Archives for posts with tag: History

‘There are some expressions which, when heard, convince you instantly that their author is a man or woman of great subtlety, that their illumination is intense and pure. This expression of Rygansogun’s is one such: Only a man of flames can live in a house of fire. Of course, knowing Master Rygansogun was a RoMayZine philosopher, one can see that this epigram may be applied to war – that, surely, is one sense of the “house of fire”. Anyone who has fought with the Forbidden Army would feel this: unless a man becomes a thing of flame himself, he cannot live in the house of fire, he must burn, and perish. I have walked there, in the house of fire, and I know something of burning. And yet’ the young Lord went on, lifting his pale blue eyes to look at Zysoshin, and apparently blithely unconcerned that he was addressing his thoughts on complex philosophy to an eight-year-old boy, ‘perhaps the house of fire is not just the house of war, but the house of life itself. Certainly, this is the inflection placed upon the epigram by a much later philosopher, the genial and gracious Serensobel et:denu, a man of Fine Rank, of the Bullrush Mark and the dominant figure of the Ploughing Oxen Era, a master of synthesis, who did so much to try and draw the main traditions of pure philosophy together. Serensobel wrote: Only a man of flames can live in a house of fire. Only a child can live in the house of children.

Excerpt from Fire House, Volume 6 of Dustless

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The Way is the pure Way, the Way of compassion and of men and women being together for the sake of men and women, who are the Way of the Way * The Way is the Way of human mind, and of the serenity of mind…

Although all things move upon the Way, for human beings, who are the Way of love and compassion • the Way should be simple and straight * To guide confused men and women, there is this book, and this law, and this law guards over the Way * If men and women maintain and honour the law, those men and women will inevitably find themselves upon a Way which is simple and straight * However, should a person neglect or dishonour the law, that person will inevitably find themselves upon a Way which is complex and crooked * To describe these men and women who neglect or dishonour the Way, we speak of “deviation”…

Deviation is to be guarded against at all times * Good conduct depends upon good principles • and the best safeguard of good principles is purity of mind * Purity of mind will ensure purity of action * Even if one’s mind is impure, and one remains unilluminated, providing one follows the rules of good conduct, then the Way will be maintained, and the consequences of one’s actions will be pure * But if one neglects to follow the rules of good conduct, then the Way will be neglected, and the consequences of one’s actions will be impure…

Do not make the error of believing there are large things and little things * or actions of great consequence and actions of no consequence * All actions are actions of the Way • and upon each and every action, the meaning of the world depends… Remember, upon each action depends the whole meaning of the whole world… For action is also the world…

It is the easiest thing in the world to deviate from the pure Way * It is a glance, a yawn, a moment of inattention * It is the easiest thing in the world • to break a world * But it is hard, once you have left the Way, to return * And meanwhile, you will have broken a world, which will be a world of other people * It is one thing to break your own world • but quite another to break the world of other people * It is the easiest thing in the world • to break a world * But what will you do when you have broken the world? * You will find, it is not so easy to live at peace then * How do you live in a world which is broken?…

If you pursue the Way, and remain vigilant, you will maintain the Way | which is the Way of gentleness and non-engagement * You will abstain from self * This means, you will abstain from actions that depend upon the erroneous belief in a creature you call your self | This false creature, this creature you call your self, supposedly possesses the quality of standing apart from, and superior to, the world * This erroneous belief in the creature of self | and the erroneous ascription of powers to this creature | is the root of all impure thought and of deviation from the simple Way * Therefore, wise men and women of the Way | abstain from thinking of themselves as creatures of power | standing apart from the world, with interests separate from, and superior to, the world

Consider: your heart is not your own | Your heart is inside you, but can you reach your heart? | If your heart sickens, with damaged blood or limping beats, what can you do? | You may not reach in and take out that sickened heart | or replace it with another heart | for you depend upon your own heart | and may not escape it * Is this not true? * Are you separate from your own heart? | Are you stronger than its beating? | Consider: you are clad in air | Air surrounds you, and holds you intact, giving shape to your body | permitting you life * Are you stronger than your body? * Are you separate from your own flesh? * Is this not true? * Air surrounds you, and is necessary to all human beings * You hang to a thread of air every moment of your life * Are you stronger than the air? * Are you separate from your own breath? * In the stillness of meditation, in the stillness of the Building which has no motion, in this stillness you will find that you are not a creature of power | but a cloud moving through space | a spider in a sparkling web of mist | or a stream which must flow…

