I don’t know what it is.
I can’t meet it face-to-face.
I can’t turn my back on it.
It’s impossible to flee from it.
If, by some wild grace
(I don’t know what that is, either)
it turns its all-knowing eye upon itself,
the default idea of duality
(by which I mean the unquestioned compulsion to label, define and separate)
Even the concept of ‘one’ is clearly one idea too many.
Knowing without a centre, without a knower,
It excludes nothing. It has no preferences.
The old urge to know what it is,
how it is, why it is,
has become irrelevant, obsolete, laughable.
I say: here it is. Show me how you can possibly ignore it.
Painting by Michael Leunig, Desert Song Man
the seeing of It:
the ripples and reflections
the surface and the cool depth
the sun-snatching edges and the calm continuo
the tones, textures, colours
the watching of It:
the naming and the recalling
the emotional embroidery, the visceral memories
(pain and pleasure both flushed my cheeks
on that windswept isle in the Canaries)
the knowing of It:
all that unfolds before, behind, within and throughout me
as this world I call ‘mine’
shimmers fluidly in a center-less, owner-less
I am Not,
but the Universe is my Self.
– Shih-T’ou, A.D. 700-790
Image – swimming pool reflections captured on a long-ago vacation; Lanzarote, Canary Islands
knowing, sentience, awareness
these are words for IT that utterly fail
to define IT
“The word is not the thing,” said Krishnamurti.
“The word is not the no-thing, either,” echoes Emptiness
knowing that includes no
sentience that includes no
awareness that includes no
knowing that includes no-thing
sentience that includes no-thing
awareness that includes no-thing
these are concepts dancing around IT
spinning, dyeing, patterning,
weaving, on the loom of
mind’s exquisite tapestry
stopping the talk, shutting up at last
there’s just this
pointless and placeless