If zen means anything at all, it has directly to do with perceiving everything clearly, and successfully understanding what everything and everyone is, without error.
Now, obviously, there’s an ethos flowing through left-wing/rock-and-roll/post-hippie zeitgeist that says, We are all equal, and jiving on the same level, we all have something to offer. I’ll discuss this later.
So many times I’ve discarded zen, because I’ve heard it overused, especially in my time in Colorado, but it’s a compelling thing to come back to, still, nonetheless. The reason is that it’s a reliably pure and inspiring ideal, unblemished by empty physicality — even icons, or much proselytization. The alternatives to solutions are problems. In times of no problems, I guess I turn to zen as something that, less that I believe in it, just makes me happy to think about, like a live, receptive field of energy of silver and gold, hovering in the air and recognizing all things as they are.
It should go without saying that the true realization of zen means an absence of the valuing of physical objects, let alone material wealth.
It’s entirely possible, to me, that the person most adherent to the metaphysical arc of zen awareness would be the most hated. Perhaps, when people saw this individual, they’d notice in him or her a lack of surprise or bewilderment, this being because the enlightened person likely understands that this world functionally offers us things that we perceive as randomness, and that these things belong, in the world, at the position in which they’re situated, positions not necessarily requiring explanation or warrant for their contents.
Truly, it takes a large-scale concerted effort not to notice, successfully define, and appreciate zen. And this is just what the United States of America has done. America has been the empirical country, the one to map and chart the entire world, to document it, and commercially disperse it, and to make unprecedentedly voluminous use of its non-renewable resources. Its means of advertisement — an elephantine denizen of the lifestyle-inundating television — have acted as standard setters of material objectives, and by preaching that all men are equal, American culture has allowed no one exemption from the manifest artifices sold as social acceptability. There’s no reason why people on this Earth should be made uneasy, by anything. And it’s this very notion that almost every day causes widespread disease of this very brand in the “land of the free.”