September 13th, 2010

TheTao of Bloy

When a fool hears about Tao,
he just laughs and laughs.
If he didn't laugh, it wouldn't be Tao.

Here's what they find so funny:
The path to enlightenment
seems covered in shadows.
The way forward
feels like taking a step back.
The easiest path seems difficult.
Those with the most virtue
seem debased.
Those who are most pure
seem to be grubby and soiled.
The deepest thoughts appear shallow.
The greatest strength
looks like weakness.
What is most real
strikes us as imaginary.
The largest space has no boundaries.
The greatest talent
seems to produce nothing.
The greatest voice is unhearable.
The greatest beauty is invisible.

Tao is hidden to us
and it has no name.
It is the source and the strength of all things.

 the Beatrice Tao.

Reading this on the heels of my encounter with the thought of Leon Bloy
i can better see the truth and beauty of Bloy's apparently bizarre relationship with the Almighty.
Bloy was truly a mystic.
The fact that he did not receive his beatific vision
does not diminish the propriety and quality of his search.
Some of us get it in this life, some of us don't
"else what is heaven for?"

The Tao of Leon Bloy

I shall blind you because I am Faith,
I shall drive you to despair because i am Hope,
I shall devour you because I am Charity,
I shall press you down in the mud for I am Purity itself,
I shall overwhelm you with darkness because I am Light...
Those who despise all these things and despise you,
Those vile and stupid ones,
I shall exalt beyond all measure.
I shall seat them upon thrones.
and it is upon your dying face that I will rest their unclean feet.
After that, if you cry for me,
it shall be as if you did not cry.

Daily Tao - 41

This is not the article i want to post...but

Brain's default mode network may hold key to better psychiatric diagnoses - Los Angeles Times

This mornings local newspaper reprints an L.A. Times article on "daydreaming." ("No rest for the brain>" Melissa Healy, L.A. Times, September 13, (or maybe a day or so earlier) 2010.  I will post it in this journal when it comes online.
It talks about the "default mode" of the brains functioning when we are not focusing on a specific problem.  It has implications for mental ill illness (including autism) and, i think, for meditation.  My layman's "Charlie Brown" understanding of this is that it is when the brain is NOT working, that it is REALLY working.  (Is that Taoist wisdom or what!?)  What the implication for meditation are, i do not know.  But i'm pretty sure they are there and they are powerful.  If anybody has read this article--the one i didn't post, or has thought about the Brain's "default mode," and can talk about it in basic English, especially in reference to either autism or (especially, especially) meditation, i will greatly appreciate comments. (I think i'm somewhat of a "comment whore" anyway).

No Rest for the Brain (local headline)

An idle brain may be the self's workshop -

This is the article i intended to post earlier today, i couldn't find it because it was published earlier than i guessed, and with a different headline.  I am not a believer that brain equals mind; nevertheless i will accept that the structure of the brain (and the processes allowed by that structure) do influence the way we think, and perhaps, to some small extent, what we think.

In meditation, the mind is focused, but not on anything in particular, except maybe the simplest thing --one's breathing, a mantra.
While this is not the same as "daydreaming," it may function similarly in freeing the brain to "fire on all cylinders."  Allowing it to be open to whatever the universe has to offer it.  We know that people (brother Lawrence) can meditate while carrying on well practiced tasks--such as getting one's breakfast.

To me this article reinforces the belief that meditation is basic human behavior, as natural as breathing.  It only requires practice and discipline and training because we have strayed so far from our natural state.  As the Buddhists say, the training in meditation is to help us discover who we always were and already are. enlightened.  But the light is always under a bushel, especially in our frantic world with so many "problems" and pseudoproblems to solve.  I don't know if this information is useful. or even true, but i'm guessing it is.
U guess, therefore i post.

Cherkassky_DMN and Autism

Cherkassky_NeuroReport2006-reprint.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Neuroscience presents a more loosely connected neural network as problematic for persons with autism.  I'm sure this is true for functioning in the material world they share with neurotypical people.  The world of the spirit may not work the same way.  I recently saw a tape on which a shaman with autism argued that for him, Asperger's Syndrome was his "ticket" to the spirit world.  If flexibility is the key to the brain's  default mode,  the more loosely connected neural network of the autistic person may be an advantage in such areas a meditation, mindfulness, and imagination