Notes to Poem: X MARKS THE SPOT— by Peter Y. Chou,

Preface: At the 30th Foothill Writers' Conference (July 7-11, 2006), Ingrid Wendt had a workshop on "Poetry Models as Prompts". I selected Diane Lockward's poem "I'm Lonely as the Letter X" to write "Empty as the Letter O". While compiling chemical compounds that melt at 55oC, for On the Number 55, I found 55 organic compounds that began with the letter "X" [Norbert A. Lange, Handbook of Chemistry (1952)]. A check in The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary (1982) showed 53 pages of x-words in Chinese. When I found 3.18 billion web pages of "X" in Google, I began compiling a list of x-words. "X" is quite prevalent in the computer world— Mac OS X is the Apple Computer operating system. X Window System is the protocol to build graphical user interfaces (GUI) on Unix & Unix-like operating systems. Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems. The Xbox was Microsoft's first independent venture into the video game console arena (2001). Ctrl-X (in Windows) and Command-X (in Mac OS) are keyboard shortcuts for cutting. These computer terms are often used by those in Generation-X. However "X marks the spot" prompted me to look in a different direction. I realized that the mystery of X is not in computer technology, but in Consciousness. This poem is an exploration of that treasure hunt. After completing the poem, I consulted several books of sages in my library to better understand some of the lines that came to me. I'm recording some enlightened glimpses in these notes, many of which I were not aware of while writing the poem for my own edification. I hope they are helpful to my readers.

X marks the spot where the treasure is
In treasure-hunting, X is used to designate the location of treasure—
X marks the spot. This phrase is not found in Stevenson's Treasure Island.
X Marks the Spot (1944) is a short 20-minutes film directed by
Warren Murray. Plot: An angel-in-training has trouble watching
over a careless driver, and must plead his case before the Judge Angel.
This was the first short featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (TV 1988).
X Marks the Spot is a quiz & panel game on BBC Radio 4 since 1998.
X Marks the Spot: On Location With The X-Files (1999)
by Louisa Gradnitzer & Todd Pittson (Arsenal Pulp Press) is a book on
the filming of the TV series X-Files in Vancouver for the first five years.
X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy (2006)
(Edited by Russell K. Skowronek & Charles Robin Ewen)
University Press of Florida, Gainesville, has 14 essays. Skowronek's Ch. 14 is titled
"X Marks the Spot— Or Does It?" In Ch. 1, Charles R. Ewen quotes Indiana Jones:
"We do not follow maps to buried treasure and 'X' never, ever, marks the spot!"
Where X Marks the Spot (2006) is a book of poetry by Bill Zavatsky,
Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn, NY. He laments on the ending of an
intimate relationship in his poem "Where X Marks the Spot" (pp. 104-106):
    There I marked the sidewalk with X's
    visible only to me: "At this place
    I was lost again," they'd say to me
    when I walked there in the future.
    "Dig here and find what's left of me,
    or what I left behind, where X marks the spot."
    I felt like the death's-head and crossed bones
    that surmount the treasure chest.
    I only felt a little like gold coins and jewels.
    I have signed the City with these sphinxes
    — in parks, in streets, in bedrooms,
    in my own apartments. And there we stood,
    you and I, hemmed in by the stitches of X's
    that could not hold you to me. But X's
    mean kisses, I realized, as well as
    what is lost: all the kisses I couldn't give you
    chalked like symbols on the sidewalk.
• Quoted in Frank Lovece's "Avast ye landlubbers" (Newsday, July 9, 2006):
"They break out the treasure map where X marks the spot, while
the parrot on their shoulder squawks, 'Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!'"

Handel and Coleridge's pleasure-dome
The "pleasure-dome" is from the second line of Samuel T. Coleridge's poem
Xanadu— Kubla Khan written in autumn 1797 (published June 1816).
This poem came to him in a dream vision after ingesting two grains of opium.
First stanza of poem:
    In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.

