January 17-D, 2023

Congaree National Park 03 11-19-2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Hopkins, South Carolina
This is the third way of representing/presenting
the same scene (Refer to the two previous images
in this series).

Which way is it really? 
None of the three!
The "real scene" was entirely different,
related only by being in the same 
general area at the time I was there.

My point is the multiplicity of ways
there are to apprehend "reality."

And we argue about all of them.
people who don't see as we do--
as though we see what we look at
any clearer than anybody else does!

Thomas Aquinas was writing his Opus,
Summa Theologica,
when he had a revelation
that led him to say, "All is straw,"
and quit writing.

We don't know what he saw,
but I have an idea.
He saw that we cannot say what is
because it is also not what we say it is--
it is more than can ever be said.

Lao Tzu saw the same thing,
and said, "Those who know don't say
(Because it cannot be said),
and those who say, don't know."

Heinrich Zimmer picked up on this insight
and said,
"The best things cannot be said,
and the next best things create confusion
by trying to talk about the best things,
which leaves us with the third best things
to talk about, 
which are news, weather, sports and gossip.

The Buddha saw the same thing
Aquinas, Lao Tzu and Heinrich Zimmer saw,
and said enlightenment consists
of seeing what he saw the way he saw it.

He called it "No Duality!" because
everything is one
in the sense that everything
is much more than one
and is united by being capable of
a multiplicity of ways to be seen/
Nirvana is seeing the allness
of it all
and letting it be because it is
"just that way."  

Which leaves us with the responsibility
of knowing we don't know what we think we know,
and of stopping the foolishness
of shoving/forcing our view
of things on everyone else.

Because life is an optical illusion,
and we are capable of seeing what we look at
and interpreting it in number of different ways.

How are things "really"?
They really are many different ways at the same time.
So be cool with that,
and let it be,
because it is.

Being cool with that 
means not taking the way you currently see things
with more seriousness than it deserves
(Which is practically no seriousness at all,
in that the way we see things 
is merely a convenient way of managing
our way through the optical illusion
that is our life). 


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

3 thoughts on “January 17-D, 2023

  1. There is nothing to match pain, physical or emotional, for sitting us down with the truth of how things REALLY are here/now! Interpretation does not fit into the picture with pain!


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