The Superfluousness of Gab ? 5

Ah, I’m quoting the following passage (somewhat with tongue-in-cheek) as it seems fairly apropos with Global Politics nowadays eh ?

It is from the book Ask the Awakened: The Negative Way :

Golden Silence

The faculty that distinguishes man from all other animals is that of speech, and he makes use of it with the enthusiasm of a convert and the lack of moderation of a child with a new toy. The popular notion of government, at all levels, is government by talking, and often it amounts to little else. The inefficiency of this is demonstrated by the fact that when obvious security is at stake, as in the case of ships at sea and armies on land, government by talking is abandoned and there is substituted for it the rule of one man, whose word is law and whose words of command are so brief as to ignore syntax. When it has happened that in the first enthusiasm of popular revolutions that natural law has been temporarily abrogated the ship has been known to sink and the army to be beaten.

It is instructive, and also entertaining, to observe that one of man’s methods of showing respect, on the death of a celebrated individual or in commemoration of a catastrophe, is to observe one minute, or even two, of silence, that is to refrain from talking for that all too brief period; and that has been apt to prove too great a strain for regular application. It would appear that the maintenance of silence is well-nigh insupportable to the average man, and at the same time he cherishes an illusory notion that almost anything can be achieved by chatter. Verbiage is his primary occupation, and his method of self-assertion, and in many countries even a musical programme on the radio rarely lasts for more than a few minutes without being interrupted by an outburst of entirely superfluous ‘gab’. ‘Gab’, in short, is his idea of living, and he expresses his ideas, even the most erudite, with the exception of higher mathematics, in the greatest possible number of words instead of in the fewest.

But talking is probably the greatest hindrance to the development of man’s spiritual possibilities, and of all forms of activity the one which most efficiently bars his way to that higher state of consciousness which is his unique possibility, his right, and his only certain justification. This is hardly an original observation; the Ch’an masters evidently knew it – since they spoke so briefly as to be barely comprehensible, and the most vital sutras, shorn of subsequent repetition, give their message in a few lines. The fact is recognised in Christianity by the Trappists and in India yogis impose on themselves long periods of silence, and, when abroad, single days at stated periods.

This need not be taken to mean that even the most serious occidentals who follow the urge towards enlightenment should abandon speech. In the course of every twenty-four hours one-third is already devoted to silence, but they might perhaps realise that chatter is not only a hindrance, as has been pointed out, but is quite clearly a psychological mechanism of defence against progress on that path on the part of the skandha-impulses operating in collaboration with the I-concept developed by the phenomenal ‘individual’. It is neither difficult nor rare to be able to observe that mechanism in operation, and in such cases at least mental discipline, as it is called, is necessary, though the element of discipline should be merely a result, the result of understanding and observing that mechanism at work. This understanding need in no way hinder communication of ideas, of all kinds of interesting observations, of humour, even of gossip – for there are sixteen hours available for all that as well as for periods of silence.

Perhaps there need not even be anything so formal as periods of silence, but just an abandonment of absolutely superfluous ‘gab’?

Now, this being so, you might ask : “what of it” ? Well, here’s an example eh ?

If we take a flower and pull off its petals, where do we find the flower? Wherein lies the essence or the inherent nature of this flower? Pulling off all of the petals, we find that there is nothing of the flower left behind. We search for the flower and we find nothing, only a pile of petals on the ground. But where is the flower? Each petal that we have pulled off is not the flower. All of the petals belong to the flower, but the “flower” in itself is nothing, only the sum of its parts. It has no independent existence, therefore, it is empty.

The concept “flower” is created by our minds. In this concept, the three times are joined in our mind; we have memories of flowers in the past and we anticipate seeing flowers in the future. But these objects do not have any inherent existence. We only find a collection or aggregate of parts; a pile of petals, but no flower. It is the same when we examine our body or our mind. We find an aggregate of parts, the skandhas, but we do not find any owner. There is no self or substance.

Everything is created by thought and nothing exists inherently. By our becoming aware of this, the power held over us by karmic traces becomes less. Only the names exist, but they do not exist as real independent objects. Yet we become more and more involved with these fictitious objects and attached to them, and so we continue to revolve in Samsara.

Quoted from Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings

5 thoughts on “The Superfluousness of Gab ?

  1. Reply Simon Nov 7,2019 4:27 pm

    Oh, so to put this into context, in apparent day-to-day-life, the following I’d say is representative of HOW it really is possible for one to exist-as-a-human-BEING whilst simultaneously “doing” so all from the Natural (or Primordial) State eh ?

    From : The Crystal and the Way of Light

    The particular method of Dzogchen is called the Path of Self-Liberation, and to apply it nothing need be renounced, purified, or transformed. Whatever arises as one’s karmic vision is used as the path. The great master Pha Tampa Sangye once said:

    Quote : It’s not the circumstances which arise as one’s karmic vision that condition a person into the dualistic state; it’s a person’s own attachment that enables what arises to condition him.

