Fanciers of Swords could never make up their minds which of the two was better. But certainly they were the on quest and masters. So a group of samurai one day thought, we’ve got to put this to the test. We think that probably Mr Matsushima is tops. But Mr Yamaguchi comes so close. So they took a sword by each master, and they went to a stream. And they first of all took Mr Yamaguchi sword. And they dipped it in the stream with the edge facing upstream and they set a piece of paper floating downstream. And as it came to the sword, the sword simply without being moved the paper divided itself down the blade joined together and floated on. Well, that’s a hard act to follow. Anyway, they took Mr Matsushima sword, and dipped that in the stream and likewise set a piece of paper floated towards it. And what do you suppose happened just as the piece of paper approached the edge of the sword, it moved to one side provided it and then went back into course and continued And so obviously, Mr Matsushima was the better of the two swordsmiths. Why? Because the highest. Accomplishment in fencing is called the no-sword school. To be so good at fencing that you never have to use a sword. And there are all kinds of marvelous tales about great Samurai trained in Zen and swordsmanship. Who never, never had to use a sword. You may have seen a movie called Samurai which comes in three parts. Takes you three evenings to see it, and it’s the life of Miyomoto Musashi, who was one of the greatest Saud’s and then all Japanese history. He doesn’t follow his life all the way through it only comes to the point where he had to deal. With another champion who insisted on challenging him, out of vanity. And how Musashi takes him on, fighting him at first only with an oar that has had the blade chopped off. And, but he maneuvers him into a position on the beach where the rising sun dazzles his opponent. And when his opponent makes a terrific swipe at him, he jumps over the sword, draws his own sword, and kills him instantly. But after that he is very hard to happy that he had to kill such assaults and finally he takes the advice of the Zen Master Takuan, who has all along been trying to dissuade him from a military career. So, sometime later. He was on his way to Kyoto. And this meant that he had to cross Lake Bewa in a ferry boat small ferry boat that was rowed. And when he was on board another Samurai, who was a very volatile fellow who had had too much socket to drink came aboard and saw. What school of swordsmanship do you belong. Musashi said, the no-sword school. By this time the boat started. Ha, no-sword school like a see ya know sort of go and this drunk drew his sword. And Musashi said, now wait a minute, this is a crowded boat and if we start to do it people will get up not just innocent bystanders. Let’s go to that island over there, and we can fight it out.
So he said to the ferryman, over that island. And he changed the course of the boat went to the island this drunken swordsman was so eager to get out and fight it he jumped onto the sound and immediately Musashi took the ferrymans oar and pushed the boat back and left him there, and he said You see my no-sword school.
So if I say to you. I’m you say hi. Say how are you, [you] say fine. There you are see. There’s your original self. About if I should say in the middle of a conversation you’ll find. Where we’ve been lately. Oh, went to Mexico for a trip. Where did you go? Oh, I went to Acapulco. Did you enjoy yourself. Not so bad. Why is my hand like buddhas hand? How do you handle that one? And a master, in such a situation, said to…[said] his disciple seemed blocked. He said to him so far your ounces of can quite natural and easy why do you feel some obstruction? When I ask you about my hand being like what has happened? Which in other words indicates, use your brains. And he won’t see, because he’s used to linear thinking he’s used to keeping on one track now this you notice you see we’re all on us and they’re caught when there’s a conversation going on, we are uncomfortable if somebody changes the subject without ritual preparation. We are likewise uncomfortable when we are in the presence of crazy people, who might change the subject altogether too abruptly, and same way with drunks. Who may not observe the amenities of etiquette in the conversation. Rear all hung up on these tracks which is to have a one track mind. You can’t jump. When the hands are clapped, the sound issues without hesitation. When Flint is struck with steel, the spark comes out at once. But he goes on to explain that in such a situation, you must not be in a hurry, because that itself would be a block. And blocking in this sense of the word, is exactly what the Buddhists mean by attachment. When they say, have no worldly attachment, it doesn’t mean that you’re to give up enjoying a dinner. It means giving up blocking. Getting beyond the state where your flow is interrupted, and so proceeds just as if the wheel were made too tight for the axle.
