I decided that I should talk to you about something with relevance to your careers. And those of you who are in a religion class have recently been studying Buddhism, and as a subdivision of that you have been studying Zen Buddhism. And you may well know that the practice of Zen Buddhism has a very special relationship to what the Japanese called Bushido, which is the way of the warrior. It may seem surprising to some people that Buddhism could have any concern whatsoever with the military arts. But let’s face it. If we are going to have a military arts, and if we are going to have military people at all, they must be as effective as possible. It is a very bad thing to cut off a person’s head half-heartedly. Leaving our enemy with a half-severed head is not gentle money at all. I never thought of asking the extreme swiftness of action. Are saying at lunch with our friends here that Germany lost two world wars because of the goose step. You should never hear a soldier coming.
Well now, this has unexpected consequences because of what I’m really doing is giving you a talk on Occult strategy. Because I think one of the difficulties that we are having in this country today in its foreign policies is a certain defective strategy. And this is strategy or the very modest. Because it’s an idea that it’s not which sentimental people tend to avoid. You have to realize that these things do exist in the world and have to be. And you cannot be a good strategist unless you are also a philosopher, and you cannot be a good philosopher unless you’re also something of a mystic. I know that’s a sort of dirty word in intellectual circles and I sometimes refer to mysticism as ecological awareness. Makes it a bit more respectable in the academic world.
Now, for those of you don’t know what Zen is I would just say read it that it’s the sino Japanese thought absolutism which evolved in the time dynasty which was shot after 700 A.D.. It had Indian inspiration. But it was largely a mixture of Indian Buddhism and Chinese Daoism because of this last bit of nature and China it is best exemplified in our own culture by the art of sailing. Go to the wind. And if you need to go in a different direction from that in which the wind is going, tack. But it is a much more intelligent way of negotiating oneself than rowing. Rowing involves undo strain. And the absolute principle that is involved in dollars and and which enters into Zen, is that all fine effort never strains. Anybody completely accomplished in the use of force by which I mean energy. ‘Cause force sometimes means strength. Knows that who achieve your best results by following gravity. Or by going with the grain of things. And you notice if you practiced surf-riding, you know this if you’ve ever flown a plane and you know this in every kind of athletic discipline. You must not strain. Use your weight properly. Its weight that counts, and intelligence. Weight plus intelligence, because weight is mass and mass is energy. So that the darkest point of view dollars in the originated in China probably between oh around four hundred B.C.. And is associated in particular with a lovely book called in Chinese, Tao Te Ching. The Book of the Way and its power. And you should all read it in Lin Yutang’s translation in the modern library. Called the wisdom of Lao Tzu. It is a book written as a manual of instruction for rules. And it has a great deal in it to say about military tactics. And it shows you how to do more with less. It is of course like Zen, in common with Zen, the philosophy underlying Judo. Do is the Japanese way of pronouncing the Chinese word Tao,meaning as I said the course of nature and do their own means the gentle way. The way of defending oneself. Without losing all using strength Yes but you never force it. Like when you put a key in a lock, of those difficult into if you simply use brute muscle you will bend the key or break the lock. In good stead or you puts an oil and jiggle to get it and you find the easy way through.
So then, Zen being a combination of that philosophy of going with the stream, and Buddhist philosophy. Comes out of something like this. But is philosophy is concerned with awakening with waking up with being awake. And the word Buddha means simply an awakened man or the awakened man. Now what is it to be awake. We have to contrast this with what it is to be asleep. To be asleep in a way as to be hypnotized. To fail to actually be sufficiently aware of reality. Adequate in which all civilized people hypnotize themselves, and get into terrible trouble is through too much of a good thing. That is to say, through being enchanted or spell bound by words, concepts, and measures, which constitute a system of description of nature which we confuse with nature. The map in other words is not the character. The word is not the event. Water is a undrinkable noise. And it’s tremendously important to observe that distinction. This is the basis of course of Korzybski’s philosophy called General Semantics. That we as a culture significantly fail to observe this distinction and that’s why we are taught. For example, we confuse money with wealth. You can’t eat money, no a lot of stock certificates and dollar bills of the slightest use to you on a desert. Their value as wealth simply disappears. But you can add figures to each other indefinitely. And pile it up, pile it up, pile it up, but you cannot eat five roast of beef with one me. Or driving three cars at once all into cars at once. There is a limit to the material one can consume. And the United States, which is regarded all over the world and by itself as a materialistic civilization is nothing of the kind. A materialist is a person who loves material. Do our cities look as if they were made by people who love the material. Is it materially smart to live in the middle of poison gas?
