Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slightly Confused

I'm confused. I've got two books going: The Thought of the Heart, by James Hillman and The Eight Gates of Zen by John Daido Loori. Yesterday I ran across this quote in Eight Gates that has stuck with me since.

"Arnold Toynbee, the historian, has said that a hundred years from now, when people look back, it is not going to be atomic energy, space travel, computers, or any of the remarkable leaps and achievements we have made as a civilization, but rather an incident that most people are hardly aware of, that will be seen as the most significant advance of the twentieth century. That incident is the transmission of the Buddhadharma from East to West. Each and every Zen practitioner is part of that process."--John Daido Loori, Pg.78, The Eight Gates of Zen

All I can say to that is time will tell. I know that what I'm getting from reading James Hillman is that we need a lot of deep and differentiated thought. That's why we have minds, he says, to think with. He also says it's good for the soul. Than I read a line by Dogen yesterday where he says stop deep thinking:

"Cease from the practice of intellectual understanding, pursuing words and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate yourself."--Dogen out of Fukanzazengi

Can't you have both? Perhaps from the spirit's perspective you follow Dogen's advice. And perhaps from the soul's perspective you follow Hillman's advice. Or maybe if you take one them seriously enough the other just happens. The higher you go the deeper you go. You can't have one without the other.

Onward. I'll be carrying mail for the United States Postal Service today. An organization that is slowly falling apart.

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