One should at all times strive to purify the mind of impurity: of the poor habits of anger, jealousy, hatred, all habits which deviate from the pure Way and lead to loss of care and of compassion * The Way is the Way of respect for other creatures… People of the pure Way abstain, above all, from physical violence * Violence is a catastrophic loss of respect for oneself and for others * Violence is a mistaken belief in oneself and a mistaken perception of others * A person who is violent spreads chaos and ruin through the cascade, polluting the ancestral stream of events * To harm another person is to harm the world * Even to think of harm depletes the world | for cruel thoughts are cruel, and demean people of the pure Way, who are the Way * If, at any moment, one is thinking an ugly thought, then that ugliness is in the world, and the world is reduced by one ugly thought * But if, at any moment, one is thinking a gentle thought, then that gentleness is in the world, and the world is enlightened by one gentle thought * Therefore, human beings should strive at all times to be vigilant over their thoughts | for a thought is a lever upon the whole world…


Please, follow the Way of Dustless…

Dustless | Volume 1

Dustless | Volume 1 is approximately 20 pp./a5

status | published 11 02 2013

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The political system in O (the “western lands”) is a four-thousand-year-old empire, the SolTanZoZon – “the Empire of the Pure Way”.

After an indefinite period of time known as the Clouded Era, the empire was created, and in some ways based upon, the lost ancient civilisation of the race known as the ‘Metallic ones’.

The empire was initially created from armies of clans originating in the geo-political centre of the continent, the Metallic city of LuinShar. These clans followed certain traditions, and grouped together in Marks — A Mark is thus, for the most part, an association of like-minded clans.

At the centre and summit of the city — well over 1,000 metres above sea-level — is the SuMu, the sacred, Metallic citadel. Here, the court (the GoMin-U) is housed.

The emperor – the ShionDo (the “lord over the lords”) – is a dynastic ruler. When, for whatever reason, a dynasty comes to an end, a new dynasty must be inaugurated.

The organisations responsible for inaugurating a new dynasty are known as the Five Bodies. These are all ancient, pre-imperial institutions, and were all based in the SuMu, a place considered sacrosanct by even most degenerate warlord of the Clouded Era.

The Five Bodies are:

ShimThet – the ancient “celestial” police force, who used to police the SuMu.

ShoKun – the Mark of the Hatching Egg, who since time immemorial, have been responsible for collecting the blood of all aristocratic families, and of overseeing the matrimonial arrangements of the clans of the western lands. Their responsibility is to ensure the “purity of the blood” of the people of O. Their headquarters is based in the complex of buildings around the great Library of Blood, up in the SuMu.

ViwaShar – the Mark of the Five Towers. The body of people who, before the formation of the empire, guarded the SuMu from any external threat. With the foundation of the empire, the Five Towers Mark becomes an organisation dedicated to guarding and serving the emperor, and of ensuring continuity across dynastic changes. The ViwaShar organise the emperor’s household, and supply him with his personal bodyguard.

MarZom – the political body responsible for governing the Marks. The empire is a clan-based system. Each clan is governed by its aristocratic head, and each noble clan is known as an hereditary House. The heads of the clans (Isens) are in turn governed by the head of whichever Mark the clan belongs to. The heads of the Marks meet in council and are governed by the MarZom.

MuKesho – a highly revered monastic body, whose monks and nuns were responsible for guarding and maintaining many of the most precious buildings of the SuMu. Above all, the MuKesho are responsible for the metal books — books of sublimely complex signs, known as “hypergrams”, or “Shofi” — which are the indecipherable texts of the Metallic ones, and are stored in SharAmor, the “sacred tower”, at the absolute centre of Shar.

