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Search for the Absolute

The relation of Christ and Buddha has for me become the paramount question, that is, how to think of them together. The two come from differing traditions, east and west, and I think very different logics, the Buddhist non-duality, the Christian binary opposition. In Christianity, as descended from the fall in Genesis, everything is based on knowledge of good and evil, and all thinking is based on this duality. Therefore, when one says I and other, or any pair, one must lineup with good and the other with evil, even if the two are neither good nor evil, but because they are paired thus, they become morally culpable or not. All thought, almost, seems to be based on this structure. In recent times Derrida and others have perhaps tried to question or unsettle or rewrite this arrangement. Whether the culture is more at peace now than before 1965 is something you must judge for yourselves. I do not think they have been successful because they did not abandon the structure but doubled it, binding us even more tightly to it, because by opposing it they have strengthened it in force and by complicating it have not made it easier to step out of. The logic in the human mind based on such opposition is a knot one hardly knows where to begin to untie. Of course, there is always the so-called sword to cut the knot, but such force may or may not be effective. It depends on the sword one chooses. That Nietzsche and others applied force is without question, but that freedom is not nearer but further away seems the remains of the deconstructive project, because, I think, it was a death of… rather than a love of… that forced the issue, and created a circularity rather than a sheer cleavage. The effraction, in fact, Derrida seemed to eliminate, either from inside or outside the circularity, because everything must take place, if it takes place, inside the text. Whereas at one time it was in God that we lived and moved and had our being, now it is in a text. The unleashing of textuality has revived a number of forces or spirits once overcome by Christ and Buddha, and many things are influencing our lives in many ways that

most people are scarcely aware of, or second in a nihilistic way, waiting enthusiastically for the end. These genealogies in the heavens would keep us from the goal, and so, with the death of God having been accomplished, it is necessary for Christians and Buddhists to join together the foundations and not “reconstruct” what was, but start over, not reinventing but beginning again or being born again. Anything that can be reconstructed can be deconstructed forever, so we must lay aside the notion of structure itself, that is, hierarchy must be jettisoned at whatever level and the emptiness of Buddha beneath the tree and the emptiness of Christ nailed to the tree must be our one goal and our one means of salvation and liberation, our resurrection and enlightenment. Deconstruction did not empty the structure. We must not use the structure against itself, but let go of structure itself. We must not turn ideas against ideality, but let all go, even ourselves, for in letting go of self and other both at once that state known as the “not-other” may be attained. The dilemma of good and evil has been transposed by deconstruction into that of the same and the other, polarities reversed, doubling the effect of structure, and perverting morality, inverting thought, not letting go of thought. For surely deconstruction cannot be accused of simplicity or of renunciation of intellect, but is rather the hyper-logical, hyper-intellectual basis for our culture today. Of this, let go. Only the fullness and the emptiness are important, not the filling, not the hunger, not the semblance, not desire. The absolute cannot be achieved directly, by force, by striving, but only through a sincere emptiness that is done in faith, in hope, but without an attempt to control the outcome, and with a trust that by letting go of all, me, you, God, we will yet arrive, neither forcing arrival, nor avoiding it, but in losing our way, find it, for when we are lost we may be found, and cannot be found unless we are lost. To find the absolute, we must give up the absolute absolutely, and be absolved of both the problem and of the solution, not questioning, not seeking an answer, the mind neither attached nor non-attached, stopped, emptied of itself, of all opposition, not even opposing itself but simply letting go, release, cease, peace. The mind itself

