Cahiers du Vertebrata

a human being is never what he is but the self he seeks

Category: Wissenschaft

Béla Hamvas, Pisma

IMG-20170902-WA0000

Deseto pismo

 

Smirio sam se tek onda kada sam shvatio koliko je ovaj život opasan. Sve do tada bio sam malo turoban, i dosađivao se. Od tada sam raspoložen, jer vrijedi. Opasnost je oštar vjetar sudbine i ja se samo u oštrom vjetru osjećam dobro. Kukavičluk ne pripada mojim vrlinama. Uvijek sam tražio ono što je najteže. I našao sam oboje, osamljenost i vedrinu.

Tri puta mi se dogodilo isto. Toliko isto da bilo koje od triju lica u događaju mogu mirne duše zamijeniti i uzeti jedno umjesto drugoga. Bile su to tri potpuno različite žene. Jedna plava, teška i snažna, kao valkira, druga poput dječaka i egzaltirana, a treća tamna, duboka kao bunar i žalosno bespomoćna. Zamislio sam pravi život, došla je prva, i ispostavilo se da nije ostvariv. Nato sam zamislio još veći, došla je druga, i ispostavilo se da se ni on ostvariti ne može. I od toga sam zamislio još veći, došla je treća, i ispostavilo se da se ni taj ne može ostvariti. U sva tri slučaja ljubav je planula u trenu.

Jednom sam više dana tumarao među brdima. Bilo je jutro kada sam se spustio niz padinu, u dolini je ležao majur. Bio je rani rujan, još ljeto a već jesen, zatišje i polutama u smiraju dana. Sada, mislio sam, sada ću je sresti, nju koja upravo isto tako zna da ću doći, kao i ja da će ona doći. Ona, koja se ujutro upravo probudila s mišlju da će to biti danas; s njom, koja u svakom koraku vidi kao svrhu to da se približi meni, ona, koja se zagleda u svakog stranca, nisam li to ja, koja zna da dolazim, kao što i ja znam da joj se približavam, koja ako se penje u vlak, misli ne sjedim li ja u njemu, ako čuje nečije ime, misli da je moje, ako čuje glas, misli da ja govorim. Sada ću je susresti ondje kod majura, ondje leži ispod drveća, čita da nečim ispuni vrijeme dok ja ne dođem, tamo me čeka, kao i uvijek, čeka, i kada me opazi, diže se i dolazi, prirodno, bez riječi, ode sa mnom, i ja s njom, zajedno, jer ona je postala ja, i ja sam postao ona, i od ovog trenutka tako nešto kao ja i nema posebno značenje. Prijeđem preko majura. Kao da sam ja ona, tamo ugledam pospanog ekonoma, nadničara, vlasnikov stan, s bijelim zavjesama na prozoru. Ovdje je živjela, ali sada će poći sa mnom. Bez pitanja i bez riječi. Što će prvo reći? Nešto vrlo jednostavno, valjda to, gladna sam. Ili, kamenčić mi je upao u cipelu. Ja je pogledam i pomislim kako je lijepa, ali to joj ne kažem, jer ona ionako zna da to hoću reći i smiješi se ozbiljno. Prijeđem preko puta i grabim prema gore. Potpuno sam smiren. Iz te smirenosti znam da ću se zaista susresti s njom. Kako neobično, da se odjenom sve razriješilo, najednom se sve izgladilo, i sada može doći što god hoće. Eno je. U travi bijela halijna s plavim točkicama. To je ona. U meni ni malo treme. Prvi puta se u životu ne bojim.  Sada je već dobro. Pristižem, put zaokreće ulijevo, travnati se brežuljak razdvaja od neba, a iza njega na užetu vidim, suši se hrpa haljina, i ona plava s točkicama. Na padini pak nema nikoga.

U svima trima ženama imao sam osjećaj da ću se s njom susresti, s njom koju ne treba obmanjivati, kojoj ne treba lagati, koja dolazi, odnosno s kojom ću poći, jer to dvoje su jedno. Jednom sam rekao jednoj, svejedno kojoj, da ću baciti kalendar. Neću imati više ponedjeljak i utorak, već vlasdan i obrvdan i maliprstdan, ona će biti moj kalendar. Jednom sam s jednom od njih, svejedno s kojom, proveo tri dana, prošla su tri puta dvadeset četiri sata i ni jednog trenutka nismo ispuštali jedno drugo. Da sam je pustio, boljelo bi. Kako su samo blistali ti dani! Kako je bila važna svaka riječ! Kako je bilo važno odjednom sve izreći! Sve je razumjela, i ja sam sve razumio. Pogladio sam joj kosu i pitao je, je l’ da? Na što je odgovorila, da. I zaista je tako bilo.

