We are neither our actions nor our thoughts.
This, in short, is what explains in scientific terms [...] based on multiple observations made in the laboratory at the Tokyo Faculty of Medicine, the somatic effects of zazen: a marked reduction in the level of lactic acid in the blood, a perceptible modification of endo crine secretions and especially of brain waves, recorded by the electroencephalogram. The absolute straightness of the spinal column, slow and deep breathing move the transmitter center from the superficial layers of the brain, which we use almost exclusively in our daily life, to the deep layers, covered, offended, suffocated by the former, and which have almost ceased to be functional.
This, it seems to me, is an excellent approach to zazen for the use of Westerners.
Especially if we compare these data with the work and experiments done elsewhere on these same centers, because to this deep brain corresponds the personality underlying social conditioning, the constraints and constraints of education, represented by the prefrontational layers of the neocortex, the center of our most personal, intimate, free and disinterested acts, artistic activities and, more generally, creative, aesthetic activities, those through which we give pleasure to ourselves, those where what Freud calls the principle of pleasure is satisfied and blossoms, those in sum of pure enjoyment, spiritual as well as sensual, but also of intuition, imagination, "genius", but it is also the place, since, in the order of evolution, this is the forebrain, primitive, of communication with all other living beings, not only human beings, the radiating point, one might say, of cosmic participation, for all this that words distinguish, in reality, is one.
This external, objective point of view is confirmed by what we feel in zazen from within, but also in a way explains and justifies it, so it is not a delusion, a story we tell ourselves.In fact, if the frontal lobes have become so predominant, having become a real monopoly for some, it is under the pressure of society, with the rise of an exclusively and flatly rationalist civilization, because man is reduced to his flat, planned projection, he has lost his third dimension, his relief, or the lowest common denominator, Carefully amputated of all that was out of date, carefully planed, because it is from it that the general consensus can be made, they are also, in a complementary way, the centers of defense, of the alert directed against the outside world and its aggressions, which it is conceivable that they have taken on ever greater importance with the accumulation, the tightening of the human species.
But, fortunately, our profound personality does not reside there. And, deep down, we know this intuitively, or at least we believe it. We are restless, but we also see ourselves restless. In short, we don't confuse ourselves with our actions, nor do we confuse ourselves with our thoughts - who would dare to say again: I think, therefore I am ? or even with our state, since we know that it is versatile, changing according to circumstances and moods, and so we implicitly refer to something else, something fixed, stable, situated outside, but inside.
Most people mistakenly believe that all you have to do to stop working is not work. The inventors of the ...
Humans are amphibians—half spirit and half animal. (The Enemy's determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father to withdraw his support from Him.) As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time means to change.
Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation—the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks. If you had watched your patient carefully you would have seen this undulation in every de-partment of his life—his interest in his work, his affection for his friends, his physical appetites, all go up and down. As long as he lives on earth periods of emotional and bodily richness and liveliness will alternate with periods of numbness and poverty.
The dryness and dullness through which your patient is now going are not, as you fondly suppose, your workmanship; they are merely a natural phenomenon which will do us no good unless you make a good use of it.
One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all. It's this: "Don't do unto anybody else what you wouldn't like to be done to you." It seems to me that that's all there is to it.
Christianity is called the religion of pity. — Pity is the opposite of the tonic affects that heighten the energy ...