A PERSONAL NOTE
Ken Matsushima wrote to me a personal email which says it so well, I share. The reader may have to fill in the context with imagination....
Yes... everyone has to start somewhere. In the early stages, when one is still having trouble "seeing the finish line", so to speak, then it is useful to have some sort of guide or practical hints to follow. Rituals, asanas, brocades, breathing exercises, mantra, zen koans, etc. are all useful tools that help you make a bit of progress, and move you onto the path.
When you start to catch glimpses of the Holistic Consciousness, it can be a very powerful and emotionally compelling experience. One suddenly sees that all the ritual and all the parables and all the scriptural dogma is THERE FOR A REASON. And that perception can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. One is tempted to rush into the church and start shouting "Its all REAL! The message in the book is TRUE! The Son of Man is within you, and within me! HALLELUJAH!!!!!"
The euphoria is genuine, and the glimpses are real. But when you find yourself at this point in the path, it is important to remain calm and humble. Ive had this same inspiration, more times than I can count. And yes, it really IS hard to contain your excitement or your urge to prostelytise -- to spread the GOOD NEWS to everyone you see. But as Jesus explained, when his disciples asked why he used parables and symbols, rather than trying to give people the pure, unvarnished truth about Holistic Consciousness:
... Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. But do not try to offer that which is holy unto dogs, or cast your pearls if wisdim before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, then turn and attack you.
... When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, what was sown in their heart immediately is whisked away. This is the seed sown along the path.
The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, their understanding lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. He holds it tightly, nurtures the root, and patiently waits for it to bear fruit. These are the ones who produce a crop -- some yielding thirty, or sixty, or a hundred times what was sown.
It is important to maintain perspective, and not worry so much about "reaching" people. If you just cultivate the knowledge you already have received, and follow your current path faithfully, eventually you will reach the point where the path "takes over" and you will no longer need rituals or practices or parables. As Alan Watts described it: "At first you follow the directions. You do the dharma. You work on yourself. But as your practice progresses, directions will no longer matter. You dont do the dharma. The dharma does YOU."
I think it is entirely worthwhile to publish your translation of the brocades. Even if it ends up being only for yourself... it is still worth while. I am feeling this way about my own website, as well. I certainly hope more and more people will discover it, and share their own perspectives in the way that you have shared. But even if I end up just talking to myself, there is still value in the process. For me, every new data point expands my understanding. The more we share our experiences and insights -- that is to say, the more we contribute to, and feed energy into this Holistic Consciousness -- the more bountiful the crop becomes.
Thank you again for your input. I hope to add some entries over the next few days. If you have not already done so, please read the ten "Blog Posts" and let me know your reactions as well as any questions or critiques. Your feedback on the first section already was useful -- I made some edits and simplifications, and the new version is a big improvement. I welcome any additional contributions you might offer.
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