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October 29, 2013

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It is appropriate that Zennist brings this content of the mind to surface, which like an ornamental goldfish, has been stirring just unseen in consciousness.

Unlike many who trade the cage of ignorance for the cage of religion, for me, there is little point in the curriculum of koans. This heresy is not intended to wound or to undermine anyone's practice, but I have realized it very differently than those who pursue koan work as a method to enlightenment.

Perhaps the method works; I do not practice it. For me there is a deeper fish in this pool of mind, something which is the root of all questioning. To conjure riddles when our very existence is a riddle? To see such riddles as an object which lead inexorably to the same conclusion? Neither rings true to me.

We live in constant servitude to the ego self. When seeking to penetrate is non-being, it fights and dances, and slips away into narrow cracks of non-understanding, just long enough to convince us we have defeated it.

But to know this thing, I am increasingly convinced, it requires total negation of anything known. It is the act of observation, not any object of observation, which is the ultimate koan. To apply this koan requires no teacher, no method, no approved list of orthodoxies.

Freedom is not choice; choosing to pursue koans or choosing not to. These are two identical cages. The content of the mind is the greatest obstacle to freedom. It is as though we construct a mighty telescope to envision the heavens, and once the heavens are spotted, we put aside the telescope and worship it.

For this reason I do not practice koans. Compassion, wisdom, freedom; these are not riddles. In the nameless being of not-knowing, they are realized by what they are not.

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