2020-07-19

Raven 132: How to Die

These Raven Tales are the creation of Zen Master Robert Aitken, who once observed that enlightenment is an accident -- we cannot make it happen -- but we can make ourselves accident-prone.

That's the sort of accident -- which may be fatal to the ego's self-conception -- of which Raven is in favor. Learning how to die is necessary for knowing how to live.

Case
One evening toward the end of a meeting, Mole said, "I've heard that Zen is for old folks to teach them how to die. What do you think of that notion?"
Raven said, "It helps young folks that way, too."
Mole asked, "They might have a fatal accident?"
Raven said, "I'm all for accidents."
Verse
"There are no accidents,"
Says a cartoon character in Kung Fu Panda.
Also, Depak Chopra, who adds,
"There is only some purpose
We haven't yet understood."

I, who have yet to understand
Any purpose,
Bump into things I didn't intend
Or expect or want
To bump into.
Particular instances, I mostly regret.
That the world is made for this to happen
Is delightful.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
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