virus: A kitten

Eric Boyd (
Sun, 02 Jun 1996 19:00:28 -0500

Hello all;

I've been thinking about last nights' events, and it has occured to me
that a small event I overlooked was really critical.

Two days ago, my mommy brought home a kitten. Real cute. Mostly black
with a few small tufts of other colours. A real go getter kind of
kitten. Always running and jumping and getting into trouble.

Anyway, last night at about dinner time, the kitten was on the living
room rug, and it discovered it's /tail/. Then, as with most little
kitties, it began to try and catch it's own tail. Round and round in
circles, first lunging and then sneeking up on it. Poor cat never did
catch it. My older sister said at one point "look at that stupid cat,
silly thing is trying to catch it's own tail!" And I agreed that it was

But I see now that really the image of a kitten chasing it's own tail is
the prefect representation of enlightment. The cat does not understand
that its tail is part of itself. The cat does not see the duality of
subject and object that so rules our life. The cat /is/ the Buddha; so
long as it chases its tail. And so while the cat appears stupid to our
way of thinking, that is only because the cat has transended "sanity" in
our view. This is why "The Forth Way" says that self consciousness is
the way to enlightment. Become aware of the "illusion" of self and you
can abolish it and acheive enlightment.

So lets all try and be like the innocent little kitten who chases her
own tail. Understand the futility of trying to "catch" yourself and you
will have understood the entire point behind Zen.