One of Handel's "pleasure-domes" is his opera Xerxes written in 1738.
The pleasure-dome may be visualized as the skull's hemisphere housing
the brain of poets and composers as they weave their creative works.

Xerxes would love Xanadu for home
Xerxes I was a Persian King who ruled 485-465 B.C. Herodotus refers to the Persian king
as the "tyrant" who bridged the Hellespont, captured Athens, then watched his Aegean
fleet destroyed in a storm. Xerxes is also an opera (1738) by George Frederic Handel.
It was based on an earlier Venetian opera of the same name, performed in 1654 and
composed by Francesco Cavalli and another version by Giovanni Bononcini performed
in 1694. Handel's famous setting of 'Ombra mai fù' (Shade there never was),
Xerxes' homage to the sacred plane tree is widely known as Handel's Largo.
(New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Stanley Sadie (Ed.), Volume 4 (1992), pp. 1185-1186)
Xanadu was the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Mongol Empire, which covered
much of Asia. The reported splendour of Xanadu later inspired Coleridge to write
his great poem "Kubla Khan" and caused Xanadu to become a metaphor for
opulence. Xanadu is remembered today largely thanks to this poem.
King Xerses surely would have loved this palace for his home.

X-Men and X-files
X-Men is a team of comic book superheroes in the Marvel Comics
universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they debuted in The X-Men #1,
published in September 1963. The X-Men universe has branched into film and
TV, including one of the most successful Saturday morning programs, X-Men.
X-files is a popular American television series created by Chris Carter.
The show first aired on FOX in 1993, and ended after a nine-year run
on May 19, 2002. The X-Files was one of the network's first major hits,
and its main characters and slogans ("The Truth Is Out There," "Trust No One,"
"I Want to Believe") became pop culture touchstones, simultaneously tapping
into and inspiring a plethora of conspiracy theories, paranoia about
the U.S. government, and belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Madame X
Madame X is a painting (1884) by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).
It is a portrait of a young socialite named Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau,
wife of Pierre Gautreau. When the painting first appeared at the Paris Salon
in 1884, people were shocked and scandalized, and Sargent withdrew it
from the exhibition. Sargent overpainted the shoulder strap to raise it
up and look more securely fastened. He also changed the title, from
the original Portrait de Mme ***, to Madame X— a name more
assertive, dramatic, and mysterious. Madame X is also the name
of a film of which there are nine versions (1916-2000). Madame X starred
Gladys George (1937), Lana Turner (1966), and Tuesday Weld (1981).
Plot: Thrown out of her home by a jealous husband, a woman sinks into poverty.
Twenty years later, she is charged with killing a man bent on blackmail to harm
her son. The lawyer son, unaware of who Madame X is, defends his mother in court.
There is also a film The Divorce of Lady X (1938) starring Laurence Olivier and
Merle Oberon. Plot of romance/comedy: Divorce lawyer Logan (Olivier) thinks
the woman who spent the night in his hotel room is the erring wife of his new client.

Josef Albers' Four X's in Red
Josef Albers (1888-1976)
Four X's in Red (1938)
Oil painting on fiberboard
18 1/8 x 18 1/8 in. (45.9 x 46.0 cm.)
Gift: Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1974
Exhibited at The Artist's Gallery,
New York, Dec. 6-31, 1938
Yale University Art Gallery,
New Haven, Apr. 25-June 18, 1956

Search & enter X in Google— Three billion pages instead of one
In Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary there is only one page of X words
out of 1220 pages. However a search of "X" in Google (7-26-2006) gave
3.18 billion web pages, more than "Y" (2.97 billion) or "Z" (3.05 billion).
Google Search: "A" (23.9 billion), "B" (4.1 billion), "C" (6 billion).

