"It's Sunday Again" and the Finger Pointing at the Moon
Updated: Aug 15
“It’s Sunday Again”. Well, technically it’s Monday but I’m in the tropics so what is a day. Anyway, need to scribble a few words about yesterday because those blinding flashes of the obvious we humans tend to overlook. Let me start with the old Zen Buddhist idea of pointing at the moon and confusing the finger with the moon.
At first this may seem a bit odd, but the essence is that the finger is meant to lead us to the thing that is real but is often mistakenly taken for the reality itself. Think for a moment about an idea such as religion, the thing that is supposed to lead us to behold a higher being and the profundity of all-inclusive time which our little minds struggle to grasp. The divinity behind the study of religion is what is pointed to, religion is but the finger.
Other people see that path to the all-encompassing through nature, the study of life in all its intertwined forms progressing from where we know not to where we cannot imagine. Some think that mind will eventually leave behind bodily forms and the great consciousness of the universe will be manifest. Sounds like the aim of religion without religion a bit, doesn’t it?
Still others see the understanding of all our past and our future through the humanistic efforts of learning, of education, of seeking wisdom by threading new paths of unity through common acceptance of truth (fragmented as
that remains today). Life remains a tangle of abstract ideas trying to capture concrete reality, the metaphor of physical life wrapped around the intangible experience of consciousness.
So back to yesterday. As I walked the nine-hole golf course with my muse, Sally, such gratitude filled me that instead of tiring on the warm day, I felt stronger, hit the ball longer and straighter. Now I suppose I could look at that moment and say that golf is the greatest experience in life, that the playing of golf, it’s study, possibly it’s worship should be my pursuit toward the meaningful life I yearn to life. But that would be confusing the finger with the moon because yesterday was about the joy of human connection in this very moment of now and the recognition that what I don’t perceive is larger than what I do.
I’m a believer that the potency of human life is released when we surround ourselves with the human gravity of fulfillment. All this hate I see around me, this confusing of a person or a religion or an idea as the “thing” that we must cast civilization away for in moments of zeal, these are but distractions we’ve mistaken for reality.
Perhaps today I shall look for another moment of awareness in my books (I’m reading a great one by Lauren Denton), or in this nice cup of coffee at my side. Perhaps I shall grasp a wisp of connection to what lies beyond the mere appearance of the physical world and allow that tiny moment to pull me toward the wholeness I sense guiding my fingers to my keyboard.
Enjoy your life, so we can share it. Here’s a good little website to check out: https://mindfulambition.net/finger-and-moon/ Patrick Buggy
Take care, my friends. Arthur