That photograph posted by Dominic – ‘Anything goes as long as it flows…….Beat Presser’ was just too Zen for words – which is generally what Zen is all about. I mean about the inadequacy, as well as the superfluity of words.

At first I thought ‘Beat Presser’ was something to do with a drum part or rhythm-related gizmo – you know, like some electronic thingy that one presses to get that synthesized plastic sounding repetitive ‘beat’. Then I considered the possibility of a ‘press’ – like what happens to that stuff from Manali or Afghanistan and that it could be named after its inventor – or maybe even something that presses the juice out of sugar-beets. I don’t know. Anyway, when I clicked on Dom’s ‘Anything goes…’, lo and behold, the space was like a black hole – just the title and nothing more! Taken aback I wondered, what the hell! And then I saw Nazreen’s comment, “where’s the picture?”, so in my moronic manner I commented as well – something to the effect that the thing had flowed right out of the frame. Imagine my surprise when the irrepressible (sorry, couldn’t help myself!) Dom zapped right back at me that ‘….sometimes there’s no frame, no image, no nothing – just go with the flow’, which, strangely enough, is what I generally try to do – just ask anyone who doesn’t know me!

This (what Dom did) is what Zen masters frequently do to jolt their students out of the complacency of the mundane. I’m sure it was entirely accidental on Dom’s part (!!!!!), but then again, one is never sure. The Zen master comes in all manner of shapes, sizes and whatnot and one is never sure of what will happen when.

Zen, of course is pretty unique in its ‘field’ – call it ‘religion’ if you will – in that it is the only ‘religious’ school that strives, with no reliance on scripture or saviour of any kind, to help its followers to ‘break through’ to the beyond of thought and to achieve a state of consciousness beyond duality. To the uninitiated the teachings or ‘utterances’ of Zen are frequently looked at as being absurd, ludicrous or deliberately making itself unintelligible in order to guard its apparent profundity from outside criticism. To its followers, however, its apparently paradoxical one-liners are by no means artificial nonsense contrived to hide behind a screen of obscurity, but rather the expression of deeper truths that cannot be adequately expressed due to the inadequacies of semantics. It is said that the deeper truths of Zen cannot be made subject to logical exposition, as they are to be experienced in the innermost ‘soul’ when they become for the first time intelligible.

To give a rather poor example of why it is said that no plainer or more straightforward expressions than those of Zen have been made by any other branch of ‘religion’ – “coal is black”, which is straightforward enough; but Zen protests, “coal is not black” – which is also pretty straightforward and indeed, even more so than the first statement when one comes right down to the essence of the matter.

I’m not sure if you ‘got it’, but there ‘it’ is.

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