21 August 2011

This Life, Your Eternal Life

6.4311 Death is not an event in life.  One does not live through death.

If one understands eternity not as an endless period of time but as timelessness, then he who lives in the present lives eternally.

Our life is just as endless as our field of vision is limitless.
– Wittgenstein

A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.

Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life. Life must be the bird and life must be the fish.

It is possible to illustrate this with more analogies. Practice, enlightenment, and people are like this.
– Dōgen
I have to admit I have never thought of this perspective as anything other than wondrous.  That said, I hear (but oftentimes forget) the stern admonition it contains: keep the field of vision open, keep flying, keep swimming, keep practicing.

World without end.  Amen.

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