Saturday, January 26, 2008

A compass in stormy seas

Taken from Charles Muller’s Resources for East Asian Language and Thought
Translated during the summer of 1991 by Charles Muller
Revised, July 1997
1.The Tao that can be followed is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth
While naming is the origin of the myriad things.
Therefore, always desireless, you see the mystery
Ever desiring, you see the manifestations.
These two are the same–
When they appear they are named differently.

Their sameness is the mystery,
Mystery within mystery;

The door to all marvels.

(The above is borrowed from Zen Frog
Read more)
Sigh. I take solace in eternal wisdom like this when the seas around me grow stormy. I just watched the movie, V for Vendetta, in which one of the quotes is:
"...artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up."
I might add to that something like:
"philosophers hold to truth for dear life, while Buddhists accept all truth - and move on."
In those terms, when life gets a bit hairy, I become much more of a philosopher and less of a Buddhist. But, my love of wisdom, my philo sophia, comes when, through philosophizing I come to the realization that I must move on.

I read today in Howard Caygill's book, The Art of Judgement, on Kant's 3rd Critique, that Kant envisioned philosophical critique as the activity of self-orientation.

I think about what that means: the activity of self-orientation. I think its essence demands that I say nothing more here; perhaps it's like a koan - not meant to be answered, but used to smash through old truths and allow the new ones. Ah, but I've said too much. Shhhh...

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