Zen And The Art Of William Shakespeare

2426 words - 10 pages

Zen and the Art of Shakespeare

 
      Like all Buddhism, Zen is a means by which one can achieve Buddha-consciousness, or in effect "total-consciousness." "Total-consciousness" means being aware of the true self and its role in regard to the infinite cosmos of all existence. This awareness allows one insight into or perhaps understanding of the Tao, the essential singularity to which all things belong. Understanding the Tao, for Taoists and Zen Buddhists alike, is the equivalent of Nirvana, loosely described as the utmost fulfillment of one’s existence.

With all of it’s lofty, mystical terms and ideas, Zen Buddhism can seem very hard to talk about much less understand and follow. The beauty of Zen, though, is its practicality, its simplicity, its ingenious grasp of the obvious. There are few of the traditional Buddhist rituals or ceremonies in Zen. It is known as the "Way of Sudden Enlightenment." It is a way of life that brings one closer to the satori experience. Satori is the enlightenment itself and, thusly, the complete understanding of Zen’s truths.

A very important part of Zen is its avoidance of making distinctions. In a world filled with apparent opposites. Zen recognizes that opposites are indeed merely apparent. Good cannot exist in the absence of Bad. Light cannot exist apart from the darkness. This goes back to the nature of the Tao as the essential oneness, or the tie that binds all objects, thoughts, and beings. Therefore, the Zen thinker does not consider action to be moral or immoral because to make such a distinctions to delude reality with extraneous, unnecessary ideas. The Zen life is devoid of purpose; but therein is the beauty. What is more blissful than living just for the sake of living: being free and unhurried? The Zen life is like the biblical paradise without the encumbrance of God or Satan. In reality, paradise exists under man’s nose, and in it man plays the role of God and Satan. Zen suggests that we have no good reason to escape this reality, and furthermore it is absurd to think that we really can.

Ultimately, living in Zen is to live extemporaneously. When one truly lives in Zen there is no equivocation or deliberation. There is only action. Zen is the ever-present guiding force in the life of an individual who adheres only to living. Zen is far away from the individual who abides whether in thought or deed, in his own disillusions.

In The Tempest, Prospero’s final scene is the most Zen-like expression in all of Shakespeare. By virtue of his spells and charms, Prospero has his enemies right where he wants them. "Though with their high wrongs I am struck to th’ quick," he says. "Yet with my nobler reason ‘gainst my fury do I take part. The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent, the sole drift of my purpose doth extend not a frown further." (Tempest, V.i.20-30) Prospero proceeds to carry out his act of reconciliation by forgiving his enemies and freeing his...

Find Another Essay On Zen and the Art of William Shakespeare

"Zen and the art of archery" by Eugene Herrigel

849 words - 3 pages "Zen in the Art of Archery", by Eugene Herrigel describes the ritualistic arts of discipline and focus that the Zen religion is centered around. Herrigel describes many aspects of archery as an art form, and is very spiritual to those in the east. Overcoming his initial inhibitions he began to look toward new ways of seeing and understanding. In the beginning of the book Herrigel writes about the ritual and religious practice, "whose aim

Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

5301 words - 21 pages Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values Confronting crises of technological annihilation and personal madness, Robert Pirsig finds each to be a manifestation of a deeper crisis of Reason. In response) he suggests an alternative to our current paradigm of rationality, the "art of motorcycle maintenance." By showing that our understanding and performance derive from our emotional and evaluative

Zen in the Art of Archery

871 words - 3 pages Zen in the Art of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel describes the ritualistic arts of discipline and focus that the Zen religion focuses around. In this book, Herrigel describes many aspects of how archery is, in fact, not a sport, but an art form, and is very spiritual to those in the east. The process he describes shows how he overcame his initial inhibitions and began to look toward new ways of seeing and understanding. In the beginning of the book

Walden and the Art of Zen. Speaks of Henry David Thoreau

1778 words - 7 pages clarified through Zen Buddhist beliefs and ideas as the two seemto typically compliment each other.Where, you might ask, does religion fit into the travelling adventures of HenryDavid Thoreau? Religion has been a part of the literary tradition from the very start.Some of the first books ever produced were handwritten copies of the Bible. Pamphlets,poems, odes, and epics throughout the centuries have continued to reflect religiouscontent. I have also

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Gateway to the Great Minds

1512 words - 6 pages personal problems right into the machine itself. (Pirsig 146) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, from which this quote is taken, is a complex story written by Robert Pirsig about a narrator's inquiry into the past intellectual and personal life of the man he once was before a complete nervous breakdown caused by the futile search for the definition of the word "Quality" changed his entire life. This intricate array of flashbacks

