Contemplation, No Contemplation

While working for my better half at Eastern Market, I read Tseng Ts’an’s The Hsin-Hsin Ming, a poem illustrating some principles of Zen Buddhism. At the same time, I’ve been doing some very casual, very unsystematic tasting of some ancient, classical philosophers: Aristotle (The Rhetoric), Marcus Aurelius (Meditations), Plato (Gorgias), Plotinus (glancing at, but by no means understanding The Enneads), Quintillan (Orator’s Education), and Cicero (On Duties). None of these particular works address the particular issue I was thinking of, though. However, in other works, all of them do express very clearly that, in some way, shape, or form, the best life (good life, virtuous life) is a life of contemplation and philosophy, through a combination of reading, study, and dialogue with others. Tseng Ts’an expressly forbids seeking ‘Englightenment.’ He expressly tells the reader not to meditate nor contemplate. He doesn’t want you studying, nor reading, not engaging in dialogue on things.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s