Proverbs from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – 5

AG: Here would be…Well, there was an earlier one which says, that we did, that I didn’t read – “Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth”. (line thirty-seven, thirty-eight) – “Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth” – How’s that? – (in relation to what we were just saying). If it’s possible to believe in the imagination, then there must be an image of some truth there. Does that make sense?

Student: You could say everything possible to be imagined is an image of truth.

AG: Well, same, “everything possible to be believed” – in the imagination.

Student: You can’t always believe your imagination.

AG: Well, you see, you don’t have to believe it, but it’s an image of truth (well, no, let’s see…)

Peter Orlovsky: It’s a getting to a working basis, it’s a beginning, it’s a first step, it’s a half-step, it’s an inch, it’s a quarter..

AG: Well, if you can imagine that “the soul of sweet delight” can never be “defiled”, if you can.. If it’s possible to believe that, then it must be an image of truth – (if you believe these words!) – Well, they provoke thought, or they provoke a projection, or provoke an opening in the imagination.

These are.. It’s funny. These are really great. They’re like Zen koans, or slogans. As in Mahayana Buddhist practice there are slogans of Atisha, a early teacher – like “Drive all blames into one” – which are very much like “The Proverbs of Hell” – “Drive all blames into one” – Everybody know that one? Anybody? Can anybody figure that one out? What one do you drive all blames into? – A ball, you know? – drive it into your mama? drive it into the moon? There’s only one place.. there’s only one “one” you can drive all blames and that’s to one’s own territory, one’s own “one”. It’s the only place where you could actually drive them all and collect them all. Otherwise try to give it to someone else, they’ll refuse it. It’s the only place where you could really actually take them all in is by opening up your own gates, or doors of perception

The Zen Renga Koan..?,. I think it’s called, or Zenrin-kushu, which I referred to before, earlier, when I was saying. “In the vast inane there is no back or front/ The path of the bird annihilates East and West” are similar to these. Like “Meeting..” “..two friends laugh aloud..” – “Meeting, the two friends laugh aloud/ In the grove the fallen leaves are many” – (which is – “Meeting the two friends,/ recognize old Neal Cassady’s dead and gone”, or “Meeting, the two friends laugh aloud, surviving many many many other leaves fallen on the ground”)- “Meeting/the two friends laugh aloud/ In the grove the fallen leaves are many”.

So, “In order to trample on the great void, the iron cow must sweat” – (take that! – chew that, iron cow, a while!) – “In order to trample on the great void, the iron cow must sweat”. So, like a little Blake thing, (that’s (from) Volume 1 of R.H. Blythe’s Haiku series ( the Zenrin-kushu, little couplet sayings) – “”In order to trample on the great void” – (we’re now trampling on the great void), the iron cow would have to be alive and therefore would have to sweat, or the conception of it being alive would actually have to have meat on it and sweat, if he actually wanted to walk around on the streets of Boulder, (otherwise known as the great void, since the streets of Boulder exist in the great void). So, “In order to trample on the great void, the iron cow must sweat” (that is to say, the streets of Boulder exist in the great void because we are sitting here in the great void itself, the great space, filled with us, so if you want to trample on it, nothing’s easier).

PO: You mean we’re all iron cows?

AG: What was an iron cow had to sweat in order to become us. In other words… I don’t know what exactly an “iron cow” was – something that didn’t exist, something that never got born..

Student: Iron cows would be happy..

AG: Iron cows? You’re talking about iron horses. The railroad car.. – “The railroad engine had to sweat” – “In order to cross the new-found nation, the iron horse spewed fire” – (I don’t know quite what that “iron cow” was. I think it was something that was not a sentient being, but, in order to be a sentient being, it had to sweat. So an “iron cow” would be the mill, you know, the mill of reason, in other words, purely conceptual, the mind. The “iron cow” is the mind, maybe.

Student: Or it could be person who doesn’t know he’s in a void, somebody..

AG: Yeah, somebody, in their mind.

Student: Maybe it’s the difference between just walking across the void and actually…

AG: Knowing ? – Well, “must sweat” would mean “must suffer”. In other words, suffer being born into actual vegetable existence, sweating and dying – “In order to live, you’ve got to die” is what it boils down to, if you want it.. or, it’s what I boil it down to, in my frying pan.

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-seven minutes in and continuing until approximately forty-two-and-a-quarter minutes in

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