xenon, xanthophyll, and xylol
Xenon, atomic number 54 is a noble inert gas (colorless & odorless).
There are less than 1 ppm in the atmosphere. Xenon in a vacuum tube produces
a blue glow when excited by an electrical discharge and finds use in strobe lamps.
Xanthophyll, C40H56O2, is found in the leaves of most plants and are
synthesized within the plastids. They are involved in photosynthesis along
with green chlorophyll, which typically covers up the yellow except in autumn,
when the chlorophyll decomposes. The yellow color of chicken egg yolks also
comes from ingested xanthophylls, as animals cannot produce xanthophyll.
Xylol or xylene, C8H10, refers to a group of 3 benzene derivatives which
encompasses ortho-, meta-, and para- isomers of dimethyl benzene.
It is a colorless, sweet-smelling liquid that is very flammable. It occurs
naturally in petroleum and coal tar and is formed during forest fires.

even Planet-X behind the Sun
Planet-X, aka Nibiru, Nemesis.
Planet X is a large hypothetical planet orbiting beyond the orbit of Neptune.
The X stands for "unknown", not the Roman number 10; there were only 8 known
planets at the time. Its existence, first as a ninth planet, and after 1930 as a tenth,
was postulated on the basis of apparent discrepancies in the orbits of the gas giants,
especially those of Uranus and Neptune. Those discrepancies have largely been resolved
by modern measurement, removing the basis for Planet X. In popular culture, "Planet X"
has become a generic stand-in term for an undiscovered planet in the solar system.
Planet X is the name of a Pocket Books novel depicting a meeting between Marvel
Comics characters the X-Men and the Star Trek characters that originated in
Star Trek: The Next Generation, set in the Star Trek universe. (Tenth Planet)
Planet-X plunging into the Sun

Dwell not in "expire" or "expel" but in "exquisite" and "excel".
The prefix ex- means without, away from, outside of as in—
exclude, excommunicate, exile, exit, expel, expire,
expunge, exterminate, extinct, extinquish.
However there are positive ex- words such as —
excel, exist, expand, experience, experiment, explore,
exquisite, extraordinary, exuberant, Excalibur.
Note: Masaru Emoto has done research showing that water crystals
will be beautiful or ugly depending on written words attached to the water
bottle before it is frozen. Positive words result in beautiful crystals and vice versa.

XX for female, XY for male,
The DNA which carries genetic information in cells is normally packaged
in the form of one or more large macromolecules called chromosomes.
There are 46 chromosomes in humans, 38 in cats, 64 in horses, 78 in dogs.
The X sex chromosome (female) has 1184 genes and 152,634,166 bases.
The Y sex chromosome (male) has 231 genes and 50,961,097 bases.
XY sex-determination

a single X to the Holy Grail
X is an iconographical symbol for Christ. Being single-minded, one is purified
to Christ Consciousness (Buddha Mind) to find the Holy Grail (Enlightenment).
Our mind must be non-dual and beyond the opposites to experience the Tao.

The Grail legend is one of those fairy-tales of which there are many, in which
the search for a "treasure hard to attain" and deliverance from a magic spell
form the principal themes. What is of special interest about the Grail story,
however is that the fairy-tale is interwoven with a Christian legend, and the
treasure that must be sought for is thought to be the vessel in which Joseph
of Arimathea received the blood of Christ at the Descent from the Cross.
    Perceval meets a beautiful girl on a mule in the thick forest. Neither
the moon nor the stars are visible at night. They see some bright light in
the distance. She explains the bright glow came from the precious Grail,
in which the blood of Christ was received when he hung on the Cross.
The Fisher King has this Grail with him in the forest... It is such a holy thing
that it may be spoken of by no one except an ordained priest or a man who
lives a holy life (who desires nothing that belongs to another and will not do
evil unto others). Only such a one may speak of the Grail and recount the
miracle, and no one may hear of it without blanching and trembling with fear.
— Emma Jung & Marie-Louise von Franz, The Grail Legend,
     Sigo Press, Boston, 2nd Edition, 1986, pp. 9, 276-277

Buddha's neti, neti
Buddha's "Not this, not this" teaches us that to define the Truth
is to limit it. Thus the first lines of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching:
    "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
    The name that can be named is not the eternal Name."

