Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Other Portions of the Self

There is something we must admit, in Zen that defies explanation, and to which no master however ingenious can lead his disciples through intellectual analysis. Zen is after all is not a thing to be gained through understanding. But once the key is within one’s grasp, everything seems to be laid bare before him; the entire world assumes then a different aspect. By those who know, this inner change is recognized.

D.T. Suzuki in his 1927 essay, Satori explains something which even after it’s explained takes on the air of the unexplained. Zen or consciousness is a whole that will not be broken down in words or symbols. Basic units of consciousness are in the non-physical, but all things physical spring from the innate properties of its expansion. Consciousness develops and organizes a plethora of realities, but within itself always maintains its own individuality. Regardless of the organizations that it becomes part of, or mixes with, its own identity is never destroyed or annihilated.

The varieties of its activities are infinite as well as unpredictable. That unpredictability allows for an infinite number of patterns and experiences. Once we recognize or sense this unpredictable consciousness that is a whole part of us we are able to draw from this vast bank of unpredictable actions and identify the ones that are significant to us. The result of that private significance is what seem to be predictable actions.

Propensity then is a selection of significance or the inclination to form a selected experience. The harder we work to create an official accepted idea of the self the more we block our innate unpredictability, which means we allow our ego consciousness to choose from a predictable set of patterns that are comfortable as well as familiar. But the element of unpredictability creeps into our physical consciousness and creates contrast in order to expand the whole and from this action we expand our awareness of self.

As the awareness of self expands we develop a greater identity of the multiplicity of the self and our reality changes. As Suzuki mentions Zen or consciousness is a greater identity that is aware of its probable existences and expresses impulses that suit its own unpredictable nature.

No comments: