Thursday, December 25, 2014


life is the ultimate precommitment.

i was thinking of the movie "what dreams may come". robin williams loves his wife so much that when she spirals into a bottomless psychosis and kills herself, he's willing to give up heaven and be trapped hell in hell forever, for a chance to see her, even if he can't save her. even if she doesn't recognize him, if everything that seemed to be *her* is gone and what's left is just a shell, he believes in her so much, that he never gives up.

in that movie it's two people, robin williams and his wife. but what if you think of them both as being yourself? let's say you really fuck things up in your life, and you get to a state where you don't know who or what you are, and you have no path whatsoever back to something good. or maybe this never actually happens, but it exists as a potential that in some sense you're always working implicitly to avoid - it's inside you somewhere.

what can you do? you could kill yourself, but that doesn't solve anything.

you can only keep believing in yourself no matter what, and go all the way to hell to find yourself. by being yourself, from the very beginning you've been committed to this, even if you don't know it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

from the Shinjin Gakudō

The thought of enlightenment sometimes arises in a life-and-death situation, sometimes in the serenity of nirvana, and sometimes under other conditions. It does not depend on any place, and it is not obstructed by any place where it arises. The thought of enlightenment does not arise from any particular set of conditions and it does not arise from the intellect. It arises from the thought of enlightenment. 

The intention that gives rise to seeking enlightenment is beyond existing or not existing, beyond the judgmental realm of ‘good or evil’, and beyond moral indifference. It is not something that arises as an effect from some previous life, nor is it something that beings in lofty worlds can always realize. It is simply the arising of the intention to realize enlightenment at that moment in time. Because it is not concerned with external circumstances, at the very moment when thought of enlightenment arises, the whole universe, through and through, also gives rise to the thought of enlightenment. Though it is said that this arising seems to turn external circumstances around, the thought of enlightenment is something that these circumstances do not recognize. The arising of this intention is like both self and other stretching out their hands to each other. And we ourselves stretch out our hands going forth amidst beings who are alien to us. Thus the thought of enlightenment is aroused even within the realms of hell, hungry ghosts, animals, and the asuras.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Understanding doesn't get in the way of not understanding