My integrating mind connects dots, and tonight I connect the dots of this ancient Hindu god Shiva with Zen. The idea here is that these statues are teaching in form instead of words. So everything in the statue is the whole philosophy of liberation from time and its suffering, its mental suffering, which is thinking, the worry and negativity that haunts us. Shiva points the way out. What I try to point out is that Shiva is ambiguous in that he holds opposites together as One. Shiva is the ONE that is two. Time/ timeless; male/female; yin/yang/ moon/sun/ death/life; creation/destruction are all held in the Dance of Shiva…which is Life itself.
But this is not partitioned life of form and phenomena that we call experience, this is life as both death and life as ONE death/life. This transcends experience because experience is logical in that we are going to experience life as life or death (however, we don’t experience death except as the death of others. We don’t experience our own death, because there is no body there to experience it. (ever think of that? )
And, ironically, we don’t experience Life either. We experience our abstraction of life as thought, as something defined and stored in our dictionary. We don’t experience Raw life because Raw Life is Shiva, life and Death as one. Life is dynamic and it is creating itself out of its death, creating form out of the death of form, simultaneously! But our minds slow it down by creating time, the Lunar Mind. So we seek pleasure and avoid pain. Shiva is pleasure/Pain. Joy/Sorrow. Life is ONE..not two, but we experience it as Two and we suffer because we have separated life, we have separated Creation from Destruction…but in Shiva, in this Vision, in the Zen…they are ONE.
This ONE is a leap, a shift in viewpoint from Lunar mind to Sun Mind, from consciousness of duality to Awareness that is ONE Seeing. Seeing cannot be divided. Consciousness is divided into Me as subject and the world as object. Shiva in his dynamic dance transcends this division and liberates us. Just having an insight into this is Shavism. The Insight is I am Shiva!. The realization is the SNAP when the division in your mind, the dilemma of opposites Snaps into the ONE. Eureka! I See Shiva!
Just applying a little Shiva to current events, the school shooting, for instance. This shooting is both creative and destructive. While our mind separate them—destructive because of its densely loss of life—but Shiva is Life/Death. The horror of life that mades us turn away is the Life lives on the death of Life. This is the Hindu goddess Kali. She gives birth to live and then devours her children, blood dripping down her chin. The West doesn’t like this raw vision of life as death.
Wnile we love the Cross as a symbol of crucifixion (death) and Resurrection (life), in Shive they are One, not two, not the lunar waxing and tanning. In Shiva there is no time. Life is NOW..( Echart Tolle). Life is the ONE that is Two. What we do in our western lunar mind is see the Two and project the One into the future. This is a lunar mind that is bound by time. Shiva awareness is always already NOW…the whole cosmos in this grain of a moment. The poets live here.
So what is the Zen of Shiva? Shiva is like a Zen Koan: if you say Shiva is creation, you are wrong. If you say Shiva is destruction, you are wrong. Now which is it? Choose or your will be punished. There is a force in this commandment to solve the ambiguity, to leap over the bull, the horns of the dilemma. To leap over the Luna Consciousness of duality. That is Zen.