We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. -Chuang Tzu
Chuang Tzu And The Butterfly
Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly,
And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking.
Which was the realthe butterfly or the man ?
Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?
The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea
Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream.
The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city,
Was once the Prince of the East Hill.
So must rank and riches vanish.
You know it, still you toil and toil,what for?
Late Night… listening to the sounds of the house quieting down towards midnight. Warm, a burst of summer struggles up for a few days, tomorrow in the 90′s they say. Visited with my friend Terry today, drifted home, had a couple of drinks and vegged with some videos. I am awaiting the equinox at this point… Harvesting apples off of our tree, leaving one for the squirrels Mary did today. Everyone gets a share in her world. I watch her talk with the cat, the dog and the creatures and plants. Ever noticed that magick is near by if you just look a little wider?
I hope this finds you in happiness. Here, I will share some of mine if you like.
On The Menu:
The Mystery Telegram
Radiohead – Jigsaw falling into place
A Tale of London
Radiohead – House of Cards
Chuang Tzu Poetry…
Radiohead – In Rainbows – Reckoner
The Mystery Telegram
Oh… I have my suspicions, this Telegram popped up earlier this week at Caer Llwydd. I am on your trail and I shall identify you, Mystery Telegram Sender…!
You will always find an answer in the sound of water.
I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?
Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.
Radiohead – Jigsaw falling into place
A Tale of London
– Lord Dunsany
“Come,” said the Sultan to his hasheesh-eater in the very furthest lands that know Bagdad, “dream to me now of London.”
And the hasheesh-eater made a low obeisance and seated himself cross-legged upon a purple cushion broidered with golden poppies, on the floor, beside an ivory bowl where the hasheesh was, and having eaten liberally of the hasheesh blinked seven times and spoke thus:
“O Friend of God, know then that London is the desiderate town even of all Earth’s cities. Its houses are of ebony and cedar which they roof with thin copper plates that the hand of Time turns green. They have golden balconies in which amethysts are where they sit and watch the sunset. Musicians in the gloaming steal softly along the ways; unheard their feet fall on the white sea-sand with which those ways are strewn, and in the darkness suddenly they play on dulcimers and instruments with strings. Then are there murmurs in the balconies praising their skill, then are there bracelets cast down to them for reward and golden necklaces and even pearls.
“Indeed but the city is fair; there is by the sandy ways a paving all alabaster, and the lanterns along it are of chrysoprase, all night long they shine green, but of amethyst are the lanterns of the balconies.
“As the musicians go along the ways dancers gather about them and dance upon the alabaster pavings, for joy and not for hire. Sometimes a window opens far up in an ebony palace and a wreath is cast down to a dancer or orchids showered upon them.
“Indeed of many cities have I dreamt but of none fairer, through many marble metropolitan gates hasheesh has led me, but London is its secret, the last gate of all; the ivory bowl has nothing more to show. And indeed even now the imps that crawl behind me and that will not let me be are plucking me by the elbow and bidding my spirit return, for well they know that I have seen too much. ‘No, not London,’ they say; and therefore I will speak of some other city, a city of some less mysterious land, and anger not the imps with forbidden things. I will speak of Persepolis or famous Thebes.”
A shade of annoyance crossed the Sultan’s face, a look of thunder that you had scarcely seen, but in those lands they watched his visage well, and though his spirit was wandering far away and his eyes were bleared with hasheesh yet that storyteller there and then perceived the look that was death, and sent his spirit back at once to London as a man runs into his house when the thunder comes.
“And therefore,” he continued, “in the desiderate city, in London, all their camels are pure white. Remarkable is the swiftness of their horses, that draw their chariots that are of ivory along those sandy ways and that are of surpassing lightness, they have little bells of silver upon their horses’ heads. O Friend of God, if you perceived their merchants! The glory of their dresses in the noonday! They are no less gorgeous than those butterflies that float about their streets. They have overcloaks of green and vestments of azure, huge purple flowers blaze on their overcloaks, the work of cunning needles, the centres of the flowers are of gold and the petals of purple. All their hats are black” (“No, no,” said the Sultan)”but irises are set about the brims, and green plumes float above the crowns of them.
“They have a river that is named the Thames, on it their ships go up with violet sails bringing incense for the braziers that perfume the streets, new songs exchanged for gold with alien tribes, raw silver for the statues of their heroes, gold to make balconies where the women sit, great sapphires to reward their poets with, the secrets of old cities and strange lands, the earning of the dwellers in far isles, emeralds, diamonds, and the hoards of the sea. And whenever a ship comes into port and furls its violet sails and the news spreads through London that she has come, then all the merchants go down to the river to barter, and all day long the chariots whirl through the streets, and the sound of their going is a mighty roar all day until evening, their roar is even like”
“Not so,” said the Sultan.
“Truth is not hidden from the Friend of God,” replied the hasheesh-eater, “I have erred being drunken with the hasheesh, for in the desiderate city, even in London, so thick upon the ways is the white sea-sand with which the city glimmers that no sound comes from the path of the charioteers, but they go softly like a light sea-wind.” (“It is well,” said the Sultan.) “They go softly down to the port where the vessels are, and the merchandise in from the sea, amongst the wonders that the sailors show, on land by the high ships, and softly they go though swiftly at evening back to their homes.