 

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Petnaesto pismo

 

Evo iz onoga vremena i jednoga cijelog pisma koje je ostalo jer ga nisam poslao: “U posebnom sam stanju i sasvim lud, jer te ludo volim. Ali ova je ljubav budna i pametna i zdrava. Ludo budna i ludo pametna. Dvostruko ludilo, odnosno potpuno čišta mahnitost. Sada sve mogu. Oslobađam se već nekoliko tjedana i sve su mi stvari u redu, i tako sam ti blizu, kada bih se malo više ispružio, mogao bih ti dohvatiti sjenu. Do sada mi je svaki plan bio fantazija. Počevši od prekjučer, svi su mi se snovi ostvarili, približavam se svojoj radosti i opasnosti. Kažeš, radost je u redu, a što je opasnost? Haljina s točkicama? Da. Koliko li samo negdje čekaju mene! Upravo koliko i ja čekam nekoga. Samo to ne razumijem, kada već toliko čekamo, zašto se već ne susretnemo?”

Tada sam vjerovao: sada. Otići ću do nje i sjest ću u travu. Da joj kažem, stigao sam? Vidi. Da joj kažem – što? Što da joj kažem? Tu je dobro biti? I što će ona reći? Pogledam je. Je li lijepa? Ne znam. Uhvatim je za ruku. Kako li je poznata ova ruka, od prije rođenja. Ovaj njezin vrat. Uvijek je za mene ovaj vrat bio ovakav. I struk joj poznam i ramena, kao što joj poznajem toplinu i miris daha. Toliko mi je poznato u njoj, kao jezik u ustima. Doma sam. Ne ustajem, ni ona, već ustajemo. I do sada sam ovako živio, ali je stolac kraj mene bio prazan, prazna je bila i druga strana kreveta. Više nema onog ja. Idemo, hodamo, savamo, gledamo, živimo. Ne okreće se. Nije zaboravila ništa kod kuće. Nikomu nema što reći.

Spavala si u prvoj noći, i ja sam se na trenutak probudio. Ruke, noge, kosa međusobno su nam se dodirivali. Zagrlila si me oko vrata, lice ti se privilo na moje rame, i što je rame trebalo reći da bi se razumjelo s licem? I reci, je li ikada postojala žena koju, kada se na cesti srela s muškarcem, nije trebalo uvjeravati i objašnjavati joj? Koja zna da nikad, nikad neće biti još jednom, kažem nikad više neće moći ponovno vratiti ono što je proigrala, riječima, pitanjima, ispitivanjem, čekanjem na nagovor. Nešto je trebala reći, barem toliko, da ne. Trebala je radi nečega poći kući, radi mačke ili podvezice. Protiv meje joj je bio potreban saveznik, morala me izdati barem čipki. Svejedno što je bilo, novac ili vjera, majka ili odjeća. I sada misliš da je ovako bolje? Misliš da postoji takav saveznik, vrpca, očeva kuća, svećenik, dakle nešto zbog čega će žena u tajnosti žrtvovati muškarca, misleći da je na dobitku? Misliš da nisi sebe izdala? Zadnji put sam napisao da nam ni jedan zagrljaj nije bio potpun. U boli i očaju pitaš kako to može biti. Pisala si da si sve zbacila sa sebe i željela si biti samo žena, kako to da ti nisam mogao dati tu radost koju si željela? Odgovaram. Ne znaš se potpuno prepustiti, jer jednostavno ne pripadaš meni. Nisi li utajila radost već time što mešetariš? Reci, jesi li to samo preda mnom utajila? Tužan sam nakon zagrljaja. Ne stoga što te nisam dosegnuo nego i zato što ti mene nisi potpuno dosegnula. O, ako čovjek laže, sebi laže. Nisi dala, nisi ni dobila. Tijelo je jako teško prevariti. Ako govoriš, sve ti vjerujem, ali kada si mi u zagrljaju, onda daješ to što je u tebi, ono što je istinsko, jer sam neposredno tamo s tobom. Reci, koliko si me puta izdala počevši od toga da si me izdala već prvog trenutka? Koliko puta si me prevarila s haljinama i popovima i čipkama? Još imaš obraza očekivati cjelinu? Uvijek si se prilijepila za nešto, i još očekuješ da se zadovoljim ovim zagrljajem? Upropastit ću se, ali i ti isto. Shvati, ne zahtijevam. Ti si ta koja preko mene zahtijevaš samu sebe. Posrednik sam prema tebi samoj. Jedno kroz drugo jurimo prema sebi. I ako meni lažeš, primoravaš i mene da si lažem. Preko sebe ja sam tebi ti. Nema poricanja, bijega, pogađanja, varanja, izdaje, koji nas neće oboje otrovati odmah i jednako. Otrov, otrov, otrov proigranih mrtvih trenutaka. Hoće li ikada biti drukčije? Hoće li biti? Reci!

 

 

Béla HamvasMađarski Hiperion

(pr. Ivan Ladislav Galeta)

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Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena

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“Good heavens, Milena, if you were here, and my pitiful, unthinking mind! And still I would be lying if I said I missed you: it’s the most perfect, most painful magic, you are here, just as I am and even more so; wherever I am, there you are too, and even more intensely.”

