In Japan, long ago, a great minister, a high government official called Yu Di asked a master who was called Xi Yu Daotang about a line in the scripture.
“What is meant by, ‘Because of unfortunate circumstances, fierce winds blew the ship off course and set it drifting toward the land of the flesh-eating demons?’”
[Rakshasas, they call them. They are demons whose existence is to eat human beings.]
And the master replied, “Minister, why are you so ignorant? Why are you asking about that?” And the minister’s face turned white.
And the master said, “Because of unfortunate circumstances, fierce winds blew them off course and set them adrift toward the land of the flesh-eating demons.”
And the minister understood.
—Entangling Vines, Case 42
Everyone is assailed by demons right now. Demons have a long history in the culture. If you’ve got demons, you’re alive! But you don’t have to get on board with them. Demons come out of your own heart, just like enlightenment. Tess Beasley reads from James Hillman’s “Dreams & the Blood Soul.” Michelle Riddle & Jon Joseph chant a Zen spell for dispelling demons, the Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Dharani. John reads Keats and Coleridge.
It’s a very strong thing to be human, you can be subjected to all sorts of great forces. And sometimes you can win through, and sometimes you die. But we’re all of us doing that, all the time. So I was thinking about how good it is to love each other, to meet each other, and to make peace in our hearts. Sunday talk with John Tarrant, recorded June 14 2020.