Friday, October 23, 2009


By experience it is meant to get at the fact at first hand and not through any intermediary whatever this may be. Its favorite analogy is: to point at the moon a finger is needed, but woe to those who take the finger for the moon; a basket is welcome to carry our fish home, but when the fish are safely on the table why should we eternally bother ourselves with the basket? These are idle distinction fictitiously designed by the intellect for its own interest. Those who take themselves too seriously or those who try to read them into the very fact of life are those who take the finger for the moon. When we are hungry we eat; when we are sleepy we lay ourselves down; and where does the infinite or the finite come in here? Are we not complete in ourselves and each in himself? Life as it is suffices.

It is only when the disquieting intellect steps in and tries to murder it that we stop to live and imagine ourselves to be short of or in something. Let the intellect alone, it has its usefulness in its proper sphere, but let it not interfere with the flowing of the life stream. If you are at all tempted to look into it, do so while letting it flow. The fact of flowing must under no circumstances be arrested or meddled with; for the moment your hands are dipped into it, its transparency is disturbed, it ceases to reflect your image, which you have had from the very beginning and will continue to have to the end of time.

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki writes about Zen thought. Not only has D.T. studied original works in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese, he has expressed that knowledge in Western thought using French, German and English. Suzuki never became a priest of any sect, but was honored by every temple in Japan during his lifetime. Suzuki's words about experience are especially poignant.

Suzuki points out that experience is always flowing through a stream of consciousness and when we try to stop it using ego consciousness, we feel the separation that keeps us in a state of fear. When we blend the ego with inner consciousness and allow it to flow we become it.

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