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EpiphaniesThere are certain ideas, I think, that are inherently difficult to communicate. For such an idea, talking can only plant the seed; in the end, everyone must discover it for themselves, must have their own epiphany, their own moment of insight.
Actually, I'm just making that up based on my own experience, but it sure sounds good, huh? I gather, though, that Zen is supposed to be the same way. For example, here's something Mu-mon said in the introduction to The Gateless Gate.
“Even such words are like raising waves in a windless sea or performing an operation upon a healthy body. If one clings to what others have said and tries to understand Zen by explanation, he is like a dunce who thinks he can beat the moon with a pole or scratch an itching foot from the outside of a shoe. It will be impossible after all.
What ideas have I understood in this way? The main one that comes to mind is the idea that words are not reality … and, of course, the one I'm working on right now, which is the idea that there's not enough time.
Day in the Life, A
Not Enough Time
One Thing Leads to Another
@ June (2001)