So military men, who [is] supposed to be realists above all things, should have their eyes on the tears. And rot. So that’s what Zen is all about. But in order to be really aware of the real world, you have time time back to the sun. I don’t mean that kind of sign you know there’s been a. Some very important citizen and somebody gets up and says let’s observe the minute of silence in his honor, and everybody frowns and thinks very grave thoughts. That’s not silence. Silence as they practice it in Zen, it is called Zazen, and what it means sitting Zen, that is the temporary suspension of thinking. And by thinking I have been specifically, talking to oneself inside the skull. Using descriptive symbolisms to put them all whether they be in words or numbers or whatever in fact that are looking directly at what it is. I got it. Because, if I were to talk all the time. I would have nothing to talk about because I wouldn’t hear what you have to say. Likewise, if I talk to myself all the time if I think all the time I have nothing to think about except thoughts.
And that is the great academic fallacy. I’m not against the intellectual life. I’m an intellectual. I make my living by writing books and giving lectures. By being a philosopher. But to see how many things were lost sides of bought you must occasionally be silent. And I’m going to explain and why, in some detail. The desk says primary concern. Is the cultivation of inner silence. Now you might ask me then, what is reality? What am I talking about? Experience through silence. Some people say that the material of the real world is material. But that is really a philosophical concept. It’s a sort of seventeenth, eighteenth century form of Western philosophy called materialism. But it’s purely conceptual, the idea that all this is some sort of stuff. Composed of our time a billiard balls of matter, is pillar a minute not. That is the alternative idea that everything is meant as in subjective idealism, as in Christian Science. That it saw us as reality a spiritual mentor or psychic, that also is a conception.
Reality itself is [claps]. You could say that is a clap but it wasn’t. A clap is a different noise. So wake up. To wake up, you have to be quiet. So zazen involves the discipline of stillness, mental stillness. I say discipline, I suppose that would shouldn’t frighten you. It doesn’t many people. I really prefer to call it a skill. Cause discipline so often indicates something where you are forced by superior authority to follow a certain course of action. That is not real discipline, because it itself has. It’s mere submission. But real discipline is a delicious thing. It’s-you can’t have any pleasure without discipline, you can’t even get roaring drunk without a discipline of the distillers art. There is no pleasure without discipline.
So but it should be, all disciplines that are followed are delightful. Often you know it is the facade form of that let it be like fall if you like writing about money. And you give it something it extremely interesting to do. And that’s why you devote attention to it and develop the skill and so on. So this discipline of interior science is practiced by that gentle students and has been so since the twelve century.
Now what happens is that every curious thing, because this discipline differs from all others in one very odd respect. It has no purpose. Because if you do it for a result in the future, you are not doing it. Because he will discover in the state of mental silence that is called in Japanese Mushin meaning literally no mind. Or no moon or no thought. You will discover that in that state that is no future. And likewise no past there is only not. The now out is all there ever was and all that that of it will be. And until you know that secret. Making plans is of no use to you whatsoever. Because when your plans mature you won’t be there to enjoy them. You’ll be making plans for somewhere else.