There will be days of disaster, and these will pass. There will be days of beauty, and these will pass. There will be many days; they will all pass. Disaster and beauty of the day, the day itself, these are the Way. All things are moving on the Way. For the Subtle one, even the Way moves upon the Way. And the Way is still.


From Dustless, Volume 15 | For Pride in their Flight


Be Dustless…

Dustless | Volume 9

‘What is this dust, Akzasosan?’ Berensota asked, gazing up at his friend again, his voice open, almost pleading. ‘Why is there always dust? It is relentless. Once, I spent two months alone, without servants, in a villa belonging to the clan, in the high country of Ezu, among the Fu’unsi Alps, beyond the Gates of Deer. It is a small house. It is very quiet there, isolated from other villas and from villages. And the air is clear there – pure, as if it has just been made…’
12345Berensota tilted his head, and examined his sword hilt from another angle, his oily hair sliding across the side of his face, glittering slightly in the light from the lantern above him.
12345‘I was a ninth-chen lord, and wore the Gram of the Black of Eclipsed Suns – no, really!’ He made a brief, faintly embarrassed face, as if admitting it must be difficult to believe he had ever achieved such a high grade of purity. Then his memory claimed him again. ‘I was preparing for the days of deep meditation, in readiness to attempt illumination, and to achieve the blesséd Rank of the Subtle… You will understand how clarified I already felt: I had been training for years. I had memorised the entire Metal Books of War, and practised the style of zamen perfected by my ancestors, sometimes for ten or eleven hours a day… I felt very strong, Akzasosan.
12345Anyway, I retreated, temporarily, from public life. I read the sutras, and meditated, walked and sat, watching the day and watching the night. For that whole two months, I rarely saw another human being, and then only at distance, as they made their way along a mountain pass, or walked across the alpine meadows there. Supplies were brought to me, by arrangement, from the nearest village, but the villagers came and went without conversation, leaving packages by the door. The villagers understood the purpose of my retreat, and knew I was on holy business. I went into myself. Into the Building…
12345I was not attempting to achieve illumination then and there: for that, I wished to be among my cousins, and with my masters, instructors, my family, my Mark. Yet, I felt illumination was imminent. I felt the transcendent condition, like a seed, deep inside me. My movements were light and my thoughts occurred naturally, without division. Some traditions speak of illumination as the superstate: the state beyond states – and I sensed such an unthinkable condition as being close and possible for me. I would experience the death of the self. I would be illuminated. When I moved, the universe moved; and when I was still, the universe grew motionless. I didn’t seem to require any motive power to walk or stand: there was just a floating sensation. Among the RoMayZine, we say: Grammar grows obsolete; and we mean, that grammar, being dark, can no longer deal with the world as it is when illuminated. Even to speak of “I” is foolish. “I”, “it”, “this”, “that”… All foolish, all dark. But, for me then, I sensed grammar growing obsolete. I was entering the place where lightning is slow, and where brightness is black. I felt beautiful.
12345And then I noticed the dust.’


Excerpt from Dustless | Volume 13 | River Direction

Notes:
Chen is a measure of spiritual purity. There are ten grades of chen, and each grade is denoted by a colour. Berensota wears the ninth-chen Gram of the Black of Eclipsed Suns. He is in training to reach the highest state of spiritual purity, which, if he achieves it, will permit him to wear the tenth-chen Gram of the White of Drifting Clouds. He will be considered illuminated, a person of visionary powers, and will be promoted from Fine to Subtle Rank.

Zamen is both the product and the state of meditation. People sit in zamen, and enter the Building – the Building Without Motion, the MarIsQuess – which is an enigmatic state, giving masters of the Building celestial powers.

A Mark is a grouping of noble clans. Clans gather under certain Marks – the Shepherd Mark, for example, or the Empty Barrel Mark. Clans of mutual affinity assemble in order to develop their own culture and to trade and support each other.

The RoMayZine is a tradition. Clans who follow the RoMayZine are warrior clans, who place special emphasis on studying and embodying the ancient wisdom of the sutras of the RoMayZuthZine, the Metal Books of War.

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Dustless | Volume 1

A distinguished lord asked:

How does one commence a great venture?

The young monk replied:

By leaving off small ventures, and middling ventures, and by putting aside nothing.