 

“What do you think? Can I still get a letter by Sunday? It should be possible. But this passion for letters is senseless. Isn’t one letter enough, isn’t one knowing enough? Of course it is, but nevertheless I am tilting my head way back, drinking the letters, aware only that I don’t want to stop drinking. Explain that, teacher Milena!”

 

“It’s so wonderful to have received your letter, to have to answer it with my sleepless brain. I can’t think of anything to write, I’m just walking around here between the lines, underneath the light of your eyes, in the breath of your mouth like in some beautiful happy day, which stays beautiful and happy even if my head is sick, tired, and if I have to leave Monday via Munich.F”

 

“I am on such a dangerous road, Milena. You are standing fast by a tree, young, beautiful, your eyes are subduing the sorrows of the world with their brightness. I can’t listen both to the terrible inner voices and to you simultaneously, but I can listen to what the voices are saying and confide this in you, trusting you like no other person in the world.”

 

“Do you know, darling? When you became involved with others you quite possibly stepped down a level or two, but If you become involved with me, you will be throwing yourself into the abyss.”

 

“Where am I trying to lead you with all this? I’ve lost my way a little, but that doesn’t matter, because if you’ve accompanied me, then we’re both lost.”

 

“At the same time something occurs to me I once read at somebody’s house, something like this: “My beloved is a fiery column passing over the earth. Now it is holding me enclosed. But it does not guide those who are enclosed, just those who see.”
Yours
(now I’m even losing my name-it was getting shorter and
shorter all the time and is now: Yours)”

 

“Today I looked at a map of Vienna, for a moment it seemed incomprehensible to me that they would build such a huge city when you only need one room.”

 

“An old uncle of mine is arriving tomorrow evening from Paris. It is a blow because it will take time and I need all the time I have and a thousand times more than all the time I have and most of all I’d like to have all the time there is just for you, for thinking about you , for breathing in you.”

 

“Somehow I can’t write about anything but what concerns us and us alone, in the middle of the crowded world. Everything else is foreign to me. Wrong! Wrong! But my lips are babbling and my face is lying in your lap.”

 

“It’s a little gloomy in Prague, I haven’t received any letters, my heart is a little heavy. Of course it’s impossible that a letter could be here already, but explain that to my heart.”

 

“And when you go to bed tonight, as a good night wish from me, take in – all in one stream – everything I am and have: all of which is blissfully happy to rest in you.”

 

“By the way, why am I a human being, with all the torments this extremely vague and horribly responsible condition entails? Why am I not, for example, the happy wardrobe in your room, which has you in full view whenever you’re sitting in your chair or at your desk or when you’re lying down or sleeping (all blessings upon your sleep!)?”

 

“It’s simply a weakness, a mood of the heart, which knows exactly why it’s beating nevertheless. Giants have their weaknesses as well; I believe even Hercules fainted once. With my teeth clenched, however, and with your eyes before me I can endure anything: distance, anxiety, worry, letterlessness.”

 

“With you in my heart I can bear everything, and even if I did write that the days without letters were horrifying, it’s not true; they were just horribly difficult-the boat was heavy and it’s draught was horribly deep, but on your tide it floated nonetheless.”

 

“Letters like the two today, small and happy or at least spontaneous, are almost (almost almost almost almost) forest, and wind in your sleeves and a view of Vienna. Milena, how good it is to be with you!”

 

“I’m tired, can’t think of a thing, and my sole wish is to lay my head in your lap, feel your hand on my head, and stay that way through all eternity-

Yours”

 

“For about half an hour I’ve been reading the 2 letters and the card and only now do l realize that I’ve been laughing the whole time. Was there ever any emperor in the history of the world better off than I am? I walk into my room and find three letters waiting for me, and I don’t have to do a thing except open them – my fingers are too slow! – lean back and – be unable to believe that I am so fortunate, so happy.”

 

“Did I praise my luck too highly? Aren’t milk and butter and salad any help at all, and do I have to have the nourishment of your presence?”

 

“Won’t you reach out across those stories to me, and leave your hand with me for a long, long time?”

 

“I never understood physics and I do not understand the “scales of the world” and I’m sure they don’t understand me any better, and I am here just like I was in Vienna and your hand is in my own as long as you leave it there.

Franz wrong, F wrong, Yours wrong/nothing more, calm, deep forest”

 

“I see you bent over your work, your neck bared, I’m standing behind you, but you don’t know it-please don’t be frightened if you feel my lips on the back of your neck, I didn’t mean to kiss it, it’s only love which can’t be helped.”

 

“In that case this would actually be the last letter you receive before we see each other face to face. And these eyes which haven’t had anything to do for a month (all right: reading letters, looking out the window) will see you.”

 

“I don’t think I could offer congratulations of any length for your birthday without coughing. Fortunately no congratulations are necessary, just a thank you for being on this Earth, where I wouldn’t have even begun to expect you might be found.”

 

“Who else can tell a story so well? While I was reading it I felt I was walking up and down in front of the cafe, day and night, year after year; every time a guest came or went I would peer in through the open door to check that you were still inside. Then I would resume the pacing and waiting. This was neither straining nor sad. And how could it be straining or sad to wait in front of a café when you are inside!”

