Note: These thoughts are of very little value to anyone but me. I just felt like putting them down. Why I put them down here, nobody knows. And that's my disclaimer.
So, sitting here in a computer lab at CMU (this acronym is apparently taken by Central Michigan University, but when have I ever bowed down to "the man"), I've been letting my mind race. But then again, since I've gotten here, my mind has been in perpetual race mode. I don't think it's ever turned off. I don't know if it will. "Monkey mind" they call it in Eastern thought. Or at least, I think it's Eastern thought; I might just be reading New Age crap for all I know.
Okay, so that was sort of disjointed on purpose (I think). At least, I was observing myself make a fool of myself. (At this point, if you think I'm crazy, etc., you're probably more right than you know, and may stop reading. But if somehow you're still interested, continue on. But be warned, I'm going to get real steeped in Eastern religious jargon (once again, I don't really know if it's Eastern religious jargon, blah blah blah) so it might get confusing for all you normal people. Oh, and being normal is a good thing, in case you're wondering). So, the Witness was definitely there going, "Yeah, he's making a fool of himself on purpose. I see it, I'm aware of it. But luckily, I'm not the fool." So that was kind of cool.
Anyway, what I've been thinking about is the conflict between Form and Emptiness. Now, if I were a mere blue, I'd say it's simple: death to Form and live in Emptiness. That's sweet. But even enlightened people eat food. You don't see them going, "Wow man, I'm so enlightened. I don't need to eat. I'll just live off of bliss." Obviously then that isn't the thing to do.
Now to the orange. He (or s/he if you prefer... freakin' feminists! :) ) says, "Emptiness isn't really there. All that's there is what I can see / hear / smell / touch / taste with my sensee. Everything else is balogna." I don't like this reductionist frame of mind either. It seems, well, rather reductionist. I mean, the Pythagorean Theorem can't be grasped with the senses, but we "know" that it's real. Why? Because we can construct it in our subtle mind. So it has to be real. Same thing with Emptiness (though I've yet to get there).
This leads to the non-dual idea: that it's not Emptiness OR Form, but rather both. But that just opens a whole new can of worms. If it was just one or the other, living life the "right" and "best" way would be rather easy. Either you go and live in some secluded mountain somewhere (Emptiness), or you go and make a big success of yourself (Form). Very, very simple. But what if it's both? That's where I'm confused.
There's a Zen story about an Ox-herder. It goes through this whole metaphysical thingamabob about Enlightenment. And do you know what the end of the story is? It's the Ox-herder entering the market with "open hands." He goes through all this training, all this "enlightenment," just to enter the market again with "open hands." WTF, you might be thinking. But maybe that's the point. That's the non-dual. To enter the world with AWARENESS of the Emptiness, but realize you live in Form. Or to quote a common Western phrase, "To be in the world, but not of it."
Then there it is. Emptiness is eternal and unchanging. It's cool like that, doing it's thing. And form is ephemeral and always changing. It's cool like THAT, doing ITS thing. And I, a crazy human that is known as Homo sapiens sapiens (which for any of you that don't know Latin, means a man that can think about thinking [aka contemplate]) get to live in this non-dual world. But would you have it any other way?
Doesn't really solve all my problems, but I'm just a seventeen year old American kid. You can't expect me to be fully enlightened, can you?
And this could end here, but I'm going to add a footnote.
I'm a perfectionist. Anyone that knows me knows this. And I'm a lazy, apathetic perfectionist. That has to be the worst kind.
As of late, I've been using the whole "emptiness" idea as a front for my laziness. I mean, if everything just "is," then why do anything, right? If everything is as it should be, why do anything. But once again, even Buddha ate food. Jesus loved his wine and bread. And Mohammed, well, I don't know much about him, but I'm sure he ate too. That implies that you must not just say, "Dude, this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S." You have to DO stuff.
And I'm also horrible at accepting things.
In short: Get up off your lazy, fake-enlightened, non-accepting ass, and get some stuff done (that should be done, and accept the things that you can't change!
And that's all for now. Thank you and goodbye.
(No brain cells were injured in the making of this blog. At least, none of mine were. Maybe some of yours were. I'm sorry, in that case. Namaste.)