The lord answered:

Perhaps a small venture may lead to a great venture?

The young monk smiled.

Yes, that’s so. And perhaps a great venture may lead to a small venture, or to nothing.

The lord nodded, and scratched at his beard, and reflected on the monk’s words. After a while, the lord grinned, and asked:

Perhaps by doing nothing, it may lead to a great venture?

The young monk smiled again:

Perhaps doing nothing is the greatest venture of all

he said.


You are invited to begin upon a great venture…

Dustless | Volume 1

Re-posted | Original posting, March 2013

The society of the Empire of O is ruled by an ornate hierarchy, at the top of which is the emperor, the ShionDo, the Dustless One.

O is a clan-based culture. Over millennia, individual clans have formed with other clans into associations, each association differentiated by a Mark – a Zor, an emblem.

The Marks themselves are divided into two main groups — ZonO, and ShiO.

For much of the Clouded Era, the unfathomable period of time before the establishment of the empire, the most prestigious Marks and clans were ZonO. These clans valued blood, terrestrial power, wealth, property, and cultivated a world of fashion, wit and manners. They ruled the various city-states and kingdoms that made up the western lands in the Era of Clouds.

ZonO clans looked down on the more austere, spiritually inclined Marks who called themselves “ShiO“.

ShiO clans valued a more ascetic, philosophical way of life than ZonO. ShiO clans read and followed the wisdom of the sutras. These sutras, gathered together in the AmorZine, the “sacred book”, taught TanZo – the pure Way. For hundreds of years, ZonO regarded ShiO as a joyless and humourless  culture, given to useless “celestial” speculations, believing in a system that insisted on great discipline and patience, and denied worldly pleasures.

The last phase of the Clouded Era, however — known as the Era of Rival Clans — saw a gradual shift of power, away from corrupt and inefficient government by ZonO, and towards the more disciplined and organised ShiO Marks. Though smaller in number than ZonO, the ShiO clans were largely revered by the wider population, and were seen as pure and just.

Eventually, the rise of the ShiO clans and Marks couldn’t be resisted by the old ZonO order, and after thousands of years of rule, the world of “Society” and the aristocracy was overturned. Following decades of bloodshed, intrigue and struggle, control of LuinShar, the greatest city in O, passed into the hands of ShiO.

The effective end of ZonO power came when the first emperor of Shar, and of O, was declared: this was Jara-so-zirma I, who, after climbing the Five Thousand Steps, in the sacred precincts of the Palace of the Changing Moon took the Lotus Crown, and ordered the calendars to be set to a new system, with Year 0 starting on the first day of his rule.

Jara I and his immediate successors, steeped in their ShiO tradition, ruthlessly purged ZonO, and in many cases broke and destroyed ZonO clans, accusing them of deviating from the Way. Many ancient bloodlines were destroyed: properties were seized, possessions scattered. Nobles whose families had ruled their fiefs for hundreds of years, and were used to honour and the submission of the crowd, found themselves cast out from their lands, and – if they were lucky – sent to live in the public streets, covered with dust and with no way back to their former eminence.

For tens of centuries, those ZonO clans and Marks that survived the creation of the empire were forced to live remote from the Court and from the government. Their lifestyles were curtailed, and they were obliged to follow the Way. Shows of luxury were prohibited, and the ShiO laws of the empire were systematically and pitilessly applied.

Slowly, however, the ShiO tide began to wane, and the zeal that accompanied the formation of the empire began to recede. Once the whole Land of O was conquered and integrated into the empire, the imperial government began to relax its laws, and ZonO clans and Marks were permitted their ancient luxuries.

A historical coolness between the Court and the ShiO Marks developed, which in the long run benefited ZonO. With the waning of ShiO influence over the emperor, ZonO was once again allowed to rise, and to regain terrestrial power.

While each clan is unique, and each Mark distinctive, allowing for many different shades and nuances of opinion, there is no doubt that, fundamentally, there exists a deep traditional bitterness between ZonO and ShiO. ShiO despise ZonO for its deviation from the Way, for its love of pleasure and luxury, its devotion to appetite and matter. ZonO resent ShiO for its power, for its devotion to the Way, for its insistence on ritual and discipline.

