The Ten Thousand Things


Words and images by Robert Saltzman


To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.
—Eihei Dgen (1200-1253)

The rage for wanting to conclude is one of the most deadly and most fruitless manias to befall humanity. Each religion and each philosophy has pretended to have God to itself, to measure the infinite, and to know the recipe for happiness. What arrogance and what nonsense! I see, to the contrary, that the greatest geniuses and the greatest works have never concluded.
—Gustave Flaubert

Humility is not a peculiar habit of self-effacement, rather like having an inaudible voice, it is a selfless respect for reality...
—Iris Murdoch