Plans are of use only to those who live totally now and realize of course that their memory is happening now, and that their expectations are like now, there is only now. And that insight comes as a result of clarifying one’s mind as if it were unpolished– I mean it a completely clear mirror. Or an unruffled pool, reflecting the sky and showing balances what lies at the bottom and that top of mind is what is achieved in the practice are then meditation was awesome. It goes also along with learning how to breath. Because zazen doesn’t involve a kind of forced elimination of sorts, is all or of any sensory input that one may be having. You begin by letting everything happen what is happening. Let your ears you know whatever they want to hear, let your eyes see whatever they want to see let your lungs breathe as they will. And let your nerve endings distributed all over your body and feel anything they happen to want to feel. Let go. Don’t interfere. And then say as you listen, without naming, without describing the sounds, without a scribe write the songs that are going on all around you as you. Feel. Without trying to identify what these feelings are. As you let your mind think about whatever it likes, but you listen to your own thoughts as it were they were birds chattering outside.
Then you begin to discover reality. You don’t get a concept of reality, you get reality itself. Now that’s tremendously important, because all our concepts with reality, all our descriptions of it, whether that it was all a mathematical formulation are linear. Words are strung out in a line.Thoughts are strung out in a line. And I always say you can only think of one thing at a time. But to be affected in life it must be able to think of innumerable things at once, or at least deal with them, but you cannot do that with linear thinking, because nature is non-linear. Nature is everything happening a together everywhere it wants. To put it in scientific language nature it involves billions of variables. Whereas in thought, the average person cannot entertain more often fall that enables at once without using a pencil. We cannot comprehend the millions of variables as in physics by using statistical methods. But average human problems involve say one hundred thousand variables. Maybe even twenty five hundred. How can you think about twenty five hundred variables at once.
But the point is, although you are thinking systems cannot do this, your brain can. Your brain takes care of the organization of your body. Every single process of the human organism involves the nervous system. How do you grow your hair? How do you color your eyes? How do you make your glands secrete what they should? How do you beat your heart? How do you breathe? Incidentally, how do you manage to be conscious? Nobody knows. Except a few neurologists and they admit they know very little about. That means the brain is smarter than the science of neurology. How do you open and close your hand? You say, I know how to open and close my hand but you can’t tell how it’s done in words. But you can do it. And therefore what is necessary. Is the greater facilitation of the use of the nervous system. And we may miss that by paying too much attention to description. It may be much more important for us to neglect mathematics and physics a little bit. You know, I don’t think they should be thrown out of the window by any means. But they will get in our way, and we will make serious mistakes through technology if we do not study the spontaneous use of the brain. And learn how to act spontaneously without any thinking. Now this is where Zen comes in very strongly. Zen operates, aside from cultivated mental silence in a kind of interchange between teacher and student.
An example of such an interchange is the following story. A Zen teacher, or Roshi as he’s called in the Japan was walking through the forest with a group of students. Suddenly, he picked up a branch and turned by his students and said ‘What is it?’ And the student hesitated, so the Roshi hit him with it. He turned to another students and one of the students said ‘Give it me so I can see,’ and he turned and hit the Roshi. ‘Ah,’ said the Roshi, ‘You had me there.’
Another story that’s like it is the teacher was entertaining four students to tea, three students giving them tea. He pulled his fan out and tossed it to the first student and said ‘What is it?’ he said it’s a fact. You have it to the next to the opened it and found. Not bad. You tell it to the first of the first student only put a cookie on it, and handed it to the teacher. You see, he had no fixed idea of it is a fan. The word, or this use only, it could become a tray, it was a magical object. He could transform it seems into many different things and all inventive and creative people. Wired to creativity because they’re not hung up on fixed definitions of any form of life or reality may be. Filled in as a result of that kind of insight it became very valuable to the Japanese some right. To study it. First of all they wanted to overcome the fear of death. And they found they couldn’t frighten Zen teachers. Now why not? Why are we afraid of death? Obviously because we’re thinking about it all the time, because we’ve been taught to be afraid it. When we were babies we had no fear of death we didn’t even know about. Yet when we got sick. Ah parents and people came running and we were having a gas enjoying some sort of trance or weird fever state, the parents come on ‘Oh it’s awful it’s awful it’s awful poor baby, awww…’ And the baby learns from this that something horrible is happening. And the baby can’t do anything about it, it’s no good teaching it worry. And furthermore if you do know about disease and your surgeon you don’t want to be something sound about your patient but your hand shakes when you’re operating. So we’ve made a bow you are out there. I mean. How do you know you’re alive unless you were once dead? How do you know you exist that existence is something there! Unless you once didn’t.