    If this attachment is to be cut through in the most rapid and effective way, the capacity for self-liberation inherent in the primordial state must be brought into play. The term self liberation should not, however, be taken as implying that there is some ‘self or ‘ego’ there to be liberated. It is a fundamental assumption, as we have already said, at the Dzogchen level, that all phenomenon are devoid of self-nature and it is understood that no phenomena has inherent existence. Self-Liberation, in the Dzogchen sense, means that whatever manifests in the field of the practitioner’s experience is allowed to arise just as it is, without judgment of it as good or bad, beautiful or ugly. And in that same moment, if there is no clinging, or attachment, without effort, or even volition, whatever it is that arises, whether as a thought or as a conceptualization of a seemingly external event, automatically liberates itself, by itself, and of itself. Practicing in this way, the seeds of the poison tree of dualistic vision never even get a chance to sprout, much less to take root and grow.

    So the practitioner lives his or her life in an ordinary way, without needing any rules other than one’s own awareness, always remaining in the primordial state through integrating that state with whatever arises as part of experience—with absolutely nothing to be seen outwardly to show that one is practicing. This is what is meant by self-liberation, this is what is meant by the name Dzogchen—which means Great Perfection—and this is what is meant by non-dual contemplation, or simply contemplation.

    • Reply Simon Nov 7,2019 10:48 pm

      Ah, I’d suggest the following quote (from a 17th century ZEN master) is pointing to the exact same Primordial State eh ?

      Bankei repeatedly drove home the profound if paradoxical point that no sentient being, in their Absolute Identity as Buddha-Nature (Skt.: Buddhatā, Jap.: Busshō), has ever really “been born.” That is to say, no one has actually ever gotten entangled in phenomena, bodies, minds, experiences, relationships, etc. We are always already none other than the One that is also Many; our real Nature is the undefined, unstructured, infinite Openness-Emptiness (Skt.: Shūnyatā) of Pure Awareness that is also simultaneously appearing as all phenomena. We are Formlessness associated with and permeating forms, but never “born” or caught up as these forms.

      Hence, Master Bankei famously summed up his entire teaching as Fu-shō — “Unborn!” This key word was often issued verbally by Bankei and also was inscribed by him as the simple caption to his famous calligraphy painting of the Zen circle that he drew as the visual summary of his Way. The Master always advised people, “don’t get born,” i.e., don’t take on seriously even for a moment any false, limiting identifications of being a man, a woman, a Buddhist, a Confucian, good, bad, old, young, angry, elated, mortal body or even a distinct, immortal soul.

      In our True Nature we are always only the unmanifest Absolute, which manifests as the conventional “dream” of life while yet always remaining Absolute. Freedom is always Free, and our Real Identity is this Spiritual Freedom or Mind/Heart of Buddha-Nature.

      From : Bankei Yōtaku – Zen Master of the “Unborn” — Fu-shō

  2. Reply Simon Nov 8,2019 12:00 pm

    Ah, with regards to the example of the “Flower” perhaps the following quotation may help “you” to see what is being inferred by the phrase “Conceptual Designation” eh ?

    The phrase “This is called a flower” seems to be artificial, and we have the sense that it is a flower from its own side. We lose the sense of these things being merely designated; we lose the sense of their being what they are by the force of agreement, by the force of convention. They are reified with the sense that this is simply the way they are. The object that is so apprehended to exist in and of itself is regarded as truly existent, but in reality such a truly existent object does not exist at all. Although there is no true existence, without the realization of emptiness, we identify objects as truly existent.

    To repeat, in the first phase we impute a label or a designation on something, and then we forget that we have done so. Through that forgetting process an erroneous mental process takes place. The object itself appears in a mistaken way, and we grasp onto it. That mind that mistakenly grasps onto phenomena is called ignorance. Ignorance always entails reification. In this way we grasp onto the true existence of ourselves, and similarly, when focusing on an adversary, we grasp onto that person as truly existent. We also grasp onto loved ones as truly existent. This is how attachment and aversion arise automatically.

    From : Gen Lamrimpa – Realizing Emptiness (Madhyamaka Insight Meditation)

  3. Reply Simon Nov 15,2019 6:25 pm

    “Discovering a particle means observing certain effects which are accepted as proof of its existence”. Eddington claims here that a particle is just a set of labels that we use to describe outcomes of our measurements. And that’s it. It all boils down to a relation between our measurements and our labels! 😲

    From : Vlatko Vedral’s “Decoding Reality : The Universe as Quantum Information

    Ah, with this quote perhaps you can now re-cognize how what was previously Conceptually Designated (such as all the NAMES and LABELS for so-called “particles”) is then (mis)taken as actually re-presenting Reality-As-It-Is eh ? But there are no itsy-bitsy-particles, I’m saying that’s just the Languaging used as a “hangover” from classical physics, because as with the example of the Flower, ALL such Designations are EMPTY eh ? 😉

    From : Nature “The Mental Universe” (2005)

    The wave is not in the underlying stuff; it is in the spatial pattern of detector clicks … We cannot help but think of the clicks as caused by little localized pieces of stuff that we might as well call particles. This is where the particle language comes from. It does not come from the underlying stuff, but from our psychological predisposition to associate localized phenomena with particles

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