 

“I’m so happy to breathe again with you so near. Today between your letter and mine, there is a clear good being together, breathing deeply – as far as this is possible in the great uncertainty.”

 

“Because I love you (you see, I do love you, you dimwit, my love engulfs you the way the sea loves a tiny pebble on its bed-and may I be the pebble with you, heaven permitting) I love the whole world and that includes your left shoulder-no, the right one was first and so I’ll kiss it whenever I want to (and whenever you’re kind enough to pull down your blouse a little) and that also includes your left shoulder and your face above me in the forest and your face below me in the forest and my resting on your almost naked breast. And that’s why you’re right in saying we were already one and I’m not afraid of this; on the contrary, it is my only happiness and my only pride and I don’t at all restrict it to the forest.”

 

“Moreover, perhaps it isn’t love when I say you are what I love the most – you are the knife I turn inside myself, this is love.”

 

“Robinson had to make his dangerous voyage, had to suffer shipwreck and many other things – I would only have to lose you and would already be Robinson. But I’d be more Robinson than he. He still had the island and Friday and many various things and finally the ship that took him away and practically turned everything into a dream. I wouldn’t have a thing, not even my name, since I’ve given that to you as well.”

 

“Sometimes when one wakes up in the morning one thinks that truth is right next to the bed, like an open grave with a few wilted flowers, ready to receive.”

 

“Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember, all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.”

 

“Aren’t our eyes made to be torn out, and our hearts for the same purpose? At the same time it’s really not that bad; that’s an exaggeration and a lie, everything is exaggeration, the only truth is longing, which cannot be exaggerated.”

 

“I’m not saying goodbye. There isn’t any goodbye, unless gravity, which is lying in wait for me, pulls me down entirely. But how could it, since you are alive.”

 

“This afternoon I couldn’t get out of bed, not because I was too tired but too “heavy,” this word keeps recurring, it’s the only one that fits me, do you really understand it? It’s something like the “heaviness” of a ship that has lost its rudder and says to the waves: “I’m too heavy for myself and too light for you.”

 

“So now I’ve been brooding over this letter until 1:30 at night without doing anything else, just staring at it, and through it at you. Sometimes-not in a dream-I see in my mind: Your face is hidden by your hair, which I succeed in parting right and left, your face appears, I run my hands along your forehead to your temples and now I’m holding your face in my hands.”

 

“How did people ever get the idea they could communicate with one another by letter! One can think about someone far away and one can hold on to someone nearby; everything else is beyond human power. Writing letters, on the other hand, means exposing oneself to the ghosts, who are greedily waiting precisely for that. Written kisses never arrive at their destination; the ghosts drink them up along the way.”

 

“And now my “best regards” after all – what does it matter if they collapse at your garden gate; perhaps your strength will be all the greater.”

 

Arvo Pärt – Have you thanked God for this failure already?

“What are you doing? What are you writing there?” The girl, who was around ten, asked me. “I’m trying to write music, but it’s not turning out well.”, I said. And then the unexpected words from her: “Have you thanked God for this failure already?”

 

My Live Life – In Absentia: Invocation & Pastimes

 

Concert “My Live Life – In Absentia”, Zagreb, May 26th 2017

Track listing:
1. “Introduction”
2. “Invocation” (trad./Stanojkovski Grappone – Kuzmanić)
3. “Pastimes” (trad./Stanojkovski Grappone – Kuzmanić)

Matija Dedić – piano
Minja Kuzmanić – vocal, percussion
Darko Stanojkovski Grappone – percussion
Davor Hrvoj – announcer

Sound recorded by Tomislav Unušić.
Video recorded by Tomislav Bušić and Tomislav Unušić.
Mixed & Mastered by Tomislav Unušić.
Live sound by Neven Zebić.
Lighting by Tomislav Maglečić.

Live at KUC Travno – Zagreb, Croatia, May 26th, 2017

Robert M Pirsig (1928-2017)

“The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called ‘yourself’.

“The study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon.”

— Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Maynard Pirsig (September 6, 1928 – April 24, 2017)

pirsigbike

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-robert-pirsig-obituary-20170424-story.html

First we feel. Then we fall.

Adaptation of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

Finnegans Wake imagined technology which did not even exist. It is a novel—if we are to call it such—written for the 21st century, and perhaps the only way it can be adapted in other media is through the internet’s nonlinear, labyrinthine structures; the online project First We Feel Then We Fall does just that, creating a multimedia adaptation of Finnegans Wake that “transfers” the novel ‘to audiovisual language,’ and demonstrates the novel as—in the words of The Guardian’s Billy Mills—’ the book the web was invented for.

