Ideas of Anon (Cent), by Theme

[Indian, fl. 500 BCE, Probably from Kashmir. The author(s) of 'Centring', an early text of Zen Buddhism.]

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7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / h. Dasein (being human)
Being is revealed at the point between waking and sleep
     Full Idea: At the point of sleep when sleep has not yet come and external wakefulness vanishes, at this point being is revealed.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 50)
     A reaction: One for Heidegger. The problem with eastern philosophy is that no one expects that this revelation could be put into words, so we cannot compare our revelations of being, or pass them on to others. Which means they can't be criticised.
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / a. Other minds
Neglect your self, and feel the consciousness of each other being
     Full Idea: Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 83)
     A reaction: Good. The western scepticism about other minds puts up a barrier to this sort of thought. The best of Zen is when it encourages the use of imagination to explore what is real. But imagination struggles to distinguish what is true.
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / a. Will to Act
Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop
     Full Idea: Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 64)
     A reaction: Nice. You might train your own will like a dog in this way. It is a counterexample to the simplistic idea that all you need is a belief and a desire, and you have got an action. But (pace Searle, Ideas 3817 + 3818) this does not prove free will.
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 5. Freedom of lifestyle
Bondage and liberation are relative terms, which only frighten those already terrified of the universe
     Full Idea: Since in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for those terrified with the universe. The universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 110)
     A reaction: Since most easterners have experienced permanent social repression, their philosophies all encourage them not to worry about it. No wonder marxism, proved popular, when it suggested you could actually change things.
29. Religion / C. Spiritual Disciplines / 4. Zen Buddhism
Feel your whole body saturated with cosmic essence
     Full Idea: Feel your substance, bones, flesh, blood, saturated with cosmic essence.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 23)
     A reaction: I find this unsatisfactory. Being a sad victim of materialistic western scientific culture, I don't think 'cosmic essence' exists. I could imagine myself full of the stuff, and that might feel good, but I could also imagine I had won the lottery.
The serenity in blue sky beyond clouds
     Full Idea: Simply by looking into blue sky beyond clouds - the serenity.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 59)
     A reaction: Philip Larkin finds the same experience looking through high windows. If we articulate the experience, it seems to combine humility and detachment. The sky makes us insignificant, but the mind can project into the sky.
Abandon attachment to body, and feel the joy of being everywhere
     Full Idea: Toss attachment for body aside, realising I am everywhere. One who is everywhere is joyous.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 79)
     A reaction: I really don't think it is wisdom to spend your time imagining things which are not true. I might imagine that some gorgeous film star is in love with me, but I don't recommend it. Live according to nature. We are physical beings.
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / a. Immortality
Imagine fire burning up your whole body, but not you
     Full Idea: Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes, but not you.
     From: Anon (Cent) (Centring [c.500 BCE], 28)
     A reaction: Try very hard to persuade yourself that you are immortal, even if you are not. Hm. Zen Buddhism actually contains very little commitment to what is true or false. It explores interesting beliefs like children playing with toys. Very post-modern.