ZEN & THE ART OF PERVADING SPACES
The Zen flavor of Buddhism has its origin in a guy from India who went by the name of Bodhidarma. Bodhidarma moved to China and started a group, which became known as Chan. The Chinese word Chan became Zen in Japanese, which is the usual name used in the West. Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism, and it exhibits the usual watering-down associated with Mahayana sects. But unlike most such, Zen either retained or rediscovered a single very important datum which they applied with great enthusiasm:
"Normal reality" is not the truth, but is instead an apparency.
Zen addresses the truth behind the apparency. Zen is next to impossible to put into words. This is a problem with most higher truths, with truths senior to apparency -- they cannot be communicated accurately using words. Various people have attempted to explain these truths with words anyway (as I'm doing here), usually by arbitrarily dividing everything into the two groups I've already mentioned. The scios often talk about Truth versus Apparency, so I'm using those terms. Ouspenski talked about the same things but he labeled them "Nomemon" and "Phenomenon." Their point in both cases is that "normal reality" is not the real truth, but words can only express normal reality. Many enlightened people have attempted to explain "Truth" anyway, often with ludicrous or nonsensical results. It's not their fault. It is merely that language is limited to expressing the apparency well, and the Truth either badly or not at all. The best that can be expected of words is to point toward the truth in such a manner that a person can "cognite" on their own.
The Zen Buddhists take their single stable datum and apply it vigorously by the means of actions, little stories, and especially insoluble verbal problems (called "koans") in order to break each other out of normal consciousness and only perceiving the apparency. Their technique is often the opposite of pointing toward the truth. Instead they usually point with words at something impossible, with the intention of leaving the listener with no recourse but to reject all words.
The essence of Zen is the destruction of the automaticity of the thinking mind and with it the destruction of being a separate self existing as a small single viewpoint. This frees YOU, the spirit, to know more DIRECTLY. There's a hell of a big difference between thinking and knowing. Zen koan technique seems to have its roots in Buddha's replies rejecting four questions asked of him, which translated from the sanskrit form the following pattern:
I am not.
I both am and am not.
I neither am nor am not.
The above contradictions, all held equally and simultaneously, tie the thinking mental computer into knots, short circuits it. It is intended to allow the spirit (you) to free itself from name-and-form, subject and object, self and the thing viewed. The purpose is twofold. First to acquire a direct view of reality without via; and second to achieve PERVASION, replacing normal consciousness -- which is a single location point of view -- with occupying whole spaces and the persons/object within them.
This is a two step process. The first step is to break free of the thinking machine; then the second is to expand the space one is BEING and pervade a large area instead of a small one (most spirits occupy no more than an inch or two of physical universe space).
This latter state is achieved in processing as a usually unintended consequence (usually, except for OT drills). As a person processes more and more, their space enlarges. Zen goes after it directly in a very odd manner quite different from the pervasion drill given in the Pali texts of the Theravada tradition. Pervasion of large spaces is a very important state of being. It should be a processing goal. Without expanding into pervasion a person will not rise higher than Games on the tone scale.
Nowadays, these states are much easier to achieve due to the modern processing which has grown out of the work of LRH and others. The approaches and views of the past should be kept in mind even when using the techniques of the 20th and 21st centuries.
A pervasive state is one of the best indicators of real spiritual progress. Recently I saw an excellent description of an extremely high toned view, from an auditor of longstanding and freezoner:"What I am experiencing now is so wonderful ... I hope you can understand howBest description of a view from Coexistence I've read. Perfect! Or at least I duplicate Joe perfectly! Sure he used a metaphor, but Joe's metaphor of an Ocean of Consciousness points directly toward the truth...
wonderful it is. This is so much more than I can say in words.
It's like being omnipresent. I am outside time and space but yet in it all. It's so
much consciousness everywhere and it's so big. It's like the drops in the ocean.
Like every drop is aware of its own existence but not about the ocean and the
ocean is not aware of what's outside itself and not of the drops who makes it an
ocean. To understand it all, you have to stand on the beach on a distance from the
ocean. And then there is other oceans. And when you can see them all ... you start
to understand how big it is."
--Joseph J. Harrington
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