2018-07-11

Raven 62: Emptiness

What's all this folderal about emptiness anyway? Isn't the whole thing, well, empty? OK, so, it has no basis. The thing is, nothing does. Y'know? So don't lose an opportunity to laugh!

Case
At a Tallspruce party, Porcupine cornered Raven and said, "I wanted to tell you that I've found that there is no basis for emptiness."
Raven looked startled, then she and Porcupine burst into laughter.
Verse
One day, to explore widely the surrounding districts, Xuansha leaves the mountain. He stubs his toe on a stone. Bleeding and in great pain, Xuansha reflects, “They say this body is not real existence. Where does the pain come from?” --Dogen

A Few Things Real and Unreal

Phlogiston, unicorns, Manti Te'o's girlfriend;
Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes, Celie;
Nations, governments, laws,
Punishment, the stock market, hospitals;
Freedom, unselfish actions, God;
Joy, kindness, wisdom.

Planets and atoms;
Death and love;
Julius Caesar and the neighbor's dog;
Thou and I;
Denali and Mt. McKinley.

The larch in the backyard;
The stone on the ground waiting to meet Xuansha's or Samuel Johnson's foot;
The pain that followed when it did.

All are real, and real the same way;
All unreal, the same way as real.
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Raven 61

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