Bill and Al,

Let me offer my answer to Al's question. The point of life (which exists only on the razor's edge of the present moment after all) is simply to be enlightened in this present moment right here right now. Then the question vanishes. And that is the answer. Total unqualified acceptance of reality and total direct experience of reality with no attachments.


Edgar



On Sep 7, 2008, at 4:49 PM, Bill Smart wrote:

Al,

You're asking very difficult questions.

I'll pass for now on the one about 'What is the point of living a
good life if it means nothing and has no value?'. I'll only say now
that although I don't worry about a point or a meaning to living, I
wouldn't say life has no value.

I'd like to instead go back a few posts to your question about JUST
THIS being 'Zombie Zen'. I only answered that I thought that you
were selling JUST THIS short, and that it had a lot more richness
than you thought. After mulling this over for a while I remembered
the 10 Oxherding Pictures and Verses, and direct you to them. You
can Google 'zen oxherding' and you'll get a lot of links. (Make sure
you get the 10 version and not the 8 version, at least to synch up
with this posting.)

In case you're not familar with these, they depict the journey to
enlightenment in 10 stages or pictures, each with its own verse. (I
just want to make sure no one really thinks there are 10 actual
stages to enlightenment - these are just someone's examples of
milestones along the way.)

The first 6 depict the search for and the eventual realization of
enlightenment, which is represented by the ox.

The 7th depicts a very advanced stage where enlightenment is
forgotten.

The 8th stage depicts the 'void' stage that I think you are referring
to and worrying about. You don't want to get stuck there. But take
heart! There are 2 more stages.

The 9th stage depicts the worldly phenomenen coming back into focus
again, but this time a new focus through the prism of the
enlighenment experience.

The 10th and final stage depcits an enlightened being fully
integrated back into society - driking wine, eating fish, buying and
selling in the market. This is the end product of zen.

These stages are also represented in a familar saying and song lyrics:

First there is a mountain, (oxhearding 1-7)
Then there is no mountian, (oxherding 8-9)
Then there is. (oxherding 10)

Usually on this forum I only post about no mountian, but when all is
integrated fully, then there is.

So Al, you see there is something to look forward to after
the 'void', if you need that assurance to go forward.

...Bill!

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Fitness63" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> From: cid830 >if you detach yourself from your Ego through these
> 'mind-numbing' practices you will be a better person, more in-tune
with the
> world around you and enabling you to be an agent of change or
positive
> influence to others. >
>
> I would like that, but Bill, Mike, Edgar, etc., state it is just an
illusion
> which is trancended when you reach the JUST THIS stage.
>
> I realize that I can be a bit combative about some issues, so I
apologize
> for that. I think a while back I hit this wall we are discussing
now and it
> was never clarified for me and I gave up on zen and just chalked it
up as
> another bogus path that I had followed.
>
> I am enjoying this discussion because I realize that it is
something that
> has been bothering me for a long time. Where is the connection to
God,
> Universal, Dharma, ancestors, etc. What is the point of living a
good life
> if it means nothing and has no value? Why make sacrifices if we are
just
> bits of meaningless nothing?
>




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