So, we would quite correctly translate attachment with the American slang equivalent hang-up. So it is the hangup, therefore, the attempt to arrive at the solution. To a problem demanding immediate action by reasoning, by calculation. Which must take us along the linear path. Whereas the event itself lies in a non-linear dimension. Never solve it that way. So also, with a curious property we call beauty. Or for that matter, virtue in human behavior. We know very well when we are in the presence of forced virtue.
So this happens. Once upon a time, the great tea master Rikyu went to the ceremony. And the host was very very proud of a new tea-caddy that he had bought made of pottery. And Rikyu didn’t notice it. At least, so he thought. Which showed, because he was looking for it to be noticed, that he wasn’t quite on to the philosophy of tea I had a friend, Japanese artist, who one day did a calligraphy for me. He took an ordinary small western house painters brush, about an inch wide. And he did the Chinese characters for one, two, three. That’s one stroke These are all horizontal strokes, two strokes three strokes. And there was something dust and plastic about this. The brush you see, was partly sometimes dry, so that you’ve got hairlines instead of solid black. It so happened that a few days later we were due to receive a visit from Dr Suzuki, the great Zen scholar. And I said I’m going to hang that picture in my office. And the artist said, I hope [he] won’t notice it. Which is because, a fine work of art must so fit its surroundings. As not to stand out like a sore thumb. So in this way, Rikyu didn’t notice the tea-caddy. But this so bothered the owner, that after the ceremony was over, he smashed it. However, one of his students knew that it was very valuable and he’d collect all the pieces. And then, he had them restored, by putting molten go as a cement. This is an old technique. And so, when it is finished, you see the original piece with all these spidery lines of gold across it.
Sometime later, a son of the host brought out this mended tea caddy when Rikyu was having tea. And he said you know, that is most remarkable. When I saw that before, it was good. But now it’s perfect. This is what one would call a controlled accident. And all great art is a controlled accident. That is to say, it has in it the component of control, but it also has the component of the accident and of the natural. And it’s getting those two together that is the marvelous thing.
It’s the same in human relationships. Let’s take the relationship of love. If I am in love with a woman whom I can control, she may be, have a flawless body, beautiful behavior. But in. If I control her completely I might as well have a plastic doll. Only if she has a little mole on her cheek. Or something like that, or some kind of unpredictability of character. Then I know she’s human. Because the accidental has been introduced into the domain of the orderly. So likewise, when you go into a person’s house and everything is spotless everything in its place you feel you by God, If you smoke a cigarette you’ll make the ashtray dirty. It’s just that terrible. That has not got a quality which in Arabic is called Baraka. Now baraka means Grace, roughly but Baraka is a quality when you say of someone he fits like an old shoe. Or you’ve got a favorite sauce but that’s only dirty but it’s marvelous or an old pipe which you smoke, where it’s become very suited to you it has Baraka, grace.
So the puzzle, for every artist is how to get grace to strike. How to let an accident happen well once upon a time there was a sculpture contest at the University of Chicago it was at the Chicago Art Institute. And the competition was that every entrant was given a cubic foot of plaster of Paris. Do something with it. Now, the competition was won by a woman. And she started out by looking at that piece of plaster of Paris and said, this thing is so perfect that it doesn’t know what It Wants to be. And so she grabbed it both hands and flung it on the floor in pieces but chipped off and it was cracked and so on then she looked at it again. And she said Now I know what it wants to do. And so, by following the grain which she had introduced into that, she made something beautiful. Now, following the grain is what you do when you do a Rorschach test. You see this blotchy thing, which is the Tao, which is the primordial wiggly universe. And then you see something in it, you see an image in it. And you see a far more beautiful image than you can ever draw. By what we call eidetic vision. And you assist. The piece of wood or stone or whatever it is in which you see that image. To do its thing. Now experiment with yourselves in this. Look when you especially when you wake up first thing in the morning. Look at patterns in drapery. Look at shadows on the wall. And go into that state where you are receptive to seeing images. And you will begin to see all kinds of faces and trees and landscapes. Leonardo da Vinci did this. He used to go out and look at a wall which was weathered made of bricks covered with bird shit, and all kinds of scratches and so on and he would watch it until he saw a vast scene you described seeing a whole battle going on. There was a Chinese Zen monk who had long hair, very unusual. And he used to drink an enormous amount of wine. And then when he was really far-out, he dipped his hair in ink. And then sloshed it over a piece of paper. And then he had dried out. And in the morning, he’d come back and look at what happened and he put himself into the state of mind and you begin to see a landscape. And it’s fantastic, when you put yourself to this how detail after detail, it fits in. And all you had to do was make a little touches of the brush to bring it up for everyone to see. And it looks when we go to the caves of Glasgow, and those ancient parts of France and go down and see the prehistoric paintings of animals, that it looks very much like they had followed natural formations in the stone on the wall of the cave which had evoked that imagery of cattle, that to us in conceivably realistic people that primitive.
