An excerpt from the book SEEMING REALITY [ https://sellfy.com/p/WTto ].
Zen-buddhism is probably the nearest there to multipolarity. In Zen there is a separation from binarity – the distinction between death and life and “hell” and “heaven”: Zen denies (excludes) God who demands submission and therefore is a hierarchical principle.
The only aim of Zen is convergence with nature. Old masters claimed that everyone is able to achieve nirvana and did not request complete forfeiture of “earthly passions” – on the contrary, they claim that nirvana is to be found in the midst of sansara (the world of passions) and not away from it. In addition to samurais Zen was meant for common people who, in order to attain supreme knowledge (wide understanding) were to join physical, spiritual, mental (conscious) and subconscious abilities – in the end this was to lead to enlightenment (satori) independently of noble or common origin of the person.
According to Zen satori cleanses the soul for further life in this world. In the metaphorical language of masters satori opens the “third eye” and sharpened senses enable a person to look at reality as if from aside – the person stays in the enlightened state (sammai). According to Zen this state is necessary for any activity in order to do it masterly – be it tea ceremony, yoga, martial art, calligraphy, … whatever.
Zen’ s wisdom is in refraining from imposition of one’s will on nature and in the skill to immediately respond to its call.
One of the creators of the philosophical basis of Japanese martial arts, the patriarch of Zen Takuan (1573-1645) has written:
“Everything in the world takes spontaneity of actions and nothing should be done with premeditation. What is premeditated does not correspond to reality. There is nothing in the world that the Void cannot adapt to – it is not important if it is long or short, quadrangular or round. Only a soul encompassed by the Void may surpass every obstacle.”
There is no need to interpret what has been said by the old masters, but I will here explain some things for the benefit of my disciples (as the present book is meant as preparation for training). (Among “Seekers” there are very young people who begin by acquiring techniques of physical combat but also read the present instructional material.)
“What is premeditated does not correspond to reality” – for instance if your aim is to pick up a mug from the table you need not get it in one piece (as you presumed) – before the execution of the action your presumption is “seeming reality” similar to the presumption that you can get from point A to point B without stumbling or that you can read out a passage from a book without mixing up a word – it may happen, but before that it is just a premeditation, and there is no way you could definitely assert that your premeditation (“what is premeditated”) corresponds to reality. There is reality only when you flow in conformity with your wishes and are directed by nature, immediately reacting to changes of the situation – when you do not get hooked on your purposes and push them through (“with determination”, “purposefully”) despite the changed situation (such pushing is a cause of internal tensions that, when cumulating, get expressed as health problems). A “purpose” can be reached smoothly. The “purpose” does not mean acquisition of something at any price but the internal state that you seek to achieve through acquiring some object. It is actually not the object that you need but the feeling thereby experienced – if you understand this and “get liberated from the object”, the nature itself will show you the OTHER WAY to attainment of this state.
Patriarch Hakuin (1686-1769) who attributed great importance to physical preparation in Zen has written:
“I am seventy years old, but I feel in myself ten times more strength compared to what I had when I was 30 or 40 years old. I am strong in body and soul: I can be without sleeping for a long time. It happens that I have to be 3, 4, sometimes also 7 days without sleep, but it does not reflect on the activity of my brain.
A person interested only in Zen meditation is never successful in active practice of Zen. When faced with daily business all vitality acquired by him gets lost without a trace and he is overpowered even by somebody who has never practiced Zen. Every trifle can make him sad and nervous and behave as it befits only a coward…”
In Zen everything is directed towards simplicity. Takuan notes that in Buddhism, Shintoism, Daoism and Confucianism the “Uniformity of Soul”, “Void”, “Buddha’s State of Enlightenment”, “Nobility of Soul” etc. determine the Absolute that is “the greatest mystery”.
It is possible that after having read this book the greatest mystery will be “a little bit lesser greatest mystery”.