Monday, August 15, 2011

unconditional acceptance

The mystery that is aware of this moment

has already accepted it, as it is.

We can't create this radical acceptance

and we are powerless to make it go away,

for the very nature of awareness

is to accept, without conditions, what is.

--- John Astin


  1. Hi, Tom. I enjoy your blog. I just wanted to hear your interpretation on THE TENTH MAN, ch. 3, when WWW writes: "Perhaps if one were to look into them deeply enough the dawn itself might break?"

    Obviously it's symbolical, but does he refer to , in your regard, a 'dawning' of the mind, or that the phenomenal world (the dawn) will 'crack' or 'break' and reveal what's underneath? I've always envisioned it as a big crack in the sky due to the apperception of the non-objectivity of the phenomenal world. The illusion 'breaks', and everything falls to pieces.

    To interpet it as merely a metaphor for understanding ("if you look into it deeply, you'll get it"), seems to exclude som of the symbolism and imagery that WWW hints at.

    Thank you.


  2. Hi Norman, thank you!

    WWW wasn't pointing to 'an' understanding one can get. The word 'everything', making up two of his nineteen plain words, makes it clear that he's not pointing to 'A' concept.

    Considering what you write about the phenomenal world cracking, etc., I suspect that it might be helpful to consider the passages from Huang Po that he quotes in Note:(2).

    For now, Tom.

  3. Sorry I've been away. I wanted to get back to you about this quote.

    So, how do you interpret the quote? Is it a non-conceptual 'dawning' of the mind (metaphorically speaking), or is it a falling-away or 'cracking' of conceptuality?

    My bother with the first interpretation (the dawning) is that it seems to imply a conceptual object, in the sense of 'THE dawn', as in 'THE understanding', thus reifying the apperceptive act; "the dawn itself might break" interpreted as "the understanding itself might arise". The way I understand WWW is that he would not maintain that 'a' understanding could or ever will happen that is not phenomenal (and any understanding that occasions arisal, i.e., "the dawn", would be phenomenal).

    However if you interpret it as a falling-away of conceptuality, the metaphorical dawn or appearance 'breaking' or 'cracking', no reification is implied, since it is obvious that it is a metaphor.

    I'm not sure if I'm clear as to what I'm trying to say. Is it a dawning (positive concept) or falling-away (negative concept)?

    Thank you for your time,


  4. Hi Norman, isn't 'dawn breaking' a metaphor, even in its common usage? However, I would say that in his writings WWW was generally attempting the "negation of all the positive (conceptual) nonsense which holds us in supposed "bondage."" Following which "the way should be clear for direct apperceiving of what each of us is and what all of us are as apparent sentient-beings." (quotes from the Preface to 'Posthumous Pieces')

    Speaking of 'Posthumous Pieces,' you may find interesting a kind of abstract for 'awakening' in chapter 62, third section, "What in fact sometimes transpires"....

    In this section, WWW uses the pointer of split-mind re-becoming whole. One might hazard to say, in the terms of your question, that while the negation of concepts is, relatively speaking, something negative, the dawning of "Totality" or "Whole-Mind" can not be of something relative, but has for the apparent sentient-being, some relative effects.