The truth is that life is a bridge. In Buddhism when you get to the Other Shore you look back and there was no shore. You are right where you started, only. you see it for the first time. The bridge is only visible when your goal is in the future, but when you arrive, there is no future. You realize that you are always already Now. You have always already been free.
The bridge as a Way is the non-violent path of MLK, the path of awakening to the unity in the many, the non-dual in the dual…the aroused mind that rests on no form, thought, feeling, beliefs and personality.
I think with Black Lives Matter movement the metaphorical understanding of this march as a national march has caught on. Ironically, it’s the meaning of All Lives Matter that is catching on, but not as a counter to Black Lives Matter.
The Bridge has no color. Black life is my life. Black life is all life. Black freedom is my freedom. This bridge is my bridge. This walk is my walk. Life is a bridge to freedom. One step is the whole bridge. One step is the Buddha.
This is the Bodhisattva Bridge.
All beings without number I vow to liberate
Endless blind passions (prejudice) I vow to uproot
Dharma gates without measure I vow to penetrate
The great way of Buddha I vow to attain.
Let’s look at the Non-violent way of MLK. Some, many blacks at the time, thought it was a failure. I remember when MLK’s Way was questioned and Black Power movements with a raised fist began to rise, impatient with the way of Gandhi and Jesus, and the Buddha I might add.
What is the Non-violent Way? It’s Non-Dual! Duality is always violent, the Two pitted against each other in a death duel to be the One that has no second. We all want to be the One, to BE somebody, to arrive, to be noticed, loved, respected for our unique self, our true self…we all want that, must have that, but what is the Way?
There is the Way of Violence and the Way of Non-Violence. That’s it, unless forgetting about it and just getting drunk is a way. We violent way is the only way because that is the American Way. You become number One by defeating the contender, the challenger, the one in power. Politics is violence without guns.
What is the Non-Violent Way, and does it work? Let’s look at the Way MLK used it. In the South White was number One, and Black was separate and not equal. How do you restore justice or equality when the ONE doesn’t want to give way?
How do you activate a change in the collective mind? First, you must have a fundamental trust, faith without question, the Mankind is basically Good and Just. One wants to awaken this basic sanity, this basic love, this basic goodness that is the ground of our Being.
MLK provoked the One by obeying the universal laws of justice and not the local laws of injustice. Then when the ONE reacted, as they must because you were breaking their local laws that kept them in power, you didn’t fight back. This creates a rage in the One because you cannot create a justification for your defense of your local laws. It becomes obvious to the Collective mind that you are attacking and beating defenseless people. You cannot say you are protecting law and order when you are obviously creating disorder. You are exposed. Your Narrative breaks up. Your guilt is revealed. Your inhumanity is put in the foreground.
The non-Violent movement is the inaction that is action. This is a martial art of using the force of your opponent to fell him. This is the sacrificial way of Jesus who willingly goes to the cross of crucifixion, who allows himself to be beaten on the Selma Bridge as a willing sacrifice for the awakening of the man to his basic goodness..
OK, lets take this Bridge Metaphor deeper. Jesus says resist not evil, but instead of evil just say Obstacle. Resist not the obstacle that black you from the bridge to unity, which is where the universal bridge goes, towards unity, resolution, peace, and joy..the promised land where there is no more conclict with what…our obstacles.
We want to get to a place where there is no violence, no conflict with…the obstacles or the enemy of our journey. How do you get to peace? How do you get to non-violence? Do you get there with violence?
Well, obviously not, but then what do you do, nothing? That won’t work either. So the problem is a Zen Koan. If you say you get there by confrontation, you are wrong. If you say you get there by doing nothing, you are wrong. So how to you do effortless effrot?
There is something beyond logic here, something beyond violence and non-violence, beyond doing something and doing nothing…What is it?
That is the mystery of the Bridge to Nowhere. The gateless gate of Zen. This bridge must be discovered. It must be come upon as if by chance, by accident, as if it were a miracle or gift. There is no map, no path, no established way.
Because of America’s suffering, because of our struggle to be free, first from the tyranny of the Monarchy of a faraway empire, the from the division of a civil way, and then from a depression and Facism, and now the struggle has gone interior. The struggle is psychological now, for we all shop at the same Walmart. Now we are in a struggle from freedom from our own mind’s tyranny.
America is the Light of the World as we keep that lamp of freedom burning. The oil that feeds that flame is our racism. It is America’s original sin that keeps us wanting to stand up, to awaken to a greater unity, one that embraces the many instead of being for the One at the exclusion of the many.
America with one compass leg in the light of freedom keeps expanding its other leg to a larger circumference. If that expansion stops, our light goes out.
The Bridge to Nowhere keeps on giving. Let’s move deeper into our own mind and the obstacles we encounter there, all the negative thoughts, feelings, and whatnot that seem to block us. How do we get past them? How do I get past depression, addiction, anger, envy, prejudice, all that? Do I fight them? Do I exchange them for positive thoughts, which is a form of violence? Do I ignore them? I cannot ignore them. What is the non-violent way?
How do I engage the thought that I writing here is useless? How do I muster the writing when faced with the feeling that is has no meaning, no use, that I have no use here? Where is the bridge?
The non-violent way is the Creative Way. When I see the double-bind of the question, that there is no answer, and that every choice is lose/lose, and in that seeing I just sit with it, being OK with it, allowing the Not KNowing to rise and just sit there. To be Not Knowing…what happens?
A bridge appears out of the mist of Not Knowing. You suddenly Know what to do…but your action is the action that springs from your true nature, which is Knowing. You are a being that Knows, and that knowing is prior to the division of Knowing into this or that choice, this or that way, both of which go no where.
Know is beyond good and bad, this and that, positive and negative. Knowing cuts through that. Knowing penetrates that gate, that bridge we think has another side.
The Bridge to Nowhere has no other side. You are already always here. That is the Knowing that crossed the Bridge to Nowhere.
Once you step on this Bridge to Nowhere, all the steps you need will follow without effort. The Bridge to Nowhere has nor goal, has nothing to gain, no place to attain. Walking is no effort, once you stake that first step. You are Now Here…The only thing that changes is the space between a few letters.