2018-09-08

Raven 70: Perspective

Our story began when Raven visited Jackrabbit Roshi and asked: "I hear that Buddha Macaw looked up from the branch of her Jobo tree and saw the morning star and announced her realization. I get the feeling that something is missing from the story. What happened when she saw the star?" Jackrabbit answered: "She realized the truth of mutually dependent arising." Raven felt that something was still missing. (Raven #1)

Now we see our friend Porcupine beginning to show signs of moving into an assistant teacher role. Thank you, Porcupine, for your practice and your wisdom!

There is no such thing as a complete explanation. Explanations are words, and words, even if they go on and on for many volumes, always leave out something. Words also latch on to some aspect and make it prevalent. Place not your faith in explanations! Consider this bit of dialog from Ring Lardner:
"Are you lost, Daddy?" I asked tenderly.
"Shut up," he explained.
"Shut up" may be the best explanation. Explanatory words might add perspective, but, ultimately, the oneness and emptiness of reality is perspectiveless.

Case
Woodpecker said, "You've told us how Jackrabbit Roshi said that when the Buddha Macaw looked up and saw the morning star, she realized the truth of mutually dependent arising. I hear that the Roshi is now saying that the Buddha realized, 'Just this!'"
Raven said, "Something's still missing."
"But isn't that what the Buddha realized?" asked Woodpecker, "'Just this morning star'?"
Raven ruffled her feathers and said, "No."
Later, Woodpecker asked Porcupine about this. Porcupine said, "Something's still prevailing."
Woodpecker returned to Raven and said, "I'm trying to get to the bottom of this case about the morning star. You said, 'Something's still missing.' Porcupine said, 'Something's still prevailing.' I really don't understand."
Raven said, "Porcupine adds perspective."
Verse
A robin, the lifeless form of,
Lies by the path, her talons
Curve around air.
To say what is missing is not hard:
Her motion, her song, her concerns.

To detect the prevailing presence of same,
In the gray and ruddy feathers:
This, too, is not difficult.
Less often said, maybe.

I bend and take the body up,
Carry it to the covering of underbrush,
Stand over the grave
In wonder of the goneness
And equally of the
undepartability.
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Raven 69

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