 

http://www.firstwefeelthenwefall.com/

My great blue bedroom, the air so quiet, scarce a cloud.
In peace and silence. I could have stayed up there for always only.
It’s something fails us. First we feel. Then we fall. And let her rain
now if she likes. Gently or strongly as she likes. Anyway let her
rain for my time is come. I done me best when I was let. Think-
ing always if I go all goes. A hundred cares, a tithe of troubles and
is there one who understands me? One in a thousand of years of
the nights? All me life I have been lived among them but now
they are becoming lothed to me. And I am lothing their little
warm tricks. And lothing their mean cosy turns. And all the
greedy gushes out through their small souls. And all the lazy
leaks down over their brash bodies. How small it’s all! And me
letting on to meself always. And lilting on all the time. I thought
you were all glittering with the noblest of carriage. You’re only
bumpkin. I thought you the great in all things, in guilt and in
glory. You’re but a puny. Home! My people were not their sort
out beyond there so far as I can. For all the bold and bad and
bleary they are blamed, the seahags. No! Nor for all our wild
dances in all their wild din. I can seen meself among them, alla-
niuvia pulchrabelled. How she was handsome, the wild Amazia,
when she would seize to my other breast! And what is she weird,
haughty Niluna, that she will snatch from my ownest hair! For
’tis they are the stormies. Ho hang!Hang ho! And the clash of
our cries till we spring to be free.Auravoles, they says, never heed
of your name! But I’m loothing them that’s here and all I lothe.
Loonely in me loneness. For all their faults. I am passing out. O
bitter ending! I’ll slip away before they’re up. They’ll never see.
Nor know. Nor miss me. And it’s old and old it’s sad and old it’s

628 UP

sad and weary I go back to you, my coldfather, my cold mad
father, my cold mad feary father, till the near sight of the mere
size of him, the moyles and moyles of it,moananoaning, makes me
seasilt saltsick and I rush, my only, into your arms. I see them
rising! Save me from those therrbleprongs! Two more. Onetwo
moremens more. So. Avelaval. Myleaves have drifted from me.
All. But one clings still. I’ll bear it on me. To remind me of. Lff!
So soft this morning, ours. Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you
done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now
under whitespread wings like he’d come from Arkangels, I sink
I’d die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes,
tid. There’s where. First. We passthrough grass behush the bush
to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, farEnd hereUs
then. Finn, again! TakeBussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thous
endsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a
long the

 

PARIS,
1922-1939.

http://www.finwake.com/1024chapter41/1024fwtekst41.htm#627

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, recent talks

Zen Ox-Herding Pictures by John Cage

In 1988, Ray Kass, professor emeritus of art, Virginia Tech, invited seminal composer, philosopher, writer, and visual artist John Cage (American, 1912-1992) to paint at the Mountain Lake Workshop in Blacksburg. They began a series of experiments with watercolor pigments that resulted in 55 densely marked paper towels.
Two decades later, Cage’s pupil and friend Stephen Addiss created three sets of images that echoed the narrative of the “Ox-herding Pictures,” an illustrated parable to which Cage often referred in his discussions and writings.

 

 

 

The Ten Oxherding Pictures, D.T. Suzuki

 

Introduction and verse by 廓庵師遠 Kuoan Shiyuan [Kakuan Shien], 12th century,

translated by D. T. Suzuki (鈴木大拙貞太郎 Suzuki Daisetsu Teitarō, 1870-1966)

D. T. Suzuki’s first version:
“The Ten Oxherding Pictures,” translated by D. T. Suzuki, in Manual of Zen Buddhism, Kyoto: Eastern Buddhist Society, 1934. London: Rider & Company, 1950, New York: Grove Press, 1960. pp. 150-171.

THE TEN OXHERDING PICTURES

Preliminary

The author of these “Ten Oxherding Pictures” is said to be a Zen master of the Sung Dynasty known as Kaku-an Shi-en (Kuo-an Shih-yuan) belonging to the Rinzai school. He is also the author of the poems and introductory words attached to the pictures. He was not however the first who attempted to illustrate by means of pictures stages of Zen discipline, for in his general preface to the pictures he refers to another Zen master called Seikyo (Ching-chu), probably a contemporary of his, who made use of the ox to explain his Zen teaching. But in Seikyo’s case the gradual development of the Zen life was indicated by a progressive whitening of the animal, ending in the disappearance of the whole being. There were in this only five pictures, instead of ten as by Kaku-an. Kaku-an thought this was somewhat misleading because of an empty circle being made the goal of Zen discipline. Some might take mere emptiness as all important and final. Hence his improvement resulting in the “Ten Oxherding Pictures” as we have them now.

According to a commentator of Kaku-an’s Pictures, there is another series of the Oxherding Pictures by a Zen master called Jitoku Ki (Tzu-te Hui), who apparently knew of the existence of the Five Pictures by Seikyo, for Jitoku’s are six in number. The last one, No. 6, goes beyond the stage of absolute emptiness where Seikyo’s end: the poem reads:

“Even beyond the ultimate limits there extends a passageway,
Whereby he comes back among the six realms of existence;
Every worldly affair is a Buddhist work,
And wherever he goes he finds his home air;
Like a gem he stands out even in the mud,
Like pure gold he shines even in the furnace;
Along the endless road [of birth and death] he walks sufficient unto himself,
In whatever associations he is found he moves leisurely unattached.”

