Saturday, 6 October 2012

It's My Working Hypothesis or What Happens When Folks Die? Also, My New Poetry and Haiku Blog

Recently we've been having a little discussion in my online buddhist community: "So What Happens When Folks Die?"  I like to use the image of the ocean as a metaphor for life and death and stuff like that - I'm not the only one, either; there's tons of people including Zen teachers (like my own) who use it too just because it's so easy and accessible for most people.  Unless maybe if you've never seen the ocean.  But basically we can think of ALL THAT IS - you know, LIFE/UNIVERSE/TAO/GOD/BUDDHANATURE/whatever as one big ocean, and we're the waves.  And if you look at the waves it looks like they're individual waves, but they're really just the ocean moving.  And if you look at the waves as they reach the shore, what happens?

Below was my response:

 "'(If) you think the wave reaches the shore and disappears, that is wrong. If you think no wave reaches the shore and disappears, that is also wrong. If you think the wave went back to the ocean that is also wrong. If you think there is no wave that went back to the ocean that is also wrong.' 

Did the wave disappear? If all waves are just the ocean moving, then there is no individual wave to either appear or disappear, and nothing that reaches the shore and returns to the ocean (that would imply that the wave and the ocean were separated and now they will be reunited). So to say the wave disappears upon reaching the shore, or to say that it returns to the ocean, are both wrong. But it is also wrong to say that there is no wave that appears and disappears, no wave that reaches the shore and returns to the ocean. The waves and the ocean are just 
-^-^-^-^-^-^ (I can't exactly present you the ocean here so my illustration will have to do  ).

Something like that."

So, what happens when folks die?  You ask me?  I might say something like "what happens to my fist when I open my hand?". (As an aside, I can't remember exactly where I read that one). Or simply, life and death are like our hands in gassho* . More intimate than we think: not two, not one.

And you might press me and say "do you really believe that?" TO WHICH I'll reply: "It's my working hypothesis."

*That's Japanese for putting your hands together.  Similar to the Namaste/Namaskar greeting that yogis and Indians do


I just started a new blog called Just This, The Bell's Song, and it's gonna be where I will dump all my wannabe poetry and haiku.  Why?  'Cause I decided last week I'm going to write at least one haiku a day.  So far I'm averaging roughly two or three, I think.  Think of how many I'll end up with after a year!  A book?  I don't want to say anything this early, but if I keep this up I'll end up filling a few.

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