Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Delayed Daily Musing - February 11th, 2013 - Scholasticism - 煩瑣哲學 - Fánsuǒ zhéxué

 Scholasticism - 煩瑣哲學 - Fánsuǒ zhéxué

A universe explored
without moving a muscle.
Seeking out the sacred code,
an existential equation
in symbols, letters, and numbers.
In order to achieve understanding,
the mind must expand,
as a flower floating across a pond,
eyes open, inside the petals.

~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao

The intellect presents a serious problem for the spiritual acolyte. One cannot do without intellect, as it is essential, but it must not be allowed to become totally dominant. By being brought to a fully developed state, intellect becomes neutral. Unless this is done, it will become an obstacle, preventing ultimate spiritual growth.

Scholarship is an important step on the path to self-realization. Education provides access to the conventional world. It is a way of satisfying our curiosities while still avoiding superstitious tendencies. One will find no success in deciphering philosophical mysteries if one has not obtained knowledge of nature, civilization, mathematics, and language. Once an acolyte has focused upon mental cultivation, it becomes possible to extend one's focus beyond the part of the mind that is purely scholarly.

Intellect exercises discrimination, categorization, and dualistic distinctions through highly sophisticated pathways. By contrast, spiritual contemplation has no need for such concepts, and thus, little interest in scholasticism. Pure actions require the totality of our inner self. Study alone is not enough, one must become involved in the world. The proper use of intellect is to allow it to play freely, developing it to an extraordinary capacity, but to rein it in before it is allowed to overtake the emotions and the spirit. By doing this, you may leave the intellect behind when spiritual conflicts arise. A sage keeps intellect in balance with the spirit, and combines the two whenever necessary.