Monthly Archives: October 2020

Coming in November: Nirvana

Nirvana is more often than not misconstrued within Buddhist circles. It is merely discernable as “marking the end of rebirth by stilling the fires that keep the process of rebirth going.” This has much to do with the early Prakrit language translation as: ṇivvāṇa, literally “blown out”, as in an oil lamp. Hence the ongoing connotation of coming to a point of extinction. It needs to be stated unequivocally that the Mahayanists deny the reality of Nirvana as a separate element that transcends the living world. More specifically, a Lankavatarian would state that one does not vanish in Nirvana, nor is Nirvana abiding in you; for it transcends the duality of knowing and known and of being and non-being. In other words, the Nirvanic Mind is not in a symbiotic-relationship with the apparent you. No, IT is not in you but transcends all categorical imperatives of here or there, being and non-being. IT is a Transcendent Kingdom unto Itself. This series will explore the ongoing evolution of the term within various Buddhist schools as expertly articulated by the renowned Russian Indologist Fyodor Shcherbatskoy (1866-1942) in his seminal work, The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana. We will then consider the definition as presented in the Lankavatara Sutra, Tozen’s Dharmakaya Sutra, and then through the lens of Nāgārjuna. read more

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Splendor in the Grass

This blog calls for special introductory material. Wordsworth himself wrote concerning his Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood: read more

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A Gathering of Leeches

Wordsworth’s poem Resolution and Independence does not utilize nature as a major theme, but as a backdrop highlighting those vexations that haunt the human consciousness. It employs what is known as a group of twenty septets with the rhyme scheme ababcc. read more

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A Westward Reaping Shall We Go

The idea of the west is fertile in the poetic imagination:

To the ancient Greeks, from, Odysseus onward, the West was the place of the Hesperides, those mystical islands located at the furthest western boundary of knowledge, where the golden apples of the Sun are found. For the English Romantic Poets, the idea of the West is truly an idea in the Coleridgean sense: it is utterly concrete, yet inscrutably complex, self-contradictory, and endlessly generative of new knowledge and activity. Wordsworth’s poem ponders the archetypal significance of traveling westward, “through the world that lay/ Before me in my endless way.” Such contemplative wandering into the boundless realm of the West comprises one of the most characteristic and distinctive themes of English Romantic Poetry…(James C. McKusick) read more

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Dark Workmanship

Wordsworth’s magnum opus, The Prelude, recounts the circumstances surrounding the growth of the poet’s mind involving elements of the natural world, the sense of how his own powers of imagination interacted with that realm, and the transcendent element that arises and unifies them both without abdicating the role that is the exclusive domain of the poet’s creative prowess. read more

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The Way of the Pure Mind

The poets of old oftentimes used to invoke their Sacred Muse to inspire them in their task. For this series we invoke William Wordsworth’s own Muse before we venture further. It evokes the ambiance of this present season in which we’re writing: read more

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