Art by Taran Burns
Art by Taran Burns
‘There are four things which the Master was set on eradicating [in himself]: A bias mind, arbitrary judgments, obstinacy, and self-centredness.’
‘A bad education breeds obedience. A good education exhibits a strong will, to overcome inhibitors and previous successors. Rotten wood is no good for carving.’
‘This swelling flood (of anarchy) spreading over the whole country – no one can change it. As for you, you put yourself under a leader who merely withdraws from the common ruck of men. You had much better put yourself under one who withdraws from the world altogether.’ – Chieh Ni
‘The governors of society should never need governing themselves…’ ‘if they be lovers of justice, then none of the common people can dare not to obey them. When a ruler is right in himself, things will get done without his giving orders; when he is not right in himself, he may give orders, but they will not be obeyed.’
The Master said ‘Do not hanker after quick results, nor visualize petty profits. If you do the first, you will not have any great influence. If you do the second, the important things will not get done.’
‘The Master said “I am a transmitter and not a creator. I believe in and have a passion for the ancients… in silence I get to know without being satiated: I go on teaching without being wearied. What more is to said of me? That I have not fully expounded what I have learnt, that I have been unable to visit just men of whom I have heard, that I have been unable to reform bad men of whom I have heard of”?
As a ruler, you ‘consume a center of hostility’, and ‘swallow your overwhelming sense of ineptibility.’
The seven causes of anxiety
‘Before all things existed
there was a great pregnant silence
And then, suddenly,
a Word was heard,
and the world began.’
The void is full of worlds,
Like the corpse of a dead man…
The name of the dead man: was it Jesus Christ?
The villagers, women and men, began to speak.
Nothing about the dead man.
Out of him.
Because of his silence.
Their speech was not an original act.
They spoke because they heard.
They heard words which were unknown to them:
Words which were not found in their stock of familiar knowledge.
Their caged birds had no songs for the occasion.
Wild birds, coming from forgotten regions –
They did not even know that they existed! –
Flapped their wings, feathers of bright colours,
Singing songs unknown, possessed their souls and bodies,
And they spoke –
Because theology is the Word which is spoken before the void,
As an invocation of the Absent…
We dwell in forgetfulness.
The words we know are not our truth.
I think, therefore I am.
I am where I think.
But now the world is revered.
Where I think, there I am not.
I am where I do not think.’
‘I consider that this Word “enlightens everyone coming into this world”, and though they may not recognize it, it is present to every human being in the depths of their soul. Beyond word and thought, beyond all signs and symbols, this Word is being secretly spoken in every heart in every place and at every time. People may be utterly ignorant of it, or may choose to ignore it, but whenever or wherever anyone responds to truth or love or kindness, to the demand for justice, concern of others, care for those in need, they are responding to the voice of the Word. So also when anyone seeks truth or beauty in science, philosophy poetry or art, they are responding to the inspiration of the Word.’
‘As far as the self is concerned, the self is always experienced by everyone whether one is lost in the physical darkness, or within the sublte darkness of ignorance. In each case the self is always experienced and present – one does not need any other agency to find out the self and experience the self, and no one can deny the existence of the self, because there is no other means of denying it except the self!’
Our selves are sufficient for the physical world.
The self is a part of universal self, possessing all the attributes oif the universal self, just as water is endoed with all the properties of the ocean.
One talks of “poor soul”, “miserable soul”, “old soul” etc. but does not stop to ask oneself what the word ‘soul’ really means.
The Sanskrit term ‘Antahkaran’ which translates as ‘inner vehicle’ or, as more than once translated by the Shankaracharya himself – ‘Soul’.
The self is eternal and the self is the light of lights. The self is consciousness, and the self is happiness. It is eternal and it is Truth, and all these things are never lost because they are ever present everywhere. The self is always with each of us. Let the self prevail, there is no need to search for it.
There is conflict between Man and Machine. The person and the machine are contradictory concepts; the person implies individuality and personal responsibility, while the machine is the product of intellection and abstraction, manifested for labour. Machines know no sense of personal responsibility – because freedom is merely a product of biological laws.
As long as I am governed a living sentient being, with impulses in all my movements, mental and physical, I am free in my spontaneity while the machine has no creativity I have desires, passion, fear and reflex, because I learnt by senses not by inputs. Machines will never know the overpowering deep sense of loneliness, or the yearning to overcome that seperateness. We are steeped in irrational fears, crave manifestations tossed up by our mental conditioning, while we struggle to find comfort and adapt the illogical. In being Human we are able to articulate our dissatisfaction in feeling so lost. Machines will never know the joy of failure.
– Written by Taran Burns
“Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays.”