Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Percy Books (Eight)

Percy does not like it when I read a book.

He puts his face over the top of it and moans,

He roils is eyes, sometimes he sneezes.

The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down.

The tide is out and the neighbor's dogs are playing.

But Percy, I say. Ideas! The elegance of language!...

Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough.

Let's go.

Oh dear Percy, are you Mary's wise teacher? Mine too?

I am reminded of a famous Zen Buddist Koan:

A monk asked Chao-chou, "Has the dog Buddha nature or not?" Chao-chou said, "Mu."

Here "Mu" means, more or less, "No." And yet, Chao-Chou says that all sentient beings have Buddha nature. What is going on here?

Without getting tangled up in Buddhist paradox which takes a life time to get untangled up in the web of interdependence, here's my quick take. Understanding being is beyond words, beyond teaching, beyond books, beyond scripture, beyond dogs, and beyond you and me. Inter-being is. There is nothing to understand. I suppose that is why there is another Buddhist saying, "If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him."

So if Percy was to meet Buddha on the road, what would happen?

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