Friday, March 30, 2012

The Ultimate Fact Of All Philosophy

Zen is the ultimate fact of all philosophy and religion. Every intellectual effort must culminate in it, or rather must start from it, if it is to bear any practical fruits. Every religious faith must spring from it if it has to prove at all efficiently and livingly workable in our active life. Therefore Zen is not necessarily the fountain of Buddhism thought and life alone; it is very much alive also in Christianity, Mohommedanism in Taoism and even in positivistic Confucianism. What makes all these religious and philosophies vital and inspiring, keeping up their usefulness and efficiency, is due to the presence in them of what I may designate as the Zen element.

D. T. Suzuki, the 20th century’s foremost authority on Buddhist thought, is explaining how Zen or consciousness impacts religion as well as philosophy. Zen is the inner action of consciousness, and it manifests using one of the non-physical aspect of the self or the psyche. The action of Zen can be experienced through different religions and philosophies because those modalities are part of our belief structure. Religions help open a channel to the inner self and we use that channel to form or influence our belief structure. All beliefs are valid to the believer until another aspect of consciousness forms another channel within the psyche. There is an ever-changing genesis of awareness going on within the psyche, and Zen is the word that can be used to describe portions of that genesis. Zen moments are unlimited, and they occur at various points in linear time.

Consciousness qualities fragment into Zen moments in order to sense other fragments of the self. Zen appears in religious experiences so the physical self can sense certain pieces of the psyche in time sequences. The action of the psyche intermingles with the action of Zen in a cloud-type way, and the combination produces a plethora of associations and influences that expand the awareness of our inner world.

Suzuki goes on to say:

Mere scholasticism or mere sacerdotalism will never create a living faith. Religion requires something inwardly propelling, energizing and capable of doing work. The intellect is useful in its place, but when it tries to cover the whole field of religion it dries up the source of life.

Faith is another way of saying we believe without proof. Individual consciousness experiences faith through the action of Zen not the action of religion. Religious groups tend to root themselves in rigid beliefs, and that inhibits the inner energy that circulates through the action of Zen. Those groups control willing participants through limited as well as judgmental beliefs. In that atmosphere faith is distorted. The source of faith constantly changes as we become more aware of the multiplicity that exists within the psyche and Zen. The value of an open mind is the main ingredient in the action of Zen, and it is a catalyst that regulates the power of religion.

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