July 2014

* true men


What defines the psychotic in contrast to the neurotic is their inability to tolerate the gap or abyss that language opens up between direct subjective experience and its objectifying expression - someone, therefore, whose whole relation to language or 'symbolic order' is 'foreclosed'. As a result they can only relate to it in a fantastic way - as if it were an independent subject in its own right (for example 'The World' as the person of 'Christ') or else the voice of an imaginary subject (for example the voice of Yahweh addressing Abraham), Hence the paradox that those who 'hear voices', human or divine, can rarely say much or anything about who is speaking - and yet it of the utmost importance to them to hear the words spoken to them as the voice of some specific subject or 'who'. This type of hearing is essentially the expression of a specific type of psychotic deafness - deafness to the many ways in which words themselves and language as such can speak to us, touch our feelings, open us to new concepts, indeed lend us new ears and a new voice - yet without their needing to be any specific subject or speaker 'who' behind them.

"Listen not to me but to the Logos."

"Language speaks. Listen to Language."
(Martin Heidegger)

"The unconsciousness is the Speech of the Other."

Chuang Tzu


The True Man of ancient times did not rebel against want, did not grow proud in plenty, and did not plan his affairs. A man like this could commit an error and not regret it, could meet with success and not make a show, could climb the high places and not be frightened, could enter the water and not get wet, could enter the fire and not get burned. In this way, his knowledge was able to climb all the way to the Infinite.

The True Man of ancient times slept without dreaming and woke without care; he ate without savoring and his breath came from deep inside. The True Man breathes with his heels; the mass of men breathe with their throats. Crushed and bound down, they gasp out their words as though they were retching. Deep in their passions and desires, they are shallow in the workings of Heaven.

The True Man of ancient times knew nothing of loving life, knew nothing of hating death. He emerged without delight; he went back in without a fuss. He came briskly, he went briskly, and that was all. He didn't forget where he began; he didn't try to find out where he would end. He received something and took pleasure in it; he forgot about it and handed it back again. This is what I call not using the mind to repel the Way, not using man to help out Heaven. This is what I call the True Man.

Huang Po


This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of this world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears feels and knows as mind. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling and knowing, they do not perceive the spiritual brilliance of the source-substance. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like the sun ascending through the void and illuminating the whole universe without hindrance or bounds.

Therefore, if you students of the way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions your way to Mind will be cut off and you will find nowhere to enter. Only realize that, though real Mind is expressed in these perceptions, it neither forms part of them, nor is separate from them. You should not start reasoning from these perceptions, nor allow them to give rise to conceptual thought; yet nor should you seek the One Mind apart from them or abandon them in your pursuit of the Dharma. Do not keep them, nor abandon them, nor dwell in them, nor cleave to them. Above, below and around you, all is spontaneously existing, for there is nowhere which is outside the Buddha-Mind.