The Irish sage Wei Wu Wei (1895-1986) writes in Ch. 65 "Neti Neti"
of his Ask the Awakened: The Negative Way (1963), pp. 148-149:
Samsara is not things, but a seeing of things.
This seeing is the positive counterpart of the negative which is Nirvana.
Where a positive photograph shows a dark tree against a pale sky, the negative
shows a pale tree-shaped hole in a dark background. The tree is a product of
the imagination, an interpretation projected on to a pattern of light and shade.
The tree photographed is a positive apparent object in Samsara (of samsaric seeing)
whose negative is no-tree, likewise a hole in a background, and that is in Nirvana
(of nirvanic seeing). Both are phenomenal, but it is from no-tree that apparent-tree
is deduced via its positive... When nirvanic seeing and samsaric seeing are combined
in unified vision, just as when a positive and a negative film are superimposed,
the resulting object is nil. It is blank, void, for the light and shade of each
has been compensated by the other, so that there is no variation anywhere that
can be interpreted as a thing, that is as an object; and that is why Nirvana
and Samsara are necessarily identical. Since there is nothing that can be
interpreted, nothing can be described, that is the void or voidness.

a thousand suns from von Kleist—
Oh, Immortality, now you are mine!
I can see a light, though my eyes are blind
And it shines brighter than a thousand suns.
I can feel wings sprouting from my shoulders,
Feel myself rising into thin, calm air;
And like on a ship, when the wind takes it,
You see the harbour lights slipping away—
Ev'rything is sinking down to sunset:
I can still distinguish colours, and shapes,
And now, ev'rything below me... is mist.
Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811)
     The Prince of Homburg, V.10.1-10
     trans. Neil Bartlett with David Bryer,
     Oberon Books, London, 2002, p. 105

Cross of Christ & Deny the ego, embrace the Self,
We find in Matthew 16.24 (also Mark 8.34, Luke 9.23):
    "Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers,
    let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

If we represent the ego as the capital letter "I", then we draw a horizontal line
across this "I" to deny it, the resultant drawing is a cross (+). A metaphysical
interpretation of the Cross is the horizontal line represents the flow of time
from the past to the present to the future, and the vertical line represents
timelessness or the eternal. So when Christ was crucified on the Cross, he is
at the intersection of time and eternity, being in the Eternal Now, bringing
heaven to earth. Hence, "I and my Father are one." (John 10.30)
    René Guenon in his Symbolism of the Cross (1958) also refers
the horizontal part of the cross to the individuality which is transient in
manifestation, and the vertical to the personality which is transcendent
and permanent principle of Being. The vertical direction also symbolizes
the total synthesis of "Universal Man" in exaltation (moksha).

The ego is bound, ephemeral, and finite, while the Self is boundless,
eternal, and infinite. We identify with ego (jiva) as ourself
instead of the Cosmic Self (Brahman), hence our suffering in life.
How does the finite ego reach the infinite Self?
The finite wave can never reach the infinite ocean.
Some inner reflection— I am water, the ocean is water,
I am the ocean! When Moses asked God on Mt. Sinai to reveal
His name, the Lord replied, "I am That I am." The sages
of The Upanishads taught "Tat Tvam Asi" ("That Thou Art").
When we identify with the water and not the wave, we abandon the ego
to embrace our true Cosmic Self, and can say "I am Brahman."

Xantippe married "Know Thyself".
"Know Thyself" is the maxim and teaching of Socrates.
We find it cited in Plato's Protagoras 343b:
    "Moreover the seven wise men met together and
    dedicated the first fruits of their wisdom to Apollo in
    his temple at Delphi, inscribing those words which are
    on everyone's lips, 'Know thyself' and Nothing too much.'"

