Quantum Shaman wrote:
How do you speculate (cause this is what it would be) if you'd never pursued any form of spiritual path at all. Then, course go back further - what prompted you to inquire about any form of spirituality - like say with the zen - what prompted you to go in the direction - and what did you find best about it? Or say, if you hadnt learned of anything zen - how would things be different, than now?
What I found best about Zen was a lack of bullshit.
Perfection is easily found in books. Dealing with real people is a bit more difficult. Your beloved zen masters ate, slept and shat just like anyone else. They shouted at their apprentices and hit them with a stick when they were being assholes, or maybe just because they felt like it. They were, after all, exalted. Pffft.
The thing is, it's easier to believe in something when you are only seeing what the author ALLOWS you to see. Had you lived with one of those zen masters for more than 5 minutes, I have little doubt you would have found fault with the manner in which he held his head, or the rice bowl from which he ate.
You don't really want perfection. You want to BELIEVE in it and so you hold it a safe distance away so that you can maintain the belief. You can't challenge the zensters. They're all dead and consigned to koans and other make-believe writings. Who's to say they ever even lived?
You don't want real people. You want books and google gurus who may cut and paste little snippets hither and yon as if having found some great truth. In reality, snippets are just like fragments: pieces of a far more complex puzzle which you are simple not willing to put together.
But that's okay. It's entirely up to you.
I sat out in the sunshine this afternoon, with my shirt off, with New Age shit on my stereo. I watched butterflies, and dragonflies and enjoyed the warmth. I considered the conversations going on here, considered the opinions of the folk involved, the folk on your forum and on my forum, considered the history of all of it, swigged my col'beer, and sat.
I've had lots of fine books in my life, some great stuff. I don't care if the authors or the characters ever were real...the words were fine, the ideas were fine. I really liked what they had to say, and how they said it. It is OK with me, that as the quip goes, all that is the dead phrase, and that being here now is studying the living phrase. That's fine. It doesn't mean the dead phrase is worthless. I have four pages in my manual journal of Haiku...worthless? Hardly - each a superb vignette of being...each a statement of the business of being a human being.
Sometimes I encounter "real people", perhaps those who might author a haiku, who have the ability, the freedom, and the soul, to write or to speak or to be a genuine haiku, but it is infrequent. I prefer "real people" who can just be themselves, without pretension, without a requirement they be revered, or respected or anything else...real people who are alive, who enjoy being alive, who have no agenda other than to see what is coming next, no agenda really about ranking of being this or that, respected as anything...respect is immaterial...just real people, living their lives, no bullshit about anything other than just being alive, here, now, in this moment.
So, your'e right...I don't want perfection, and I don't really give a fuck if the people I encounter are real, if they have their shit together or not. If they are truly enjoying being alive without pretense, that's cool. Otherwise, they tend to piss me off. Simple as that.