Common Ground

If you try to define a word merely in terms of words it is impossible. You go round in a circle. That is because the system of words is a referent system, that needs reference to and is based upon the nonverbal. What do words do? They discriminate functions, delineate intentions, and point to objects. They project a screen upon the nonverbal, a prefiltered overlay that has been broken down and reconstituted. Instead of being the mirror of reality, these seductive images create their own viewpoint. As one gets more involved one becomes fixed upon one’s own objects, dwelling in a zero-sum world ruled by a logic of outcomes, in which your gain is my loss and your loss my gain.

How does one then return to the root? Listen then. Listen with your eyes.

neither accepting nor rejecting

raindrops flickering down window pane

This is not a secular thing. How does one discuss the nonsecular?
One must first make disappear the things of this life.

just as they come into existence

they disappear -- the things of this life

In this case, “of” is an object word

I sing the whippoorwill
I sing of the whippoorwill

poetry is of the former
prose the latter

one resorts to poetry
as quintessential commemoration
of peak moments
utterly incapable of narrative summation

for there are no arguments in poetry
poetry instantly soothes the warrior's heart
and comforts the lover's broken soul

To allow words to emerge from nonceptual awareness is poetry.
To impose words upon such a moment is the logic of killing.
Bearing this in mind, one takes up the scalpel of analysis.

Vasubandhu has said that all speech is karmic [in the AbhiDharmaKosa]. Who am I to disagree with him? But yet, if that is so, then poetry is at least karma that undoes karma. And that is the very best karma.

-- Norman Guberman

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