Jitoku’s ox grows whiter as Seikyo’s, and in this particular respect both differ from Kaku-an’s conception. In the latter there is no whitening process. In Japan Kaku-an’s Ten Pictures gained a wide circulation, and at present all the oxherding books reproduce them. The earliest one belongs I think to the fifteenth century. In China however a different edition seems to have been in vogue, one belonging to the Seikyo and Jitoku series of pictures. The author is not known. The edition containing the preface by Chu-hung, 1585, has ten pictures, each of which is preceded by Pu-ming’s poem. As to who this Pu-ming was, Chu-hung himself professes ignorance. In these pictures the ox’s colouring changes together with the oxherd’s management of him. The quaint original Chinese prints are reproduced below, and also Pu-ming’s verses translated into English.

Thus as far as I can identify there are four varieties of the Oxherding Pictures: (1) by Kaku-an, (2) by Seikyo, (3) by Jitoku, and (4) by an unknown author.

Kaku-an’s “Pictures” here reproduced are by Shubun, a Zen priest of the fifteenth century. The original pictures are preserved at Shokokuji, Kyoto. He was one of the greatest painters in black and white in the Ashikaga period.

Paintings traditionally attributed to 天章周文 Tenshō Shūbun (1414-1463), ten circular paintings mounted as a handscroll, ink and light color on paper, Muromachi period, late fifteenth century (32 × 181.5 cm), Shōkokuji temple, Kyoto

I

Searching for the Ox. The beast has never gone astray, and what is the use of searching for him? The reason why the oxherd is not on intimate terms with him is because the oxherd himself has violated his own inmost nature. The beast is lost, for the oxherd has himself been led out of the way through his deluding senses. His home is receding farther away from him, and byways and crossways are ever confused. Desire for gain and fear of loss burn like fire; ideas of right and wrong shoot up like a phalanx.

Alone in the wilderness, lost in the jungle, the boy is searching, searching!
The swelling waters, the far-away mountains, and the unending path;
Exhausted and in despair, he knows not where to go,
He only hears the evening cicadas singing in the maple-woods.

II

Seeing the Traces. By the aid of the sutras and by inquiring into the doctrines, he has come to understand something, he has found the traces. He now knows that vessels, however varied, are all of gold, and that the objective world is a reflection of the Self. Yet, he is unable to distinguish what is good from what is not, his mind is still confused as to truth and falsehood. As he has not yet entered the gate, he is provisionally said to have noticed the traces.

By the stream and under the trees, scattered are the traces of the lost;
The sweet-scented grasses are growing thick–did he find the way?
However remote over the hills and far away the beast may wander,
His nose reaches the heavens and none can conceal it.

III

Seeing the Ox. The boy finds the way by the sound he hears; he sees thereby into the origin of things, and all his senses are in harmonious order. In all his activities, it is manifestly present. It is like the salt in water and the glue in colour. [It is there though not distinguishable as an individual entity.] When the eye is properly directed, he will find that it is no other than himself,

On a yonder branch perches a nightingale cheerfully singing;
The sun is warm, and a soothing breeze blows, on the bank the willows are green;
The ox is there all by himself, nowhere is he to hide himself;
The splendid head decorated with stately horns what painter can reproduce him?

IV

Catching the Ox. Long lost in the wilderness, the boy has at last found the ox and his hands are on him. But, owing to the overwhelming pressure of the outside world, the ox is hard to keep under control. He constantly longs for the old sweet-scented field. The wild nature is still unruly, and altogether refuses to be broken. If the oxherd wishes to see the ox completely in harmony with himself, he has surely to use the whip freely.

With the energy of his whole being, the boy has at last taken hold of the ox:
But how wild his will, how ungovernable his power!
At times he struts up a plateau,
When lo! he is lost again in a misty unpenetrable mountain-pass.

V

Herding the Ox. When a thought moves, another follows, and then another-an endless train of thoughts is thus awakened. Through enlightenment all this turns into truth; but falsehood asserts itself when confusion prevails. Things oppress us not because of an objective world, but because of a self-deceiving mind. Do not let the nose-string loose, hold it tight, and allow no vacillation.

The boy is not to separate himself with his whip and tether,
Lest the animal should wander away into a world of defilements;
When the ox is properly tended to, he will grow pure and docile;
Without a chain, nothing binding, he will by himself follow the oxherd.

VI

Coming Home on the Ox’s Back. The struggle is over; the man is no more concerned with gain and loss. He hums a rustic tune of the woodman, he sings simple songs of the village-boy. Saddling himself on the ox’s back, his eyes are fixed on things not of the earth, earthy. Even if he is called, he will not turn his head; however enticed he will no more be kept back.

Riding on the animal, he leisurely wends his way home:
Enveloped in the evening mist, how tunefully the flute vanishes away!
Singing a ditty, beating time, his heart is filled with a joy indescribable!
That he is now one of those who know, need it be told?

