I once talked to a woman, just a perfectly ordinary nice LOL, little old lady. And she told me about she’d had an accident in an elevator and she’d broken a leg, and got stuck under the elevator. And she was there for half an hour before anybody could get to us. And she said in that moment she realized that in this whole universe, there was not one single grain of sand that was out of place. And that is a curious vision that comes to people occasionally. When you see suddenly, that you’ve been looking at things in absolutely the wrong way. And it’s it’s really weird, you daren’t talk to other people after this because then you’ll be so misunderstood that you see that the most frightful things that can possibly happen. Fit in with this. It’s very strange and very odd, but the reason is of course that when you get rid of the idea of the governor and the governed, the Boss and the employee. The King and the subject, there aren’t any victims. Every creature that suffers in this world is unbeknownst, perhaps, to itself, doing it to itself no one else is responsible. There are no victims. Because the whole thing is a unity. It is of itself everything is of itself self so. No one to blame.
So you see when in nowadays when a child is a juvenile delinquent and people come around the social workers and the police and say Now look here the terrible the child has learned a little psychoanalysis, and can say well it was my parents’ fault because they brought me up in a traumatic way. And they got divorced or my father was a drunkard and my mother was a prostitute and what can you expect? So, then the public says Well they we should get after the parents when the parents say because they’ve done a little Freud. It wasn’t our fault but it was our parents were neurotic too. And you see, you pass the buck back back back back back just because in the story of Genesis in the Garden of Eden when Adam was accused of having something wrong with him when the last dog saw him after eating the fruit he said this woman that thou gave this me she tempted me and I did eat. And God looked at the woman said, Well now what about it and she said The serpent tempted me and God looked at the serpent and nobody said anything no the serpent didn’t pass the buck he didn’t make any excuses because he knew. And there.
But in this way, you see, one passes the buck back all the time, and says it wasn’t me I just got involved in this because the you my father and were messing around with my mother and you went too far now you’ve got a baby, isn’t my fault. That’s a terribly irresponsible attitude. See because you must recognize that you were your father’s own desire. That was you, that glint in his eyes. And that, you go back back back, imagine, an explosion. Supposing I make a splash of ink against the thing and you see from the center. All these spray flows out. And so way back in the beginning of time maybe according to Fred Hoyle, there was a colossal explosion which threw out all the galaxies. And as the explosion goes out, the spray get finer and finer and finer and finer and you look at it as all one thing it’s reaching out like you would spread your fingers like that and you every one of you a little reach outs on the end of that big explosion push and you see you go right back to the beginning. You you your bodies are the most ancient things that there are. And it goes like that yep takes millions of years to go splat. But you’re in it right there you see, him you did it right in the beginning you blew this thing up. Self-so. Everything happens of itself. It’s a very interesting experiment, to let sound come to your ears.
Now why don’t you try, why don’t you all just close your eyes, and gently become aware of the whole world of sound around you in you. Don’t try to identify the sound. And put names on. And just let them happen. Don’t feel that you mustn’t make any sounds like belly rumble, hiccup coughing song that’s all perfectly part of a part of the scene. Just for a moment let all sound. Happen. Even when I talk, don’t make any sense of what I’m saying. Just sound. You should listen like that before you go to sleep at night. And realize that you live in a magical musical continuum all the time. But you see ordinarily, we keep trying to correct what we’re listening to. Pay attention to this, ignore that. And say to the children shut up, I can hear myself thinking, you see. But if you really know how to listen, you can concentrate on anything you want to in the middle of a complete pandemonium.
But so in the same way, one could give experimental exercises in listening, in using your eyes, in tasting mean feeling things. For example, picking up rocks and feeling them, because all this is letting yourself function just in the same way as I was discussing yesterday letting your brain give you answers. Because this is an act of faith in one’s own being. It is allowing the body to be a democracy instead of a tyranny or shall we say, a republic. There’s a certain difference between a Republican a democracy republic is rather more efficiently respectable. So that when that when you allow the body in other words to do what it will do, then you say well it will do it for me will it now wait wait a minute wait a minute who are you? Just as the Tao itself is not something other than the universe. Not a boss over it you aren’t something other than but this design which is not just the body but the body and all its relationships to the universe. You don’t stand apart from that, you don’t have it. You’re not in a situation where there’s a kind of Inspector which is you which watches everything that goes by like you were watching the traffic Obama street. But we think we are that, and indeed seem to have a positive sensation of being the inspector who watches all this happen. Partly because of memory, which seems to give an impression that one is a static mirror, you see, which reflects everything that goes by. We get this from remembering, and on the other hand we get it because we are trying to fight change. And resist it. You see, we are resisting all the time. If you were on Earth physically aware of all your muscular reactions, you would find you are going around most of the day doing this you know, fighting something. You can get a person to lie on the ground and say, ‘Now look, you’re completely supported by this floor. You won’t fall down so let’s go.’ But it’s very difficult for people because they’re afraid that if they don’t hold themselves together they will turn into a nasty goo that will all fall apart and rip through the floor. So everybody is trying to use their skin and their muscle of the whole themselves together whether that’s. It will all take care of itself you won’t fall apart. So, there’s a constant resistance going on, and that resistance is experienced you can be aware of it in terms of a sense of strain here, between the eyes. This is its center. And that constant resistance to life, and the sensation of it, is what you actually feel when you think about yourself. I. It’s that feeling of resistance.