Quality Control: Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

1155 words - 5 pages the connection between beings and experience which provides for wholeness in life. But what draws the line between whether a given experience was one of Quality or one that is hollow and meaningless? Nevil Shute’s On the Beach illustrates the difference between experiencing the immutable Quality defined by Robert Pirsig in his work, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and living a hollow existence, elaborating on the necessity of caring

The Life And Times Of William Shakespeare

1348 words - 6 pages The Life and Times of William Shakespeare Unless you've lived in a cave for your entire life, you've probably heard the phrases "To be or not to be that is the question," and "Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo?" hundreds of times. You probably know that the man that wrote them was William Shakespeare, but what do you really know about him? Was he rich or poor? Where did he grow up? When did he write his first play? Actually

The Life and Works of William Shakespeare

1260 words - 5 pages Harris 6Albrenda HarrisProfessor Pangikas-MillerWorld Literature10/09/2014Textual ResearchThe Life and Works of William ShakespeareChildhood, Education, and MarriageWilliam Shakespeare was born in a market town one hundred miles northwest of London, by the name of Stratford-upon-Avon on April twenty-second or twenty- third, in the year fifteen sixty-four. After his third to fourth day of life he was baptized in his hometown on the twenty sixth

The Life and Impact of William Shakespeare

1905 words - 8 pages William Shakespeare was considered one of the greatest playwrights the world has ever known. Did events in his childhood lead to this? Did his education play a role in his success? William Shakespeare was a very influential person of the 1600's and 1700's, who also had a great impact on our literary world. Shakespeare's actual birth date is unknown, but records of his baptism on 26, April 1564 leads most historians to believe his actual birth

The Zen Of Oz

1269 words - 5 pages Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, a Zen master? The Tin Man an enlightenment seeker? “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” a mantra? Joey Green’s, The Zen of Oz, is a witty, whimsical, and surprisingly insightful introduction to Eastern Philosophy via one of the world’s most beloved movies. It delivers universal truths in a charming, non-preachy, fashion allowing you to explore Dorothy’s yellow brick road, as well as your own. Along the way

The Life of William Shakespeare

1733 words - 7 pages Throughout the United States and the entire world people are aware of Shakespeare; however, many people wonder why society wants their citizens to continue to read William Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Shakespeare continues to influence today’s environment and brings people together by speaking of a common author that most people know. All across the world, students must read at least one of Shakespeare’s works; which often develop those

Similar Essays

The Art Of Manipulation In Othello By William Shakespeare

907 words - 4 pages Manipulation is a powerful skill. It causes people to lose trust in friends, doubt themselves, and, in some cases, murder someone they love. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago, a master of manipulation, causes the protagonist, Othello, to lose trust in his faithful wife, Desdemona, even pushing him to the point of murdering her. Iago successfully convinces Othello to doubt Desdemona and later murder her through his genius use

How Does William Shakespeare Use Gender Confusion And The Art Of Disguise In ‘As You Like It’ And ‘Twelfth Night Or What You Will’?

1813 words - 7 pages significance of their uses. Firstly, it is important to put the play into context. At the time when Shakespeare wrote both plays women were not allowed to perform on stage, thus every character was played by a man. The use of male actors for every part contributes greatly to the confusion of the audience and also for many of the actors on stage. It brings about the idea of uncertainty of gender, also illustrating that gender is something that can be

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

1759 words - 7 pages Told by the blurb that we have here "one of the most unique and exciting books in the history of American letters," one bridles both at the grammar of the claim and at its routine excess. The grammar stays irreparable. But I have a hunch that the assertion itself is valid. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig (Morrow), is as willfully awkward as its title. It is densely put together. It lurches

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance And Quality

926 words - 4 pages Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance And Quality Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as written by Robert Pirsig, focuses on a number of philosophical life values. These values include quality, identity, duality, and Zen. This paper will focus mainly on the subject of quality and the effect dwelling on its definition had on Pirsig. Pirsig has put an incredible amount of thought into defining Quality. Starting just about at the
19.01.1601:13 Uhr John Williams - Star Wars - The Ultimate Digital Collection Soundtrack320 kbit/s 0 / 014.182 Hits VID P2P DDL 0 Kommentare | Messenger Lite: Free Calls Messages | Adaalat 3 (Bengali) Sharaddha Shraddha – Episode 524 HD