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I have written earlier too on the topic – why do we do what do we do? I asked this question to some other people – who are near and dear to me – too, the answer were never satisfactory to my curiosity or yearning. Yes I added curiosity in the sentence, it had all been yearning, however, when you read the end of the post you too may start asking these questions as curiosity.

I came across this wonderful story thought to share it here. I have been asking many questions to myself and to my mentors. Some questions are specific and some questions are general and few others are completely useless. You can put those useless questions into any category – specific or general. Either ways those questions seem either too complicated or too deep; instead these questions could be nothing more than “actually useless”. Instead of asking ourselves or someone else these questions – who created the world, does God exist, why do we do stuff; we must do something else! What is that something else? Read it below.

Poison Arrow

seung-sahnZen master Seung Sahn said to an assembly of students, “Many people think that intellectual understanding can help them, and help this world. But that is not possible: intellectual understanding is only someone else’s idea about something. Whatever you read in books and hear in lectures, that’s not your thing. If you understand things only intellectually, then you will not understand this world, as it is. Then you will suffer, and make suffering for others”

“You’ve heard about how the Native Americans dipped arrowheads into poison, and then shot them at something? Having too much intellectual understanding is like being hit with one of these poison arrows. You have to pull it out quickly, correct? But most people who have this arrow stuck in them only think about the arrow, instead of pulling it out” ‘Where did this arrow come from?’Who shot it?’ ‘How was it shot?’ ‘How was it made?’ ‘Is this arrow like other poison arrows?’ ‘What kind of wood is this?’ ‘How tall was the shooter?’ ‘Was his nose long, or flat?’ Lots of thinking, thinking, thinking.”

“But soon the body will die! This thinking and analyzing are not necessary – first pull out the arrow, and then the poison cannot spread any further/ But many people won’t take out the arrow of suffering that is in their minds; they only spend time and money energy analyzing and thinking and reading about it! ‘Where did this arrow come from?’ ‘Who made it, and who shot it?’ ‘Where was it shot from?’ ‘Why was it shot?’ ‘Why was it shot?’ ‘How does an arrow move through the air?’ ‘How fast did it travel here?'”

“That kind of mind is like most human beings: ‘Why is there suffering?’ ‘Were does suffering come from?’ ‘Why is this world so complicated?’ ‘What does so-and-so write about it?’ All this checking, checking, checking and not one bit of ‘What am I” They do not look into their not-knowing mind. People don’t realize that this don’t-know mind already cuts off thinking, already pulls out the arrow. If you first take out the arrow, then a thinking mind is no problem. But if you don’t take it out, then any kind of thinking and checking mind that appears will kill you. And everybody dies, because everyone is checking their mind like this. Only very few people actually try to take out this arrow, so you who do meditation are all very special, very lucky. Your ‘What am I?’ cuts through this poison.”

So many a times the conclusion was – Just do it… ok try it. Life is a trouble only death is not, To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble. Still the intellectual mind keeps on bothering.

The topic of LBC – Loose Bloggers Consortium was a question I posed to my fellow twelve authors. Currently only two write regularly, read their take on this topic at Ramana uncleji and Shackman uncleji.

Story Source – Wanting Enlightenment is a Big Mistake: Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn

Image source – Twitter @ZMSeungSahn