Now if you let go, there is no necessity whatsoever for an inspector who watches everything that happens. You are what you experience your experience and you are the same. Your thoughts are you, your feelings are you. So, you would it is no necessity whatsoever to try and stand aside from the standoffish and say, you go away. So, if you can trust yourself, in other words, to the flow of what’s going on. You won’t need to resist it, and you’ll find it works very well, just as your eyes work well when you don’t try to force them. Just as the clothes are comfortable when you become aware of them. Now, this isn’t the same as numbness, you see, it’s quite different because you experience your body. In terms of what you ordinarily call everything else in other words as you look around here we are taught to think what I am looking at is out there. Now imagine this look what. The color of your hair from the standpoint of your own vision. Of your head. You know. Nothing. Now watch. It certainly isn’t black is it behind your eyes you don’t have a sensation of blackness. Nor of whiteness. There seems to be nothing there at all, as if you had no head from your own point of view. But actually, from the what it what it is how it looks inside your head is what you’re seeing out here. Because you see, the optical nerves are back here, and your experience of all the shapes and colors around you is a sensation of the state of your brain. So what you are looking at is inside your head. But then, you can’t be said to be looking at it because inside your head is you. So, all this is how you feel. This is you, only it’s true for each person. It’s not more especially you are not more specially me than I am you. It’s mutual It’s like the dew drops on the spider’s web reflecting one another.
So it is this then this letting. Your mind. Work by itself letting your eyes see for themselves that. is the preliminary to naturalness, in the way that Taoists understand it. Now let’s go on from there to see what they how they express natural. They use two images. One is called the uncarved block. And the other, unbleached silk. And these two images lie at the root of all those great art forms of the Far East that are associated with Taoism and Zen Buddhism. And I’m going to show you the tea ceremony after this because that is the best possible demonstration of this particular mood. Because it combines, it is what you might call the art of the controlled accident. Because it combines discipline with spontaneity. But the mind of the uncarved block is this. Do you know there’s a Japanese art called bonsaki?. Which is the cultivation of stones. You might call it the art of growing stones. The Japanese national anthem says, ‘May our for a rain a thousand years rain ten thousand. Thousand years until little stones grow into mighty Rock six elevated with ancient mass.’ Soldiers at the idea first of all that a stone is alive.
Next, there is a love of stones in their natural shape I have a huge series of slides that I took in Japan and nothing but the stone in gardens. And they have a genius for the selection our marvelous stones that they like stones that you will find in a river which had been worked on with the water until they looked almost like clouds, and they’ll take one of these stones and hitch it up on a mule cart and bring it down, and then instead of just dumping it in the garden patching some marks on it, they’ll take it away to a corner where it’s in the damp and it will grow moss naturally. In Japan, moss grows quite quickly naturally, when the mosses grow naturally on the stone they move it into the place where they wanted it exactly in the garden and then they arrange sand around it in such a way that it looks as if it has always been that. You cannot you see there is nothing that’s not natural nothing at all the idea that there is something artificial is a completely artificial idea. Because a skyscraper is really as natural as a bird’s nest. But, how to demonstrate naturalness. You see, it’s like what is called in mathematics an asymptotic curve. That is, a curve that approaches the axis of a straight line as a straight line now is a curve going to the straight line it’s always getting nearer always getting nearer but never touches it. What we call approximation. So the idea is to make a skillful approximation to the natural. But if it were just natural and only natural it wouldn’t call attention to what it’s doing. It wouldn’t point it out.
