I just returned to Moab from a few days visit to my parents (it was my Dad's 86th birthday!).
My friend Brandon also arrived a few days ago from Seattle, and I just heard Cody and Summer just arrived in Moab today! Brandon, Summer, and Cody were part of our moneyless tribe last year. Who knows, the tribe might be resurrecting again!
We're having our first weekly Potlatch Potluck of Turtle Island this Sunday at 4PM in Rotary Park in Moab! It's a grand give-away celebration to instill gift economy! See link for details.
And I am doing my show Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out on KZMU again Sunday at 9PM to 11PM. It happens I missed doing the show the last two Sundays, and my friend "Z" filled in with his "Show of the Winds" instead. He used to live in Moab and do his show during that slot. He wanted to do it again while visiting back in Moab a few weeks, so I made room for him. But I'm set to do my show every Sunday evening now. If the above link doesn't work, try it at Streema.
Now... on with my blogosiphizing:
Trading With the Universe vs. Unmerited Gift
A guy named Issac recently sent me some good questions and comments, which have helped me think through past things I've written, and to better clarify them for myself and for you. So I've decided to include some of his questions and comments here, with my answers. There's something magical about all this. After going through periods of great doubt, and learning to let droves of public and private criticisms roll off my back, all the sudden I see the pristine lotus rising from the mud. I feel a tingling sense of excitement that a profound truth is crystallizing more and more for me, and I hope you can sense it, too. Thanks for stimulating this crystallization for me, Issac:
There's also a couple of things in your writings that I'm trying to reconcile, with limited success. At some point you said something to the effect that you trade with the universe, trusting that things will work out. But somehow I would guess that you don't really think of this as trade because that would imply you're doing what you do because you expect some reward. Anyway, in a more recent article you were talking about how undeserved things happen to people, which seems on the face of it to not fit with the idea of trading with the universe. Maybe the trick is to get free of the feeling the universe owes us something or vice versa.
This is my point, that we don't trust that trade happens automatically.
For every force
there is an equal and opposite force.
This law of physics is stated more precisely if we say:
For every action there is simultaneously an equal re-action.
For every positive there is a negative.
For every wave crest there is a wave trough.
But we do not trust this Law of Physics!
We do not trust this law immutable and verifiable!
Call the Law of Physics God, if you like:
"Recompense is mine, I will repay," says the Law of Physics!
We do not trust that repayment happens automatically.
We do not recognize justice.
When we worry that the Law of physics will fail us,
when we worry that physics is not just,
that something or somebody will not get their just payment,
we start trying to consciously control trade.
When we think the natural universe is unjust,
this is when we become unjust, judgmental, not able to see things as they are.
This is when our thoughts become delusional
and we can no longer see reality.
dictionary definitions of just:
"guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness"
"given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward"
"in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct"
"exactly or precisely" [e.g., This is just what I mean].
"at this very instant" [e.g., He's just arriving].
"only" [e.g., He was just a clerk until he became ambitious].
"actually; really; positively" [e.g., The weather is just glorious].
Yes, meditating deeply on all the above ways to define just,
you can sum up its definition as
One and Only.
When the action and reaction, the credit and the debt, are simultaneous,
they are instantaneously Now,
instantaneously One and Only One,
they are just.
The Just One.
The Holy One.
What is justified
in perfect balance.
Realizing No Delay between Cause and Effect:
Restating and addressing Issac's second comment:
Anyway, in a more recent article you were talking about how undeserved things happen to people, which seems on the face of it to not fit with the idea of trading with the universe. Maybe the trick is to get free of the feeling the universe owes us something or vice versa.
The giver is also the taker
and the taker is also the giver,
Everything just is. Everything is justice.
To the just, all things are just.
"To the pure, all things are pure."
To the holy, all things are holy.
unmerited favor and unmerited suffering have canceled out each other
in perfect annihilation of One and Only One,
The Vow is the Paying of the Vow
Doesn't the one who says not to divorce say in the very same breath not to make vows?
For example, look at a snowflake. One arm of a snowflake does not arise from the other five mirroring arms of the snowflake, but arises from the center. Is any arm of the snowflake even aware of any of the other five arms of the snowflake? Are snowflakes so common we don't realize this miracle? Every particle in the universe, born spontaneously from an unseen center, mirroring other particles, and returning to annihilation is a mystery perceived by Quantum physicists, religious prophets and mystics, and Zen sages.
The universe is created and annihilated every moment.
When you look at a river, you see a different river, a completely new set of molecules, every moment, though each river form mirrors its previous and future form.
Basically, you are a river.
All the universe is a river.
In the natural, undeluded world, the Right Hand does not know what the Left Hand is doing, but receives its entire sustenance and direction from the Center. This is the secret to Taoist Marshal Arts.
On the ark of the covenant, the left cherub and the right cherub do not focus on each other, but on the Center Unseen. The moment one cherub focuses on the other cherub, he is Lucifer falling from Grace.
It is an unshakable teaching in Buddha's discourse that death does not turn into birth. Accordingly, death is understood as no-death. Birth is an expression complete this moment. Death is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring. You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring.
Even from the beginning I have declared it to you;
Before it came to pass I have proclaimed it to you,
Lest you should say, 'My idol has done them...
. . . . I have made you hear New Things from This Moment,
Even hidden things, and you did not know them.
They are created Now
and not from the beginning;
And before This Day you have not heard them,
Lest you should say, 'Of course I knew them.'
--Prophet Isaiah (48:5-7)
They reach the goal before taking the first step.
They complete the speech before their tongue moves.
Even if they have had foresight long before,
the origin of the road lies away ahead of their foresight.
-- Zen master Wumen Hui-k'ai (無門慧開)(1183–1260)
Which is the leg, my leg or the donkey's?
It has already made a step even before lifting its leg.
-- Zen master Wumen Hui-k'ai (無門慧開)(1183–1260)
Simply look around can see Creation happening right now. You don't need scriptures or a science textbook to see this:
Isn't light coming into existence right now?
Aren't light and darkeness being separated right now?
Isn't atmosphere is being born right now?
And bodies of water are forming right now.
The earth is bringing forth plants and animals right now.
Stars are being born right now.
And we ourselves are being formed from the molecules of soil, right now.
We ourselves are being created right now.
There is no delay in the word of creation and creation itself. All of creation is the Word, spoken into existence. Every creature itself is the Speaking of the Word. The "Gospel" is already preached to every created thing in the universe because every created thing is the preaching! The Word never ends, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
But we have replaced the Word which is itself with words that mean something else! We have replaced the vow that is its own payment with the vow delayed in payment, the vow separated from its payment in time and space. We have replaced the Word which is itself with a damned book and have become the wretched People of the Book who bicker and fight over nothing but words, illusions, idols, even as we ignore Reality, the True Word.
Genesis Now, End Now
And all is being destroyed right now
For every creation there is a simultaneous equal destruction.
Okay, I was going to keep writing, delving into the Genesis Creation, something I've been flirting with for years, something blowing my mind. But this would turn into an in-depth essay too much for this blog post.
So it'll have to be a "Part 2", or else a whole separate essay for the website, or even a book.
In the mean time, be here now, always,
the only way we can know anything that can ever be known,
the only way we can ever realize love,
the only way to realize Perfect Justice,
the Genesis of all.