Fear holds us back. Desire pushes us ahead. These are the clashing rocks. Anger, jealousy, guilt, shame, greed, hatred, depression... These are the heaving waves. Between the rocks and the waves, we have too much to manage. And so it is said, "The world is too much with us, late and soon" (William Wordsworth). If we want to give ourselves a chance, we have to avail ourselves of the three weapons and the four guides, and make it our practice to live in their service in each situation as it arises. The three weapons are the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence. The four guides are our original nature the virtues that are ours from birth to serve and to share, and integrity and sincerity. These seven companions are with us along the way, and will never abandon us or leave us bereft. To make them real, we only have to treat them as though they are, by honoring them with time and attention throughout each day. Otherwise, we make the journey more difficult than it needs to be, with all that "late and soon" stuff.
The Gateless Gate is the fulcrum, the swing point between worlds, brought about by a slight shift in perspective, which is the gift of enlightenment, "turning the light around" and enabling us to see "this world" of rational, logical, intellectual, factual, concrete understanding of how things are, and "the other world" of metaphorical, symbolic, instinctive, intuitive, wholistic, non-linear, seeing-knowing ways of understanding how things are-- always including a "felt sense" of what to do about it, that logic and reason can't grasp at all, or, grasping, dismiss it instantly as "woo-hoo-woo-hoo," and have nothing further to do with it. I've included my symbol of the Gateless Gate in 62 images, with two more to go. The number 64 is wholeness itself, is complete, is good, and is a doorway, or a gateway, itself into infinity, reflecting as it does the implied presence of the Gateless Gate in every landscape, in every photography, in every moment of every situation as it arises through-out time. 64 is 8 squared. 8 is the symbol of infinity. Infinity squared is beyond thinking/experiencing, and is way more than is necessary (One would think) for getting the transitional/perspective shift that takes us from this world into that world and opens us to the wonder of the mystery of Just Seeing, Just Knowing and, therefore, Just Doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done, where it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, because it needs to be done, and that's that. That. Is. All. There. Is. And 64 hints of Gatelessness is all we need to get it, if we are ever going to get it, because it is already here, now along with the Farther Shore, and there is nothing to do to get it, beyond the shift in perspective that produces it. Like the optical illusion it is.
What would be helpful? It all depends on what we are trying to do. What Adam and Eve were trying to do and what Jesus was trying to do would not be helped by the same things. What are we trying to achieve in each situation as it arises? What ends are we serving? Toward what are we living What are we doing? Our life has its own built-in compass. It knows where true north lies. We need help reading the compass. And we aren't interested in that kind of help. We have our own ideas about how things should be, and we need help arraigning the elements of our life to fit our idea of where they belong. We need help having our way NOW! We are at odds with our life from the start, or shortly after the start. And have to find the way to in-sync-ness the hard way. By living our way there, one false turn after another. Until then, the help we need and the help we will accept are different kinds of help, and "What would be helpful?" is learning sooner rather than later what the right kind of help consists of and how to be receptive when it knocks on our door.
One thought on “April 30, 2022”
Oh, Jim… so glad you are still bringing it forth!
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