On being sensible

I find that the influences I have in my life can be divided up into two basic categories.

The first comes from good sensible people giving me good sensible advice…which is good.
The second type comes from people who have managed to live out their own deepest dreams and seem to believe, or suggest, that I can do the same. And let me tell you, just to meet one of these such people may enhance the colours coming in through your retinae for an amount of time far greater than the average human lifespan.

This week in circus training we are learning: clowning.
And clowning is about being ‘authentically present’.
The silliness you may be more familiar with is a side effect.
I consider it very useful, given the eyes of some of the more sensible people around me, that I am learning to look ridiculous with grace.

I believe Dogen Zenji said “If you follow yourself, you follow a fool.”
The classical understanding of this is that you would do better to follow an enlightened teacher of the Zen lineage. I’d like to attempt to float an alternative interpretation…
Your ‘Self’, your true, absolute and rather elusive Self, which is as magnificent and life-expanding when we realise it does not exist as when we realise it is all that is, does certainly not operate under any kind of ‘sensible’ principles.
Perhaps, then, we may call this ‘Self’ a fool.

So, maybe old Dogen was just stating a simple fact! “If you follow your Self, you follow a fool”. “…Be warned,” he may have continued once the scribe’s writing hand became fatigued, “Do not expect to continue making good, nice, sensible decisions once you have entered the gateless gate.”

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About lotusquotus

I came across myself one day, almost by accident, and promptly realised I was trapped inside it, and outside it, and all about it. At first this struck me with a spurt of panic as one can well imagine, but little by little I began to make peace with this oddest of predicaments. I decided it best to accept the situation and to make the most of it by cleaning and decorating myself and making it a nice place to be. Those moments still appear when my mind is spun back to that original panic and I want to break free of myself. Yet overall, and more and more as time goes on, I am tending slowly, gingerly and peacemakingly towards the inevitable conclusion: I am myself.
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