Friday, March 09, 2007


"They walk alone, and yet they are together--
Along the road to Nirvana, the Perfect Ones
With antique minds, pure- hearted, high-spirited,
With sunken cheekbones, despised by the common people."

A song by Hsuan-chueh living about year 713. He was apparently a monk of the School of
Shen-hui. A Buddhist school in the south of China.

An ancient ode to those just one bubble off of level; in the construction of society.

I don't know why history so engages me now. I used to believe it useless and "why are they teaching me this!". Perhaps we take example from those who are now dust.

I really should attribute this song: Taken from "The White Pony" (an anthology of chinese poetry) edited by Robert Payne. 1947
Another song I like:

"Purify the five eyes, Possess the five powers.
If once you have known truth, you know the unknown.
In a mirror the body's shape is easily discerned,
But in vain can you grasp the moon on the water."


  1. Hi Goatman,
    we are here between the past and the tomorrow - everything good or bad we have inherited from the past

    Sometimes hard to separate the good from the bad, or maybe it is all just a part - of the whole

    But yeah if we learn not from the past (and what history teaches) from whence shall we learn ...

    After all even modern science is built on the shoulders of giants long turned to dust and things learnt long past

  2. That song is truly beautiful - "... with antique minds ..."


  3. beautiful song.

    i think one can learn a lot from history however distorted it may be... not the dates and facts they try to fill you with but the reason behind certain events...

  4. I keep coming back to this one Goatman....I'm puzzling over it....I'll be back later (hopefully) with a decent (or indecent) comment...


  5. Nirvāṇa is "the highest happiness." This is not the sense-based happiness of everyday life, nor the concept of happiness as interpreted by Western culture, but rather an enduring, transcendental happiness integral to the calmness attained through enlightenment...

  6. red-dirt-girl

    The enlightened never walk alone because the enlightened are one...





  7. Perhaps it is wisdom ... Goatman.
    hugs for you :o)

  8. Hi Goatman, thanks for stopping by my place.

    This is an interesting song that confuses me. Who are these old souls traveling toward narvana? Why the sunken cheekbones. Maybe he meant they had to sacrifice all while on their journey. I can understand why they were alone and even why they have "antique minds" but why were they disliked by the common man.

    I would like to hear other's ideas about what was meant here.

    I looked around. I love love love your old barn. Especially the bottom one that will be gone too soon. I'm glad you captured it while you still could.

  9. Ah angel whose feathers tickles......

    that helps actually....I like that - never being alone because they encompass all of time......i kept coming back to ancient minds (pre-history, pre-sky, pre-dawn) and sunken cheekbones are especially poignant.....but then the word: despised which turns the entire poem upside down....

    Goatman - stunning image - I keep coming back just to look at it....and an inscrutable piece...that challenges! Excellent post, friend.


  10. "An ancient ode to those just one bubble off of level"...loved this!

    Thank you, Goatman!

  11. Remember that these were monks and in ancient times they traveled and begged for food on the journeys. The common man, who had to work for his living, probably despised these wayward travelers and their passing presences. Sunken cheekbones since begging for food does not build the most robust of bodies---but sufficient.
    This, my take on it.

  12. Hi Goatman,

    first, thank you for visiting my blog on my new year's eve. I am glad to know you are a poetic blogger too. I shall bookmark you and visit frequently.

    I was reading Yasnas last night. Searching the old wisdom. We Persians are poetry addicts, wonder if you knew.

    All the best and see you soon.

  13. Persians are crazy about poetry. (that's why their mistranslated rhetoric can get them into trouble)

    I thought maybe you like to take a look at

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. love boththe verses!! purify the five eyes...beautiful!!

    should look for this book!

  16. Just loved that picture and thank you for visiting my blog:))


  18. This is a beautiful post. I like what you are doing on your blog. -Mystical but grounded.