Also in Charmides 164d, Phaedrus 230a, Philebus 48c, Laws 923a

Xantippe, the wife of Socrates, is cited once in Plato (Phaedo 60s):
    When we went inside [the prison] we found Socrates just released from
    his chains, and Xanthippe— you know her!— sitting by him with the little
    boy on her knee. As soon as Xanthippe saw us she broke out into the sort
    of remark you would expect from a woman. Oh, Socrates, this is the last
    time that you and your friends will be able to talk together! Socrates
    looked at Crito. Crito, he said, someone had better take her home.

Xantippe— the wife of Socrates, remarkable for her ill-humour and peevish
disposition, which have become proverbial. Some suppose that the philosopher
was acquainted with her moroseness and insolence before he married her, and
that he took her for his wife to try his patience, and inure himself to the
malevolent reflections of mankind. She continually tormented him with her
impertinence; and one day, not satisfied with using the most bitter invectives,
she emptied a vessel of dirty water on his head, upon which Socrates coolly
observed, "After thunder, there generally falls the rain."
Lemprière's Classical Dictionary (3rd Ed.), 1984, p. 667

The ox for strength, the axe for power

Mecklenburg-Schwerin #3
German States (1856)
Coat of Arms

Romania #2 (1858)
Moldavia Coat of Arms

Greece #396 (11-1-1937)
Minoan Bull Contest
(1500 B.C.)

Crete #80 (2-15-1905)
Zeus as Bull Abducts Europa
from a Cortyna coin
The Ox is a symbol of the cosmic forces. It represents strength, patient toil, wealth, native power, and sacrifice. In China, Greece and Rome, it was regarded as an attribute of agriculture and fertility. The white ox is contemplative wisdom in Chinese Buddhism. Kakuan's Ten Ox-Herd Drawings are used in Zen meditation to experience enlightenment. The 8th Labor of Hercules: catching the Cretan Bull. After subduing it, he brought it to King Eurystheus where it calmed down and roamed freely. Later, its madness returned, and Theseus carried it to Athens where it was sacrificed to Apollo. A Greek stamp (1937) shows "Bull leaping" fresco from the Palace at Knossos. A Crete stamp (1905) shows Zeus as an Ox (Bull) abducting Europa. Human-headed winged bull from the palace of King Sargon II in Iraq (721-705 B.C.). An ox appears in the Coat of Arms on the first stamps of Romania (1858) and Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1856). Saint Luke is represented by a winged ox, symbolizing the sacrifice of Christ (shown on Swiss stamp).
— J.C. Cooper, Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols (1978)

winged bull
Khorsabad, Iraq
(705 B.C.)

#408 (1960)
Saint Luke
& Winged Ox
The Axe is a symbol of the power of light. The battle-axe has a significance which is equivalent to that of the sword, the hammer, and the cross. The twin-bladed axe is related to the sign tau. Very often it is located over the head of an ox, just between its horns, when it comes to symbolize on the one hand the mandorla (related to horns because of its shape), and on the other, the function of sacrifice in the relationship between the valley-symbol and the mountain-symbol (between earth & heaven). This twin-bladed axe is the same as the Hindu vajra and Jove's thunderbolt, becoming therefore a symbol of celestial illumination. The double-bladed axe (the labrys) is associated with the labyrinth, both being symbols in the Cretan cult. The labyrinth denotes the world of existence— the pilgrimage in quest of the 'Centre'.
— J.E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols (1962), pp. 20-21

the event horizon, the space sojourn
Event horizon is a boundary in spacetime,
defined with, respect to an observer, beyond which
events cannot affect the observer. Light emitted
beyond the horizon can never reach the observer,
and anything that passes through the horizon
from the observer's side is never seen again.
(Anatomy of a Black Hole)

singularity point of no return.
The spatial singularity is a scientific term for what is popularly known as a black hole.
It occurs when matter in our universe is compressed to infinitely small proportions,
a mathematical point. When this happens, the gravitational force becomes dominant
and causes space-time to fold in on itself, creating the spherical event horizon,
which separates the singularity from the rest of the universe. (Point of no return)

