Is it really possible to resolve our human life in spite of all the losses we face?
In a sense, the Bible story of Job is a story of awakening. After repeated assaults on all the outward conditions of Job’s life—his family, his friends, his flocks—after losing everything he valued, he finally discovers there is one thing he cannot lose: God.
It represents a movement from reliance on outward things to reliance on something inward—or, as Zen might see it, neither inward nor outward, something that is not a thing, yet is not nothing either. Something that confounds all attempts to describe it, know it, categorize or quantify it, which changes nothing yet changes everything.
What is it?
Zen calls it “your own original face from before even your parents were born.” Yet not even all the ancestors and sages can say what it is, or even that it is.
And yet here it is, right now, right in front of us. This very thought, this very sound, this very sight….
Is it really possible to resolve our human life in spite of all the losses we face? That is the matter of Zen training.
By Henry Shukman, from our newsletter archives.
Image: Silhouette, By Geralt, CC0 Public Domain, from pixabay.com.