Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rooted In Our Multiplicity

While reading the introduction to D.T. Suzuki’s 1926 book, Essays in Zen Buddhism I was compelled to substitute the word consciousness for the word Zen in two particular paragraphs in that piece. I discovered that the word Zen is interchangeable with the concept of inner consciousness, which is the foundation for all physical experiences. Here are the paragraphs and as I write this I sense that the very act of expressing them without thoughts stimulates the unfettered action of those words.

In a word consciousness has its own way of pointing to the nature of one’s own being, and that when this is done one attains enlightenment, in which all the contradictions and disturbances caused by the intellect are entirely harmonized in the unity of an expanded order.

For this reason consciousness never explains but indicates, it does not appeal to circumlocution, nor does it generalize. It always deals with facts, concrete and tangible. Logically considered consciousness may be full of contradictions and repetitions. But as t stands above all things, it goes serenely on its own way. It does not challenge logic; it simply walks its path of facts, leaving all the rest to their own fates. It is only when logic neglecting its proper functions tries to step into the track of consciousness that it loudly proclaims its principles and forcibly drives out the intruder.


It’s clear that the intruder in our daily scenarios is the ego consciousness that has the ability to experience separation in order to remember the unity of Zen or consciousness. Inner consciousness never forces itself to be recognized; the ego consciousness exerts the force and becomes the intruder.

The internal pulling of consciousness brings expansion to the ego and it is expressed in serveral ways. Life is experienced in those ways as consciousness continues to expand. That expansion or the “The Way,” as Lao Tzu put it is rooted in our multiplicity.

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