But we shall always find that when the artist has been following eidetic imagery, and has not been trying to construct the image by himself. Because this whole world is created in that way. We are not aware of this. Because we are so accustomed to seeing it in the way that we think is real and normal. You can also train yourself to see things which haven’t been seen before. This is what many artists do. For example, in the history of Western art, seven hundred years ago there were no landscape painters. Everyone was the portrait painter or they painted scenes of the doings of human beings angels and gods and so forth. And whenever there was landscape it was merely incidental background. Now in the course of time, people got fascinated with the landscape part. And they withdrew the figures and left the background. And so we got landscape painting, and the first people who saw the landscape painting looked at it and said, that’s not what I call a picture. Why? Because they had seen landscape hitherto as insignificant background. And it took painters to draw people’s attention to the beauty of landscape.
Now, you see what we could do and we are only just beginning to think about soundscape. When we record something, or go to a concert, we have the impression that there is the thing there. And so in radio studios, they cover the walls with soundproof tiles to keep out the sound of traffic. So that you have the thing, the important thing you’re supposed to notice is the speech but the odd thing is, you listen to that back in your home. With the windows open you know all street knowledge is a coming in there’s no reason why they should have been there in the first place. Well now, let’s move to that. Think of soundscape. The hum that’s going on behind all the things we’re supposed to be doing. And you can realize it’s very beautiful just as you can see that it landscapers the hum-scape, you see. And so there is become a school of musical composers like John Cage who treat us to background noise. Or to silent concerts. In which the concert is the sound spontaneously occurring in the auditorium. Now you may say that’s not music. Who knows?
Well so, the world then is a humscape, is a landscape. A sky-scape. And over thousands of years, important people, that means strong people decided what was important to notice. And they told their children that that was important. We still do this because when a child. Is messing around. And we’ve signed the child is scrabbling around making patterns and not. We feel that the child. He’s doing something unimportant. We say Stop that. Now learn to use a pencil. A child points and something says. What’s that? And you say, well that’s a table, no that. I said so this would John says Yeah because he knows it’s all wood but I mean that. We still got a lot. So in this way we learn the official interpretation of the cosmic rorschach blot. Which is based on as I pointed out certain criteria, as that you must survive. It’s your duty to live, see. Which is a double bind because it says again you are commanded to do the spontaneous. It’s your duty to be spontaneous because all life is spontaneous.
So everybody is in a in a bind about this. But there it is. The the world that we see is a creation of eidetic imagery. So wherever we select the human areas as being significant areas, and so they’re called human. Where the Rorscach blot is wiggling in the way that we call human wiggling, where it wiggles very much. And was maximal points of wiggling in our environment or other people. I mean there are other things that wiggle. Cats wiggle, but not quite so interesting. The wind in the trees wiggles, but again it’s more predictable. But the human will go is the least predictable way to go in the total Rorscach blot around us. So we call that human. So you see that it isn’t that way, that you have performed Maya. The world illusion, but Maya also means art and also means magic. And so the magical evocation of the world of things. From the formless world which means from the world of pure wiggle, is the creation.