Two V's reflecting each other— virtue & vice linked together forming an X
The visual image of the letter V with its mirror image forms the letter X.
The dual opposites of virtue & vice are negated in Buddhist philosophy:
The being and non-being of things subject to causation has no reality;
the triple world owes its existence to the Mind put into confusion by reason
of habit-energy... Eternity and non-eternity; oneness, too, bothness & not-bothness
as well: these are discriminated by the ignorant who are confused in mind and
bound up by errors since beginningless time. In a mirror, in water, and on a gem,
images are seen; but in them there are no real images anywhere to take hold of.

— Buddha, The Lankavatara Sutra, II.142, II.158-159 (before 443 AD)
     D.T. Suzuki (trans.), Prajna Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1978, pp. 75, 84

and those koan puzzles of Zen
Koans are illogical puzzles devised by Zen masters during the T'ang dynasty
in China as aids to awaken students to enlightenment. Zen koans include
"What is the sound of one hand clapping?" and "What is your face before
your parents were born?" The Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn (1927-2004)
often advised his students to always keep "Don't Know Mind" saying that
everyone's "Know Mind" is different, but our "Don't Know Mind" is the same.
Koan #23 in his The Whole World Is A Single Flower (1992), asks:
"Is Your Body Form or Emptiness"— Buddha's The Heart Sutra says,
"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Originally, there are no eyes,
no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, and no mind. Commentary: One mind
appears and the whole universe appears. One mind disappears and the whole
universe disappears. The clouds float from the ocean, rain falls from the sky.
But if one mind never appears or disappears, then what? What do you see now?
What do you hear now? Your mind is like a clear mirror. The mountain is blue,
water is flowing.

Through a glass darkly, then face to face
Quote from I.Corinthianians 13.12;
    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
    now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three;
    but the greatest of these is charity.

with X that sacred secret place
What is that sacred secret place? Paul Brunton (1898-1981) provides some
hints in Volume 15 of his Notebooks: Advanced Contemplation 8.159-162:
Hidden behind every particular thought there exists the divine element
which makes possible our consciousness of that thought. If therefore we
seek that element, we must seek it first by widening the gap between them
and then dissolving all thoughts, and second by contemplating that out of
which they have arisen. This ultramystic exercise which enables us to slip into
the gap between one moment and another, one thought and another, is the
practical means of attaining enlightenment as to the true nature of Mind...
This is called the lightning flash in the Upanishads. You must watch
vigilantly for it. When between two thoughts you catch this brief flash you
have to understand that the thoughts were still in your mind whether they had
appeared or vanished. The thought-gap is hidden. That gap is the see-er of the
thoughts, that is Drik, Mind, Brahman. During the gap— infinitesimal though
it be— between two thoughts, the ego vanishes. Hence it may truly be said
that with each thought it reincarnates anew. There is no real need to wait for
the series of long-lived births to be passed through before achieving liberation.
• Paul Brunton, Volume 15 of Notebooks: Advanced Contemplation 6.81:
There are certain intervals of consciousness between two thoughts—
such as those between waking and sleep and those between sleep and waking—
which normally pass unobserved because of the rapidity and brevity associated
with them. Between one moment and another there is the timeless consciousness;
between on thought and another there is a thought-free consciousness... This
mysterious interval makes its appearance throughout life and even at death,
and yet men notice it not and miss an opportunity. It happens not only at the
entry into death but also in between two breaths. It is possible to go even
further and say that the interval reappears for a longer period between two
incarnations for there is then the blocking out of all impressions of the past
prior to taking on a new body. Plato must have known it.

