat. We accept defeat. We await another chance to gain broader fields of play for presence, for feastings of simple beingness. We find, in all these things, that simply being is a rich resonance within and with the great all, with nature, with universe, with ancient soul and that it is and always will be the grandest, simplest wonder of sustenance. Ever.
Fat wetness seeps and weeps down
to leaf and ground without waking moment of intent,
simply and only spent because liquid lushness
is . . .
is . . .
is . . .
This one brings the point to a sharp “head” before it settles into that point more alive . . .
“Sanskrit bindu: ‘This word, which has many meanings, like ‘point, dot, zero, drop, germ, seed, semen.’ . . . It is the point from which inner and outer space have their origin and in which they become one again.’ The thought, poem, is a cell or seed; a germ of living thought; growing from nothing to ripeness. Instead of the dead wood of systems, the tree of life; ramifications; branched thoughts new-grown with pleasant pain.” Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, 116 From Norman O. Brown’s Love’s Body
See, the point displays without display and circles ’round the mother of all things, is the mother of all things, floats down to grace a forest or caress a flower or flutter into rest. And if no one sees, if no one knows, still, the point pulses and pours meaning ancient and new.
(photo by Dave Grant of New Jersey’s Ocean Institute: http://ux.brookdalecc.edu/staff/sandyhook/dgrant/)