So existence and nonexistence, life and death are only vibration, it’s like the crest of wave and the trough of the wave and so on, you can’t have a trough without a crest to correct, so you can’t have existence without nonexistence. It just doesn’t make any sense at all. You may be afraid of the way of dying. Be burned up or something. But that becomes a problem to you if you think about it in advance. Sufficient to the day is the trouble. But it’s because we have this overemphasis on the talk talk talk talk talk talk program going on inside all the time that we we worry. And then we worry because we worry. And we know that’s not doing us any good.
So that was the first thing the Samurai wanted to discover: how not to be afraid of death. And so the Zen teachers taught them. How to act without thinking. And this requires an enclosed discipline, because if you start you’re always used to acting on the basics think. And you suddenly switch to the other method, you may make some very foolish mistakes. So it’s always done with another kind of encouragement like this is an academy there is a special school is that everybody understands the rules and outsiders are into fairly by the process of what’s going on. They’re not bugged by. Outsiders would be very easily bugged by people who acted spontaneously, without due consideration. That you see it’s absolutely necessary for all the samurai to act without due consideration. Because when you’re in a sword fight, there isn’t time to think. But also you have to be intelligent. It isn’t simply a matter of learning etc reactors. Those of you who started to do it you know very well that it isn’t merely a matter of learning a routine at reactions, and they are all being able to bring them on for almost any kind of assault maybe made against you. You never completely know what kind of assault may be made against you.
So if you go out routinely prepare for different kinds of assault and something that you never ran into before you lost. It’s like the I mean, the beginning psychologist, and he’s read old textbooks and notice this kind of case and that kind of a case and then suddenly it gets out of practice and. Somebody has got something that was discussed. So he rings up his teachers and say now what do I do about a thing like that? So what is important, you see is not just starting it all different techniques of strategy, but having your consciousness made over, to where it understands situations without thinking about them. Just as you understand how to breathe, how to close your eyes. And so there is a wonderful essay by a zen master called Takuan on the art of swordmanship. And it is absolutely important in this art, an immovable intelligence. And in our language we would say the awakened intelligence brain unobstructed by any preconceived idea.
So he says when the hands are clapped, the sound is issued immediately without a moment’s hesitation. The friend struck the spot on stop just now he says this doesn’t mean that you are right because hurrying itself is a block. You know I want psychology we use the block. Where you hesitate as to how something could be done in proverb but says he who hesitates is lost. Even though another probably says ‘Look before you leap.’ You see is not necessarily pondering. It is just using your are at as the immediate sensor of the brain. So you can must not be involved in any considerations of either winning this fight, or losing. If you want to win, that’s a mental block, if you’re afraid of losing it’s a mental block. You know how it is sometimes when you act in a crisis you’re driving a car and the things skids. You suddenly find something come over you, where you act without any premeditation. Often you do the right. You only get the shakes afterwards, when you think about it. So in that kind of a crisis what do. What the Zen Master Takuan refers to as immovable wisdom takes over.
So that is the primary thing that has to be learned, in those, there is athletic or military disciplines which Zen influenced. It would be Kendo, or swordfighting, Judo, karate, Aikido, which is the most esoteric of all of them. And that is the art of being unattackable. Everybody should study Aikido. Especially if you’re a militant people. Because the great skill in the military art is not to be able to be attacked. And this does not necessarily mean granite and strong fortification.
