Berkeley Page Nine Travelogue,

Subject: Decompression
Date: 4/17/03

A feat I never could have imagined.  I have read, in schematic at least, the Abhidhamma Pitaka.  At least the six thus far in English translation  

I never could have foreseen this much progress.  Its almost incidental that I've also studied Hegel, and Saussure, and Derrida.  I don't know what happened to March.  I blinked it was gone... Guessing at the date of this rambling, I pulled 12th out of my head as a reasonable estimate.  Not so.  Five days off, and those five days have been pretty intense. 

In order to finish the Abhidhamma I had to carry the final two books around with me everywhere.  I had to fend of employment, yet plan for the eventuality,  I had to fend off Carman and Lindy, both punk rock, both totally rad. With Lindy I had to say no to a roadtrip to Portland to see her ex-girlfriend.  I cried over that one, but I said no, and finished the Vibhanga.  I said no to further ensuing drama, and finished the Dhatukatha at Java City coffee shop at La Playa and Judah at Ocean Beach (really good coffee).  I finished the Abhidhamma in time to play flute with the surf and sunset. 

And now, I am reeeeeling from the experience.  To wind down from this I'm reading Sausure's second course in General linguistics.   Its full-on spring here, flowers in bloom, The thistle in the meadow out front of my "house" all present a super-saturated purple which on the rarely overcast days glow a irredescent shade of purple.  (Finally compensation for not being able to frolick barefoot and roll around in the meadow... dumb prickly plants!)

In all this I have learned that the similarity between Buddhisms outweigh the differences. The various schools share more in common than they represent fundimentally different philosophies.  Much as one cannot point to any real concrete differences between Baptists and Catholics in principle.  Now I see the underlying philosphy of Buddhism; I understand what is contained in the disagreements;  I understand the system and failings of the Abhidhammist method, and, thanks to the Vibhanga, I have a clear understanding of the difference between the Suttantist method and the Abhidhammist method.  I have a framework to understand the T'ien Tai system when I come to it.  I have a foundation for approaching Ch'an/Zen when I move to Japan.  But more importantly I have the next "semester's" coursework laid out.   The Vishudhamagga, the Abhidhammatha Sangaha, the Digha Nikaya;  Glas.  And, the Hatha Yoga Pratipika.  A manual on buddhist meditation, a systematic condesceation of the Abhidhamma, Derrida V. Hegel, and A manual of Hindu Tantric Meditation.  Plenty to keep me busy in Japan.   

Jesus.  What has happened?  I have seen the folly of relationships, of casual sex, of "place" of "home."  I have found peace and detatchment in living "in-between" renunciation adhereing to the Precepts and Householder life.  I have found the efficacy of the two systems in a life lived as neither.  While not categorically "ruling out" nor "adhereing."  To see each for what it is, seeing each for its strengths and weaknesses...

Not making much sense trying to make sense of it all.  I don't know, I don't know.  What I have seen is how many lifetimes it would take to chase down all the loose ends revealed by this "semester" in school.  Also, It begs the question of what is to  ["Straight up now tell me do you really want to love me forever, or am I caught in a hit and run..."]  be gained by continued study.  I have rounded the corner and I see I can go deep, I can go deep, I can go deep and see the facets themselves facet.  But will it bring me closer to "the goal."

Be done with all the "figures of speach"  Whatis the meaning of it all... "straight-up now tell me..."  What is the point of probing "nothing" [sunyatta] philosophically.  All the schisms revolve around this difference.... 

The bar's closed, its time to go.  I will pick this up later.




Hudson Cress, 2003. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: All events and people are part of the elaborate fiction that is my private reality. Any resemblence to actual people or events is purely coincidental.