Such is the main order of division between the clans and Marks of O: ZonO, and ShiO.

Those who before did not bow, now bow • and those who were kings and queens are sent either to the void or to the streets where the masses toil • Those who ruled are now ruled • and those who sipped wine from crystal cups • must now beg each breath • a sword forever crescent • over their bared necks | This is the fate of impurity • for impurity attracts dust • and dust gathers power | Only the Dustless are beyond the fate of the rising and falling, the living and dying, the strong and the weak | Only the Dustless cannot be sent to the dusts | Therefore, consider the fates of these lords and ladies now brought low • and how the trivial conceits of terrestrial power • end in a beggar’s death • lonely beside a busy road • dust filled with dust • while on the Way • calmly, the Dustless move ever on

‘There are some expressions which, when heard, convince you instantly that their author is a man or woman of great subtlety, that their illumination is intense and pure. This expression of Rygansogun’s is one such: Only a man of flames can live in a house of fire. Of course, knowing Master Rygansogun was a RoMayZine philosopher, one can see that this epigram may be applied to war – that, surely, is one sense of the “house of fire”. Anyone who has fought with the Forbidden Army would feel this: unless a man becomes a thing of flame himself, he cannot live in the house of fire, he must burn, and perish. I have walked there, in the house of fire, and I know something of burning. And yet’ the young Lord went on, lifting his pale blue eyes to look at Zysoshin, and apparently blithely unconcerned that he was addressing his thoughts on complex philosophy to an eight-year-old boy, ‘perhaps the house of fire is not just the house of war, but the house of life itself. Certainly, this is the inflection placed upon the epigram by a much later philosopher, the genial and gracious Serensobel et:denu, a man of Fine Rank, of the Bullrush Mark and the dominant figure of the Ploughing Oxen Era, a master of synthesis, who did so much to try and draw the main traditions of pure philosophy together. Serensobel wrote: Only a man of flames can live in a house of fire. Only a child can live in the house of children.

Excerpt from Fire House, Volume 6 of Dustless

Please explore this house of fire…

•DUSTLESS-FIN6


Re-post | Originally posted December 2014

For all those of High Rank, two blades will they bear • and the bearing will be peace and responsibility * The signs of these blades are the warnings of war • and along the killing edge of these swords, lies the division of life from death * Those of High Rank must bear the heavy weight of war • reminding us always that along the edge of a blade, all move * The High must endlessly cut peace from war • and endlessly refrain from using the blades that they bear * And this will be a sign of purity * And in purity there is no one…


From Dustless, Volume 19 | The Lover in the Snow [iv]


Re-post | Originally posted October 2014

Be Dustless…

Dustless | Volume 9

Perhaps most of the worlds of all the universes possess no language, and are dumb, utterly inexpressive – silent as the airless moon – but O-yon is not like this.

Language is born of language | Languages possess architecture, and in O-yon, there are many lost and buried tongues, branches that are broken from the tree or do not blossom, or blossoms which, caught in the desert of time, become like fragile fossils, dry, perfect, but without scent…

In O-yon, it is said, there was a time before speech, but of that time, necessarily, we are ignorant || Then came the oldest language, the hypergrammatic language of the Ancients, the ‘Metallic ones’ | Their mysterious characters, inscribed in metal books, without date, without lexicon, are too complex for modern minds to comprehend, and so their beautiful, miraculous world remains closed to us, a matter of yearning, debate and controversy.

After the Ancients, came the LateAncients, whose language, made up of ‘Gonfi’ – ideograms – permits us the tantalising sense that we may understand their greater minds, and even that we might touch the glory of their forebears, the Metallic ones. For it is into the Gonfic LateAncient language that certain key Metallic books are said to have been translated, and of these books, the most wonderful book of all, the book of Metallic sutras, known as AmorZineZirIramOAram­TanZo, which means, transcripted into our common tongue, The Sacred Book of the Whole World of the Word of the Law of the Beautiful and Simple Way – the book to which all signs are ultimately drawn, and from which all signs ultimately proceed.

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