Jersey The Garden State

Here we are in Manhattan and there is the Hudson river and beyond the river is Jersey the Garden State. We have never been to Jersey. We have “heard” about Jersey. We are fed up with Manhattan. We go down to the riverbank and we stand there looking across at Jersey. Now Jersey for us is simply a mirage before the eyes. We don’t know what’s over there but were longing to be in Jersey. Because Manhattan has got to be just to much.

Then one fine day, what do you know – were standing there looking and from the yonder shore a ferryboat comes. He comes across and comes right up to our feet. And in the ferryboat is a man and the man says “anyone for Jersey the Garden State!?” And you say “I’m for Jersey.” He says “now listen theres a point here where you can’t come back. It’s a one way trip. You’re giving up your family, your ideals, your money, your future, everything. Are you ready to quit?”

And you say “I am fed up” and he says “get aboard.”

This is the “little ferryboat” and only those willing to quit the whole show can make it. If you are not as eager for a nirvanic release as a man with his hair on fire is for a pond in which to jump into, don’t start! It is to difficult.

So you get aboard. The boat starts out and you think “oh mother!” But it’s too late. You’re in the boat and now its ship ahoy!

You learn to love the splash of the water. You learn to speak in a new language, port and starboard instead of left and right. Fore and aft instead of front and back. And you don’t know anymore about Jersey now than you did when you left the shore but you’ve come to think about the people in Manhattan as fools.

And there is very little to do really. Pull the sail boon down again, maybe paddle a little bit (prayers and such, you know. You’re a monk). Life becomes sweet and simple. The last thing you want is to arrive at the other shore and find there is something else to do. However, after a couple of incarnations (you thought this was going to be a short trip?) the boat scrapes ashore in Jersey.

Ah! This is the exciting moment! You’re there! This is what is known as “rapture” so when you step ashore it’s a different world.

Finally you think, “I wonder what Manhattan looks like from here?”

Now with respect from the passage the Buddha says suppose someone wanting to get to the other shore builds himself a raft and having arrived at the yonder shore with respect to the raft, picks the raft up and carries it on his shoulders. Would that be an intelligent decision?

“Oh no master!” said the monks.

And so it is with the same with the laws of the order (religion). The laws that get you there have nothing to do with the experience of being there.
 
This was from one of Joseph Campbell’s documentaries called Mythos.
Phaethon Phaethon
31-35, M
Dec 4, 2012