We come to it in the end in the highest school of Japanese swordsmanship. And if any of you get an opportunity or can rent a three night film. Three two-hour strips called Samurai, done by Mifune, in color, it is the life story or Miyamoto Mushashi. You should show it here. It is an absolutely thrilling story done with the greatest artistry. Leading up to a final battle in which most very reluctant to engage, but he is asked to do so as a Pondona, or point of honor. Where he comes at his opponent, who has a huge longsword. On a wooden ore. And he defeats him, by timing. He walks in from the sea to the beach, to duel, and he’s timed it just exactly so that at the critical moment sunrise you know it’s easy for me it’s art. See that’s intelligence. So then, the highest school of swordsmanship is called a no-sword school.
A very kind of elementary illustration of it was that the Mushashi was once taking a ferryboat across the Lake Fiwo to Kyoto. The last minute a very drunk samurai got on the boat. He was one of these machismo types. Very aggressive, tough. You saw actually says you are aren’t you was all that. Musashi says now wait, there are a lot of other people on this boat. I mean if we fight, we may hurt innocent bystanders. Ferryman, you go over that island. We’ll get out on that island and fight. So the ferryman went over to the island. And this drunken fellow, all eager to fight, jumps out onto the island, Mushashi grabbed the oar from the ferryman, push the boat way let this man stranded on the island. That’s the no-sword school.
But in a more profound way that no-sword school is, you must first understand the nature of power. And consider, the basic thing to know in all strategy, is what you want. Now do you really want power? Would you like to be able to control everything absolutely? You know, it would be like making love to a plastic woman. No surprises. Now be very careful about the idea of power. And this is something that you get into the culture of the West all too easily, because a lot of men aren’t confident of their masculinity, and therefore make a show of masculinity. And they think it’s male, always to play tough. And therefore, they ignore anything subtle. You see this is good that was an entrance test that if you knew if you could recognize divinely ourjato, you would be rejected. Probably. You see I was not afraid to who has all the strength and courage and sexual capacity of a man is not afraid of gracefulness. Of a certain sensitivity. Because if you don’t have that, you can’t make a good soldier Because you will be unalert. Stupid. Like people you know they just think that [makes noise] is the whole Art of War. The whole art of war is Judo.
Very very quiet, be very alert. that you don’t you can’t try to do you know you can’t force alertness. Alright, I’m looking at the time. If that talk further away and it might. I won’t make it any clearer. If I relax my eyes, imagine a velvet curtain in a dark room you know my eyes don’t like Times. Now I guess that I would start. Sailing, treating the whole of life as navigation. This is about holy. You’re not a man who wants some foundation. Trouble is so much of our every religion is based on analogies of the rock. We need firm ground to stand on! People get narrow minded. Because life is fluid. So the sailor understands better. The Way Things Are you don’t want to. Even so even mall that you would. In a still. Think if you don’t know which way is. If you don’t talk about up, talk about out. Going out or coming in. There’s no up. Everybody’s up is different just depends where you stand on it. You find that you are in the spaceship already. It’s called Earth. You don’t need to go rushing to the moon and rockets. That sort-of phallic symbol. What you do, what you do, strategically, you see, is cultivate very sensitive radio astronomy. So that you get to the nearest star like in several lifetimes. You may establish a nice Space Station outside the earth, where you don’t have atmosphere to bother with telescopes. That’s OK. But the future of the knowledge of the universe must come to us.
So you know all those things you do which seem to require brute force. See the military. The story you know of Richard the second, Richard the first, the Lion-Hearted king, with the Sultan. Richard draws his enormous two-handed sword, and takes an iron bar, and breaks it. The Sultan draws his scimitar and floats a piece of silk in the air, and it drops on the scimitar. That made everybody very frightened. But that that’s the principle that underlies Taoist doctrine of going with the stream, of not forcing it and the Zen doctrine getting to reality which is always now out and you can comprehend without always having to figure it out in words.