VII

The Ox Forgotten, Leaving the Man Alone. The dharmas are one and the ox is symbolic. When you know that what you need is not the snare or set-net but the hare or fish, it is like gold separated from the dross, it is like the moon rising out of the clouds. The one ray of light serene and penetrating shines even before days of creation.

Riding on the animal, he is at last back in his home,
Where lo! the ox is no more; the man alone sits serenely.
Though the red sun is high up in the sky, he is still quietly dreaming,
Under a straw-thatched roof are his whip and rope idly lying.

VIII

The Ox and the Man Both Gone out of Sight.[1] All confusion is set aside, and serenity alone prevails; even the idea of holiness does not obtain. He does not linger about where the Buddha is, and as to where there is no Buddha he speedily passes by. When there exists no form of dualism, even a thousand-eyed one fails to detect a loop-hole. A holiness before which birds offer flowers is but a farce.

All is empty-the whip, the rope, the man, and the ox:
Who can ever survey the vastness of heaven?
Over the furnace burning ablaze, not a flake of snow can fall:
When this state of things obtains, manifest is the spirit of the ancient master.

IX

Returning to the Origin, Back to the Source. From the very beginning, pure and immaculate, the man has never been affected by defilement. He watches the growth of things, while himself abiding in the immovable serenity of nonassertion. He does not identify himself with the maya-like transformations [that are going on about him], nor has he any use of himself [which is artificiality]. The waters are blue, the mountains are green; sitting alone, he observes things undergoing changes.

To return to the Origin, to be back at the Source–already a false step this!
Far better it is to stay at home, blind and deaf, and without much ado;
Sitting in the hut, he takes no cognisance of things outside,
Behold the streams flowing-whither nobody knows; and the flowers vividly red-for whom are they?

X

Entering the City with Bliss-bestowing Hands. His thatched cottage gate is closed, and even the wisest know him not. No glimpses of his inner life are to be caught; for he goes on his own way without following the steps of the ancient sages. Carrying a gourd[1] he goes out into the market, leaning against a staff[2] he comes home. He is found in company with wine-bibbers and butchers, he and they are all converted into Buddhas.

Bare-chested and bare-footed, he comes out into the market-place;
Daubed with mud and ashes, how broadly he smiles!
There is no need for the miraculous power of the gods,
For he touches, and lo! the dead trees are in full bloom.

[1. Symbol of emptiness (sunyata).
2. No extra property he has, for he knows that the desire to possess is the curse of human life.]

Kakuan, Deset slika o čuvanju bika

U predgovoru Nyogen Senzakija i Paul Repsa u prvom izdanju njihovog prevoda Kakuanovih ‘Deset bikova’ stoji:

Bik je večni princip života, on predstavlja istinu na delu. Deset bikova opisuju postupne korake ka ostvarenju čovekove istinske prirode.
Njihov redosled jednako je važan danas kao što je bio u vreme kada ga je Kakuan (1100-1200) razvio iz ranijih radova i pomoću njega načinio svoje crteže bikova. Vekovima posle njega, mi nastojimo da ostvarimo slično delo kako bismo biku ulili novu snagu.

Razumevanje stvaralačkog načela prevazilazi vreme i prostor. Deset bikova su više od poezije, više od crteža. Oni su otkrovenje duhovnog razvoja o čemu govori i svaka druga biblija ljudskog iskustva. Stoga neka i sam čitalac, umetnuvši se na kineske patrijarhe, otkrije tragove svog skrivenog sopstva i, upravljajući štapom svoje svrhe i vinskim krčagom istinske želje, prosvetli druge.

 

 1. U potrazi za bikom

1 - u potrazi za bikom

 

Na pašnjaku ovog sveta, bez predaha razgrćem visoku travu u potrazi za bikom.
Dok gazim po obalama bezimenih reka, i gubim se na isprepletanim stazama dalekih planina,
Snaga me izdaje i klonuo sam, ne mogu naći bika.
Samo noću čujem pesmu zrikavaca u šumi.

Tumačenje: Bik se izgubio. Kakva je nužda tragati za njim? Samo zbog odvojenosti od svoje istinske prirode, ne uspevam da ga pronađem. Pometen čulima izgubio sam čak i njegove tragove. Daleko od kuće, vidim mnoga raskršća, ali ne znam koji je put pravi. Pohlepa i strah, dobro i zlo, pomućuju me.

 2. Otkrivanje tragova

ox2

 

Na obali reke pod drvećem, otkrivam tragove!
Čak i u mirisnoj travi vidim njegove otiske.
Ima ih i u dubinama dalekih gora.
Ovi tragovi ne daju se više sakriti,
isto kao ni nos čoveka koji gleda u nebo.

Tumačenje: Pošto sam razumeo učenje, jasno vidim tragove bika. Zatim saznajem da su, kao što su mnoga oruđa napravljena od jedne vrste metala, i milijarde stvorenja satkane od tkanine sopstva. Ukoliko ne razlučujem, kako ću razabrati istinu od neistine? Još nisam prošao kroz kapiju, ali uočavam put.