“O would that the Munificent, the Illustrious, the Friend of God, had even seen these things, had seen the jewellers with their empty baskets, bargaining there by the ships, when the barrels of emeralds came up from the hold. Or would that he had seen the fountains there in silver basins in the midst of the ways. I have seen small spires upon their ebony houses and the spires were all of gold, birds strutted there upon the copper roofs from golden spire to spire that have no equal for splendour in all the woods of the world. And over London the desiderate city the sky is so deep a blue that by this alone the traveller may know where he has come, and may end his fortunate journey. Nor yet for any colour of the sky is there too great heat in London, for along its ways a wind blows always from the South gently and cools the city.
“Such, O Friend of God, is indeed the city of London, lying very far off on the yonder side of Bagdad, without a peer for beauty or excellence of its ways among the towns of the earth or cities of song; and even so, as I have told, its fortunate citizens dwell, with their hearts ever devising beautiful things and from the beauty of their own fair work that is more abundant around them every year, receiving new inspirations to work things more beautiful yet.”
“And is their government good?” the Sultan said.
“It is most good,” said the hasheesh-eater, and fell backwards upon the floor.
He lay thus and was silent. And when the Sultan perceived he would speak no more that night he smiled and lightly applauded.
And there was envy in that palace, in lands beyond Bagdad, of all that dwell in London.
Radiohead – House of Cards (shown on Turfing before, but hey… it’s sweet.)
Chuang Tzu Poetry…
Distinguishing Ego from Self
All that is limited by form, semblance, sound, color is called object.
Among them all, man alone is more than an object.
Though, like objects, he has form and semblance,
He is not limited to form.
He is more.
He can attain to formlessness.
When he is beyond form and semblance, beyond “this” and “that,”
where is the comparison with another object?
Where is the conflict?
What can stand in his way?
He will rest in his eternal place which is no-place.
He will be hidden in his own unfathomable secret.
His nature sinks to its root in the One.
His vitality, his power hide in secret Tao.
Goods and Possessions
Goods and possessions are no gain in his eyes.
He stays far from wealth and honor.
Long life is no ground for joy, nor early death for sorrow.
Success is not for him to be pround of, failure is no shame.
Had he all the world’s power he would not hold it as his own.
If he conquered everything he would not take it to himself.
His glory is in knowing that all things come together in One and life and death are equal.
If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao’s gift),
If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get,
If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood,
You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek.
To know when to stop,
To know when you can get no further by your own action,
This is the right beginning!
Action and Non-Action
by Chuang Tzu
The non-action of the wise man is not inaction.
It is not studied. It is not shaken by anything.
The sage is quiet because he is not moved,
Not because he wills to be quiet.
Still water is like glass.
You can look in it and see the bristles on your chin.
It is a perfect level;
A carpenter could use it.
If water is so clear, so level,
How much more the spirit of man?
The heart of the wise man is tranquil.
It is the mirror of heaven and earth
The glass of everything.
Emptiness, stillness, tranquillity, tastelessness,
Silence, non-action: this is the level of heaven and earth.
This is perfect Tao. Wise men find here
Their resting place.
Resting, they are empty.
From emptiness comes the unconditioned.
From this, the conditioned, the individual things.
So from the sages emptiness, stillness arises:
From stillness, action. From action, attainment.
From their stillness comes their non-action, which is also action
And is, therefore, their attainment.
For stillness is joy. Joy is free from care
Fruitful in long years.
Joy does all things without concern:
For emptiness, stillness, tranquillity, tastelessness,
Silence, and non-action
Are the root of all things.
Cutting Up An Ox
Prince Wen Hui’s cook
Was cutting up an ox.
Out went a hand,
Down went a shoulder,
He planted a foot,
He pressed a knee,
The ox fell apart
With a whisper,
The bright cleaver murmured
Like a gentle wind.
Like a sacred dance,
Like “The Mulberry Grove,”
Like ancient harmonies!
“Good work!” the Prince exclaimed,
“Your method is flawless!”
“Method?” said the cook
Laying aside his cleaver,
“What I follow is Tao
Beyond all methods!”
“When I first began
To cut up oxen
I would see before me
The whole ox
All in one mass.
After three years
I no longer saw this mass.
I saw distinctions.
“But now, I see nothing
With the eye. My whole being
My senses are idle. The spirit
Free to work without plan
Follows its own instinct
Guided by natural line,
By the secret opening, the hidden space,
My cleaver finds its own way.
I cut through no joint, chop no bone.
“A good cook needs a new chopper
Once a year–he cuts.
A poor cook needs a new one
Every month–he hacks!
I have used this same cleaver
It has cut up
A thousand oxen.
The edge is as keen
As if newly sharpened.
“There are spaces in the joints;
The blade is thin and keen:
When this thinness
Finds that space
There is all the room you need!
It goes like a breeze!
Hence I have this cleaver nineteen years
As if newly sharpened!
“True, there are sometimes
Tough joints. I feel them coming,
I slow down, I watch closely,
Hold back, barely moving the blade,
And whump! the part falls away
Landing like a clod of earth.
“Then I withdraw the blade,
I stand still
And let the joy of the work
I clean the blade
And put it away.”
Prince Wen Hui said,
“This is it! My cook has shown me
How I ought to live
My own life!”
– Chuang Tzu –
Radiohead – In Rainbows – Reckoner