“Nothing is True. Everything is permitted.”
As human beings, to know, we must know something. To create, we must create something. This something that we know is not the thing itself but rather a sort of a summary of relational reality, a symbol. The symbol is only mistaken for reality by the sleeping, although it is only through symbols that we may create or know any part of reality. Art is life, life is art.
Sometimes it seems like Zen has come through the back door to disguise forgotten truth in foreign clothing so that a few of us lucky Westerners might discover it again. Zen is the simple and direct experience of consciousness which allows us to explore and clearly see the elaborately disguised truths found in Greek mythology, in the Abrahamic religions, the astrological representations and in all that our clumsy science strives to document and own. Zazen is the direct and distilled practice of gnosis.
Hitsuzendo is the Zen art of calligraphy taken as a core practice by Yamaoka Tesshu and later Omori Sogen. It is art ideally created out of the state of mu-shin or no mind which uncovers and expresses one’s true self. It is also the practice of becoming one with a character of significant spiritual meaning. In it’s highest form it is union in Samadhi with a symbol and this union is creative as well as expressive. It is the chaos magician’s sigil created and cast in a state of gnosis.
To come closer to understanding this process is to come closer to understanding how we create our own reality. It is this mechanism which allows us to live by vow, to become through karma. It is hidden in plain sight from those who live in the fragmented dream where symbol and reality, truth and myth, are separated. Though stated openly, it cannot be understood or practiced until one is sufficiently developed, yet it is our birthright, the very key which we have hidden from ourselves.
So far, humanity has spent 99% of its time on symbols and 1% of its time on gnosis. Imagine the world if this were reversed!