Jack mentioned in the last class (week 5, session six) that it was advisable to balance the practice of the exercises with the reading of the texts, and that some people preferred to ‘specialise’ in one or the other, but shied away from engaging both.
Following a suggestion in WIR, I have begun (searching the disc and consulting the books’ indexes) to compile a list of references for Logos and Read out; I have been having a hard time making both terms my own, in the sense of being able to connect with them in any kind of meaningful way.
I have undertaken a practice of regularly copying passages from our set readings which appeal to me, or which strike me as particularly fresh and innovative. Combining, seeing, hearing (in my mind or aloud) and moving is helpful in deepening the transmission.
And…surprise, surprise…the ‘answers’ to my ‘Logos’ and ‘Read-out’ questions suddenly start to jump off the page at me, as though I’ve never seen them before ! Take, for instance LOK 266:
‘The responses of confusion, fear, lack of interest, and appropriation all claim to be independent of the founding story. In fact, however, they are expressions of the logic that that story insists: a defining ‘logos’ that shapes all possibilities for understanding. Can this logos itself be challenged? The ‘logos’ has its own power, but how much of this power originates in the self’s fear and defensiveness, its incomprehension of a world order which leaves no room for it?’
So – is there a ‘Logos’ without a ‘Self’ to create it, mould it and maintain it?
Incidentally, I am struck by the affinity between the ‘confusion, fear, lack of interest and appropriation’ mentioned above and the classic Buddhist presentation of the three ‘unwholesome roots’ of all emotion – translated clumsily sometimes as greed, hatred and delusion, but more helpfully, I think in more biological terms by a former teacher as ‘the acquisitive, the averse and the confused’ [he used to compare our multi-cellular organism to that of a single-celled amoeba reacting to a) the presence of a piece of plankton, b) being poked by a pin and c) the rapid alternation of a) and b)].
In characteristically brilliant fashion, Tarthang Tulku goes further and says something which never occurred to me before and which is so helpful –
‘True the self is committed to its own existence. But the self is the one that forms an image of what it would mean for the self to come into question. What if that image is mistaken? The self’s flight from non-existence is driven only by the ‘logos’ of the founding story. If that story proves unfounded what becomes of the fear that it generates?
And even an unexpected step further…
Perhaps fear is simply a product of a certain limitation on knowing; if so, fear itself could become a pointer, directing us toward a deeper knowing. (LOK 227)