 

 

3. Opažanje bika

ox3

 

Čujem pesmu slavuja.
Sunce je izgrejalo, vetar pirka, zelene se vrbe duž obale,
Ovde se bik ne može sakriti!
Koji umetnik će naslikati tu blistavu glavu,
te silne rogove?

Tumačenje: Kada se začuje glas, čovek može da oseti odakle dopire. Kada se svih šest čula stope, prolazi se kroz kapiju. Gdegod da uđe, vidi bikovu glavu! Ovo jedinstvo je poput soli u vodi, poput boje u tkanju. Ni najmanja stvar nije odvojena od sopstva.

4. Hvatanje bika

ox4

 

Uz veliku borbu, ščepao sam ga.
Njegova ogromna volja i snaga su neiscrpni.
Sad juriša na udaljenu visoravan visoko iznad oblaka i pare,
Sad tumara nedokučivom dubokom jarugom.

Tumačenje: On je dugo prebivao u šumi, ali sam ga danas ulovio! Zanesenost okolinom ga odvlači u pogrešnom pravcu. Žudeći za sočnijom travom, luta sve dalje. Njegov um je još uvek jogunast i razuzdan. Ako želim da ga zauzdam, moraću da pucnem bičem

 

 

 

5. Pripitomljavanje bika

ox5

 

Bič i uže su neophodni,
U suprotnom će mi uteći niz neku prašnjavu ulicu.
Kada se valjano izvežba, postaje prirodno krotak.
Tada, i bez užeta, svome gospodaru služi.

Tumačenje: Kada se jedna misao rodi, druga misao je sledi. Kada prva misao izroni iz prosvetljenja, sve koje je slede su istinite. A kada utone u obmanu, čovek sve pretvara u laž. Obmana ne nastaje iz objektivnog, ona je posledica ličnog opažanja. Čvrsto drži bika za brnjicu i ne dozvoli sebi ni tračak sumnje.

 

 

 

6. Jahanje bika na putu kući

ox6

Uzjahao sam bika, polako se vraćam kući.
Zvuk moje svirale odzvanja kroz veče.
Udarajući takt zanosnoj melodiji,
upravljam beskrajnim ritmom.
Ko god čuje ovu pesmu pridružiće mi se.

Tumačenje: Borba je okončana; dobitak i gubitak postali su isto. Pevam šumarevu pesmu i sviram dečje melodije. Jašući bika, osmatram oblake. Čak i kada bi me neko pozvao da se vratim, nastavio bih dalje.

 

 

7. Bik je nadmašen

ox7

Jašući bika, stižem kući.

Miran sam. I bik može da počine.

Zora rudi. Blaženo spokojan,

U svojoj slamnatoj kolibi, odbacio sam bič i uže.

Tumačenje: Sve je jedan zakon, ne dva. Za nas je bik samo privremeni subjekat. To je kao odnos zeca i klopke, ribe i mreže. To je kao zlato i ruda, ili mesec koji se probija kroz oblake. Jedan zrak čiste svetlosti na putovanju kroz beskraj.

 

 

 

 

8. Bik i sopstvo su nadmašeni

ox8

 

Bič, uže, čovek i bik – sve uranja u Ništa.
Ovo nebo je toliko bezmerno
da u njemu nikakav glas ne ostavlja traga.
Zar može snežna pahulja da opstane u ognju?
Ovde su tragovi patrijarha.

Tumačenje: Osrednjost je ostala za mnom. U umu nema ograničenja. Ne tražim ja stanje prosvetljenja. Niti se zadržavam tamo gde prosvetljenja nema. Pošto ne boravim ni u jednom stanju, oči me ne mogu videti. Da mi i stotine ptica pospu stazu cvećem, takva slava bi me ostavila ravnodušnim.

9. Povratak izvoru

No automatic alt text available.

 

Isuviše koraka je načinjeno u povratku korenu i izvoru.
Bolje je od početka biti slep i gluv!
Boraveći u svom istinskom domu,
ne hajem za spoljašnje –
Reka i dalje mirno teče, a cveće je crveno.

Tumačenje: Od samog početka istina je čista. Postojan u tišini, posmatram spajanje i razdvajanje oblika. Ko nije vezan za “oblike” nema potrebe da se “menja”. Voda je smaragdna, planina modra, a ja vidim ono što se stvara i što se rastvara.

 

 

 

 

10. U svetu

No automatic alt text available.

 

Bosonog i razdrljen, vratio sam se u svet.
Odeća mi je pohabana i prašnjava,
a ja sam vazda blažen.
Ne koristim čarolije da produžim život;
A sada preda mnom drveće olistava.

Tumačenje: Unutar moje kapije, hiljadu mudraca me ne zna. Lepota mog vrta nije vidljiva. Zašto bi neko tragao za stopama patrijarha? Idem na pijacu sa bocom vina, a vraćam se kući sa štapom. Obiđem vinski podrum i pijacu, i svako koga pogledam postaje prosvetljen.

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