And so the idea of the artist then, is when he makes a bowl. Or selects Iraq and puts it in place the. Is that the bowl should get the bowl and the rock should get the rock. They should look so much like. Well that rock you’re always looking for. So then, this other word I mentioned that is still unbleached silk. You know how nice and leave silk is what we call natural color especially when you get Shantung which has a sort of texture in it. It has a sort of farewell to the I tell you what is the equivalent in our culture of burlap. Especially the smell of it. And burlap with nubbles and if you know and bits of straw. There’s a wonderful feeling about that which is what is meant by says. It’s primitive, Yes. But, marvelous.
When, well I’ll tell you more about this later but the point is when. The great masters of Taoist and Zen Buddhists got their minds uncluttered and working properly, they suddenly discovered that some of the simplest things of everyday life. Simple utensils that were used in the kitchen the cheapest rice bowls that might be used by a peasant, were extraordinarily beautiful. They were unsophisticated. They were natural. In the same sense we have when a child, aged three starts dancing. There’s no self-consciousness, no playing to the gallery and not when the child is just dancing. That’s. Naturalness. Now the question is you see, for the adult who is all fouled up. How to recapture that? And this is what the greatest artists sweat blood trying to do. To make their work look. As if it had happened by itself. As if it had just grown there. Now, there are exceptions to this. But the exceptions prove the rule. Beethoven, in some of his Sonatas, a range the fingerings to be as unnatural and difficult as possible, so as to achieve the impression in the playing of the immense effort. But that’s the exception that proves the rule. In the ordinary way, the expert musician seems to be using no effort at all it just happens through his fingers but if he wants to portray effort for some artistic reason, then this sort of trickery is introduced.
But the artist works and works and works all his life long to get to will become again as a child to regain original in innocence and naturalness. But you see what happens through that work. In doing the work of the artist becomes the master of a tremendously sophisticated technique. He knows exactly how to control his hand his brush his pain his chisels whatever easy using. About. However much you know how to say something how to express something that doesn’t necessarily give you something to express and something to say. You can be a master of the English language and yet only have boring ideas. So then somehow you have to put your technique at the do. Supposal. Of what we call inspiration that means the Holy Spirit. And so in the same way the artist. Who practices for years and years and years. With his brush in the Chinese way. In the end finds that he cannot. Buy any stratagem of his own by any technique or any cleverness he cannot paint. And he has to give up. And then it happens. Well this you see then is what lies behind. All what we can definitely recognize as the naturalistic art of the Far East. Now I hope you know what I’m talking about. Because there are very very different kinds of Far Eastern art for example. The finest pottery of the Song Dynasty. Which will take us back to a thousand A.D.. Is completely unlike what most people think of as Chinese possibly. Chinese Postle in one thinks of white egg shell like stuff with very delicate designs of birds and butterflies and fine ladies and children playing battledore and shuttlecock. But the finest song. Is heavy. Jade green. Soft. Very self-effacing in a way. And it has a certain roughness or take Japanese so-called. Rockall where. There is a bow we will see some which is definitely handmade and bows and doesn’t looks as if it wasn’t even put on a wheel. And the glazes allowed to drool. And the bottom of the bow the clay has been left exposed. But you see that coloration reminds those artists of autumn. And they want to see that it is clay because a good partner does not force clay. To a bay his preconceived ideas. He evokes the spirit in the clay. To do some magic. So then because the clay did that these artists love the clay. They don’t want to make the clay look like something else like Ivory they wanted to look like clay. So with that with clothes these clothes. So with everything would. Wood is loved by such artists they love the grain in the world. And therefore deplore paint. Lacquer there’s another thing if you sparingly. But by and large wood is beautiful and you get floor like this you see about a nice thing about the flaws you can see it’s wood you can see the grain and you some of the you may have been to the cups or a palace in Kyoto where they have around them with the most gorgeous grain would you ever saw in your life it is today in shunting. I mean it’s like looking at someone or some vision and you know you think you’re going to go out of your mind looking at this great goddess stuff and so in the same way in the Japanese typical Japanese house tidy edge of the hour. Call the talk on there is almost invariably a wooden pillar which is made from. A plane tree trunk or branch so that you still see the knots in it and the curves and sometimes. They get I think some rubber exaggerated ones that are absurdly knobbly. But in the same way that we’d today have learned to like driftwood that is the thing in line with this Taoist spirit that. We. Appreciate wood as wood and don’t try to make it look like marble or metal or some something else the same is true with paper the Chinese don’t like our paper they say it has no character. They like paper with little. Threads in them and. With a texture to it. And they feel that that really is paper the paper gets the paper. And so, feel that our paper has some sort of plastic and none substance. And we are in danger of being engulfed by this through not having a love for the UN carved block and the unbelief silk which are fundamental substantial and natural.