is not the answer to the problem of delusion, but continues to be trapped in it as long as it is. When the mind ceases to think, it is transformed, neither conformed to the world nor informed by it. This is the substitution, the sudden falling away, attained by emptiness, when absolute emptiness and absolute fullness coincide. Everything else is mere opinion, relative semblance, neither ordinary nor extraordinary. To make the ordinary and extraordinary coincide, the mind to be transformed, the self and the other let go of, all desire to pass away, one may meditate on the cross. This meditation on the cross brings together the themes of Buddha and Christ, the emphasis on suffering and the way to overcome it, which is through emptiness and negation, done either mentally, physically or both. Only by this kind of death can the new life be attained. Buddha arose from under the tree transformed, as Jesus did from the tomb. In each becoming completely empty, each became completely full, and so their pattern is one, and one for us even today. Our real state of emptiness is the truth we hide from and in delusion cover over. We must admit it, accept it. It is the evasion of the truth that is painful, not the truth itself. As long as we try to be full, we will never be. Once we become empty, then we will be full. It is not either/or, not neither/nor, but both together in each other. That is why it is true that in Zen samsara and nirvana are really one, and why Heraclitus said the way up and down is one and the same. The logos, which is also reason, is the mind of Christ, and is the mind of Buddha, and people are of one mind are at peace, in that only by being mindful can we realize this state of being of one mind for everyone. As long as one is good and the other evil, it will not be, but only through love of everyone. Non-judgment, forgiveness, love of enemies are the terms Christ used to leverage our minds toward non-duality. The whole is then asymmetrical, there being no absolute opposite of God, so thus our thinking must become, without absolute oppositions, and by this non-opposition creating a possibility for triangulation through non-mirroring. The mirror stage of the mind implies that human love is always accompanied by hate, and that human mercy is always accompanied by justice, that we

always think in terms of rewards and punishments, and that our freedom always implies slavery. Perhaps the opposable thumb is our techno-logical basis. But the divine mind of Buddha and Christ does not oppose and is not opposed. The divine love does not hate because it does not desire. The divine mercy is absolute because it does not involve any kind of justice or judgment. Only people think that way, and as long as we do, we can not be absolutely loving, free, merciful or happy. Our happiness will always consider, compare, contrast, criticize, covet, rather than be content, complete, catholic, in the sense I mean the word these days, which is to say, a universe of paths, not a universal path, each of us independent, but all mindful of everyone. To realize that no one we meet will be the same as, equal to or less than we, that through this we stand not in relation, or unrelated, but in arrangement, in coordination, in harmony, cooperating, not competing, running for the joy of running, because we fulfill ourselves by so running, is the race to be won. Drops in an infinite sea, none are opposed to another. The things I have spoken of may also be seen in this way: The de/re problem regarding structure in theology is a chimera, because these structures are themselves false as to form and notion. The transubstantiation is almost correct, involving the emptying of substance, with its following replacement by another. In reality, the substance actually is not, and the accidents are only there as a kind of illusion without foundation. Enlightenment is to see through the accidents of being to the level of the place which takes place without anything else taking place or taking its place. In other words, the poet saw through the foam and froth of language to the underlying reality of sheer space, which in the end is not even spatial. The sword of no-mind cuts off even possible placement in this place. Nothing will have taken place. The so-called revaluation of all values, is really their Transvaluation, in a triangulation with their devaluation and revaluation. The de/re is probably the new way of expressing the duality as such, and must be triangulated by the trans which crosses all values, all structures, all substances, all times and places, all selves and all others, with a movement which is not an endless displacement

or a continuous spinning in place, but a conveyance of clairvoyance. It is to see the emptiness itself, which is the truth of “faith creates being.” The emptiness of faith realizes our divine coincidence, the absolute emptiness and fullness which faith creates, the two angles set aside from the acute angle of semi-seeming which is accidentality. The substance taking place in us and in all is our very emptiness and our very fullness, and is our own identity. They are never apart, and being one is being the other, at once. The extremes coincide. All else between them is the semblance we must overcome by seeing through our illusions, not using them, or letting them use us. The delusion of magic is just this life that seems to control so much, and give us so much control, but which prevents or hinders the realization of truth which is peace in the heart, the compassion for those who suffer delusion. The greater part of the delusion is that those who suffer it do not realize their own suffering, and rather fear the emptiness that is their true peace, true love, true selves. Almost all philosophies and religions mean to teach reality and the way to it, but hide reality and the way there. Christ and Buddha denied themselves, saying no, took up the problem of suffering as task, saying yes, and breached trails for us to follow, both of mankind’s greatest teachers showing us a way to really be peace, love and understanding, through acts of emptying, fulfillment and arrival.

Michael Bolerjack