No.4: The million-petalled flower
the million-petalled flower of being here
– Philip Larkin, ‘The Old Fools’
And here are some links.
blooming like flowers, calling like birds; the lightning flash of theophany, the divine Majesty
Rinzai is renowned for the wordless transmission of truth. The Buddha is asked to teach the Dharma. He simply picks up a flower. Kashyapa, seated among the disciples, smiles. I’d say ‘that’s all’ except that this smile is still spreading throughout the myriad universes. It turns particles of dust into stars and frogs into Buddhas.
being here (p.52)
Well, perhaps what it means is this: that we’re here just to be hit and pass it on. And here’s the trick (which is to say, the truth): Go after it and it will come through – unpindownable, unstoppable, life itself, rock’n’roll.
being here (p.81)
The senses are being extended – and the world, too. In fact, new worlds are all around us with their splendour and catastrophes. How do we stay on top of that? You don’t. Mastering the instrument isn’t the whole deal, says Billy Higgins. So what is? Being there – in the moonlight.
being here (p.91)
Out of this come crossovers and short circuits: (re)creating something in another form. Not just “Let’s see if we can do this” but “What the hell have we done?” When this happens, we are aware that ‘this’ is also ‘that’, that ‘here’ is also ‘there’. What’s before us is not confined to its form – it has other forms. Moving from one form to another is what we do – and in that very act, we are ourselves transposed.
And here’s Philip Larkin again (And immediately…and is endless: from ‘High Windows’) (p.114)
The blues go but they don’t stop, said John Lee Hooker. And is that so different from this:
Rather than words come the thoughts of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
Reality goes beyond itself to find out what it is. We’re part of that game.