The seventh Zen Ox-herding picture or the seventh stage on the road to enlightenment in Zen Buddhism is called “Ox Forgotten, Self Alone.” Note that the phrase “Self Alone” refers to the seeker as self or himself (herself) and not to the seeker’s deeper Self. Hixon writes:
“There is no twoness. The Ox is his Primal nature: this he has now recognized…. Only on the Ox was he able to come Home. But lo! The Ox has now vanished, and alone and serene sits the man…” (Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions by Lex Hixon, p.67).
I Love Candy
In The Matrix Reloaded Neo meets with the Oracle. Part of the dialogue is the following: Neo asks, “I suppose the most obvious question is, how can I trust you?” The Oracle replies, “Bingo! It is a pickle, no doubt about it. The bad news is there’s no way if you can really know whether I’m here to help you or not. So it’s really up to you. You just have to make up your own damn mind to either accept what I’m going to tell you, or reject it. Candy?” Neo questions, “Do you already know if I’m going to take it?” The Oracle responds, “Wouldn’t be much of an Oracle if I didn’t.”Neo asks, “But if you already know, how can I make a choice?” The Oracle explains, “Because you didn’t come here to make the choice; you’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it. I thought you’d have figured that out by now.” Neo questions, “Why are you here?” The Oracle replies, ”Same reason. I love candy.”
The Sweetness of Life
The Oracle offers Neo a piece of candy and he takes it. But he doesn’t eat it. Neo doesn’t eat the candy because he understands the Oracle’s symbolic message that “life is sweet” when fully comprehended and fully lived. Neo acknowledges this truth by accepting the candy. He doesn’t need to eat the candy because he has already digested its symbolic truth. In The Matrix at the end of Neo’s first visit with the Oracle, the Oracle offers Neo a cookie which he accepts and takes a bite of right before he leaves her apartment. The expression on Neo’s face when he takes a bite of the cookie indicates that it tastes good. At this point Neo has yet to assimilate the Oracle’s symbolic message.
I have seen quite a number of dreams in which the Self is trying to communicate to the dreamer that “life is sweet” and should be savored. Not all dreams of eating sweets convey this message. The meaning of a dream usually mainly depends on its context and the dreamer’s associations unless the dream is archetypal or mythological. The “sweetness of life” message appears to require a certain level of consciousness or enlightenment in order to be fully comprehended.
Can Trading be Sweet?
Trading can certainly take you to the edge of your comfort zone. Trading can certainly paralyze you with fear. Trading can make you so angry your eyes bulge out like a cartoon character. Sweet! I don’t think so. At least, not from the perspective of intense fear or anger. But speaking of cartoon characters, what would Bugs Bunny say? In reference to my erudition, Bugs would say, “What a maroon!” Can trading be sweet? Don’t be a maroon!