Friday, February 19, 2016

Jack Scott writes

I Am Fraction

Do we dream,
or are we dreamt?

Mind is iceberg
in sea of thought
mostly out of sight
and out of mind as well,
having frailty of all sculpture:
dependency on memory
of its myriad other faces.

How can we be less than all
of what we are?
Of three dimensions
two are on the surface
of the mirror, so to speak,
smiling for the camera
to flatten one of us.
Elsewhere we are many more
uncaptured, otherwise committed.
Allow one hundred portions each
Allot in any given time
to consciousness a share
of less than that,
majority perhaps,
if not: minority,
changing daily like the chance of rain.
Deficit demands accounting
Where is the rest of me, one asks,
(or should if one considers it)
how otherwise engaged, and where?

While some of me is here in my attention
the rest is not, yet still a part of me
abroad on other, unknown business
foreign to the job at hand.

1 comment:

  1. Zhuangzi ("Master Zhuang," 369—298 BCE), was an influential Taoist philosopher who was an almost exact contemporary of the Confucian thinker Meng Ke ("Mencius"), more than a century after the death of Kong Fuzi ("Confucius") and Laotzi. His 52-chapter book was edited, rearranged, and commented on in the 4th century by Guo Xiang, who eliminated material he considered spurious, leaving only 33 chapters, which Guo divided into three collections, the Inner Chapters (Neipian), which Guang considered to be the work of Zhuang himself, the Outer Chapters (Waipian), and the Miscellaneous Chapters (Zapian).

    "Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things." (tr. Lin Yutang)

    "How do I know that enjoying life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death we are not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know the way home? Lady Li was the child of a border guard in Ai. When first captured by the state of Jin, she wept so much her clothes were soaked. But after she entered the palace, shared the king's bed, and dined on the finest meats, she regretted her tears. How do I know that the dead do not regret their previous longing for life? One who dreams of drinking wine may in the morning weep; one who dreams weeping may in the morning go out to hunt. During our dreams we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense! You and Confucius are both dreaming, and I who say you are a dream am also a dream. Such is my tale. It will probably be called preposterous, but after ten thousand generations there may be a great sage who will be able to explain it, a trivial interval equivalent to the passage from morning to night."

    "Where's The Rest Of Me?" was the title of the autobiography of that great American Taoist, Ronald Reagan
    by Ronald Reagan, taken from a line he spoke in the movie, "King's Row."


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