September 30, 2010

The Enlightenment of Humpty Dumpty.

I am the Eggman –
I am he as you are he, as you are me and we’re all together. ~ The Beatles

The death of Humpty Dumpty, was no accident. But before we can understand the crime, we must first discover who was Humpty Dumpty, really? Like most fairy-tales and nursery rhymes, Humpty Dumpty, is much more profound and darker than at first glance. London Bridges Falling Down, is about the destruction of London Bridge. Ring Around the Rosey is about the black plague and the burning of the bodies.

Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down…

Tales of destruction are a common theme and the characters in the stories are often primal archetypes of the human psyche. It may seem strange to speculate about an egg-shaped man, sitting on the wall, but lately Mr. Dumpty has been trying to get my attention. This weekend I saw my Zen Master, Genpo Roshi. He was talking about the path of the human being and how, after one has an awakening, one must have a great fall, much like Humpty Dumpty. Cleverly enough, Roshi calls this stage the Great Fall.

The saying that the sage goes up the mountain but must come back down again, is true. However they leave out the part that the way down involves falling into a mangled heap at the bottom.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall…

That same day I was talking to my friend, and helping her after having a Great Fall of her own. We were selling everything in her house in a garage sale. Sitting precariously on the edge of the table was a porcelain Humpty Dumpty, complete with bow tie, a shining dome-head and a smug smile.

“Humpty Dumpty…my nemesis. He’s been stalking me lately,” I explain, my eye narrowing at the jolly figure. “How much for the little Eggman?”
“Of all my things out here, he has the most meaning to me. I’ve had him since I was a kid,” she said, as if seeing through my nefarious plan. “I don’t know.”
“But look at him just sitting there so smugly. It’s like he wants to fall. If you’re attached to him, maybe we should break him. It would be fun.”
“I don’t think I can,” she said. “But when I’m ready, I will.”

So who is this egg-man, who holds so much power over our minds? Many scholars believe Humpty represented a fallen king, like King Richard. That might explain why:

All of the Kings horses and all of the Kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

So maybe Humpty is not a egg-shell-guy at all. (which, you have to admit, is a little weird) It seems more likely that he is an archetypal king.

The archetypal fall of Humpty Dumpty, the ‘Eggman,” relates to the cosmic and metaphysical rebirth.
~The Walrus was Paul, R. Gary Patterson.

Which means that we are all Humpty Dumpty, we are all the archetypal King and Queen. The Buddha, the Master.

Who is the Master that makes the grass grow green? ~ Zen Koan

The question is: who is to be the master? -Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland.

If Humpty was the Buddha, then was he just setting an example for us? Perhaps Humptys fall was deliberate. Was he perched on the wall, sitting in zazen? In zen practice it is said; Die daily. Each day we wake up, we are born again, and each night we die. You can take it further and say with each exhale you die and each inhale you are reborn. If you can annihilate the old you, then the new you can be born.

If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.~ the Buddha

Kill the Buddha. And make sure you do the job right. You don’t want pieces laying around for your horses and men to try to put together. Because the shell is not who you are. It’s just your wall, fragments of yourself. The ‘horses and men’ are the pieces, trying to recombining themselves like in a horror movie. And we all know what happens if they reanimate.

The dreaded Zombie Buddha.

No one likes a Zombie Buddha. They don’t just try to stop your mind, they try to eat it. They stagger about moaning and drooling and they smell. This is often referred to as ‘the stink of Zen,’

To remain caught up in ideas and words about Zen is, as the old masters say, to stink of Zen~ Allan Watts

The stink of zen happens when one is trapped thinking you are the Buddha, but you are attached to what enlightenment is as well as your old ideas. These sad individuals may feel like the Buddha, but they are really just Zombie Buddha, back from the dead. I’m sure you’ve seen them on occasion. Individuals who seem enlightened but you know that something is not quite right about them. And trust me, zombie Buddhas are nearly impossible to kill. So do it right the first time.

The best defense against Zombie Buddha is preparation. Meditate. Die every moment. And above all don’t be afraid. Because Zombie Buddha can smell your fear. Humpty Dumpty showed us the way. His fall was an example to us all and a warning.

Sit. Practice. Fall. Leave no pieces. Then do it again.

“Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life – after that you cannot be deceived” ~ Zen saying

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