suddenly I am in-seeing
In-seeing is seeing within or into an object instead of at an object.
Basho (1644-1694) says true poetry comes when one becomes one with the object.
It is what Rodin recommended Rilke to do when the latter had writer's block.
Rodin told Rilke to visit the Paris Zoo (Jardin des Plantes) and look at one animal.
Rilke chose the panther and caught its spirit in his poem "The Panther" (1905).
    Wei Wu Wei illuminates about this kind of inward seeing
in Chapter 45 "Seeing, Seeing, Seeing..." of Open Secret (1965), p.99:
What is the use of looking outside? All you will see is objects!
Turn round and look within.
    Shall I then see subject instead?
If you did you would be looking at an object.
An object is such in whatever direction you look.
    Shall I not see myself?
You cannot see what is not there!
    What, then, shall I see?
Perhaps you may see the absence of yourself,
which is what is looking. It has been called 'the void'.
Boomerang: Every time you see an object you are beholding
the subject of that object in its objective manifestation.
Every object is a mirror which reflects what is looking.

the link between Nothingness & Being
When the dualism of being and non-being is abandoned, there is
neither bothness nor not-bothness; and going beyond Sravakahood
and Pratyekabuddhahood, one will even pass over the seventh stage.

— Buddha, Lankavatara Sutra, Sagathakam 880 (before 443 AD)
     D.T. Suzuki (trans.), Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 294

If being does not exist in the time of nonbeing, when will it
become being? Indeed, that nonbeing will not disappear as long
as being is in a state of not being born. And when nonbeing has not
disappeared, there is no possible opportunity for being. And being
does not go into a state of nonbeing, a state of adherence to two
natures. Thus there is no cessation and there is never being;
and likewise, all this world neither is produced nor destroyed.

Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara: Entering the Path of Enlightenment
     IX.148-150 (Perfection of Wisdom: Prajna-paramita) (circa 700 AD)
     (translated by Marion L. Matics, Macmillan, London, 1970, p. 225)

Wei Wu Wei writes in Ch. 14 "I Am Not" of Ask the Awakened (1963):
The Negative Path: The Buddha alone seems explicitly to have preached
the doctrine which declares that the universal presence knows no I.
Here the impersonality of pure consciousness, inaccessible to
the process of identification, represents the plentitude of the void.
Pure consciousness is, is what is, nothing else is— so I am not.
When we shall have digested that may we not hope that at last we shall
find that indeed we are not? Having searched for the truth in the guise
of 'I Am', perhaps we shall find it in the guise of 'I Am Not'.
We have said the we are it, but we cannot be it— for there are no we.
We have said that it is we, but it cannot be— for the same reason.
There being no we, there is only it, unknown to itself. Nor can it be—
for there is no thing. That must be why it is called the void, and the void
must be void just because nothing is and there is no one to be.
And the universal presence is at the same time a universal absence—
for there is nothing to be present and nowhere for a presence to be.

Fifty pages Chinese X's— xiaò for smile and xing for star
The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary lists 53 pages (pp. 735-788) of x-words:
xi happy, thin, xià below, xian celestial immortal, xiang fragrant,
xiang enjoy, xiàng elephant, xiào smile, xin heart, xin new,
xing star, xíng travel, xìng good fortune, xuè blood

The mystery of X— the unknown
X is the 24th letter of the Latin and English alphabet. The ASCII code for
capital X is 88 and for lowercase x is 120. In mathematics, x commonly represents
an unknown variable. Even though any letter can be used, x is the most common by far.
In general, X represents a generic placeholder variable, whose value is unknown or secret.
See notes above on "X that sacred secret place" for for insights on the mystery of X.

dove and sweet kisses that have flown
The dove appears at Christ's baptism as he was initiated
by John the Baptist in the River Jordan: "It came to pass,
that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was
opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like
a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said,
“Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.”"

(Luke 3.21-22, Matthew 3.16, Mark 1.10, John 1.32).
Piero della Francesca (1415-1492), The Baptism of Christ (1450)

Dove— The Slavs believe that, at death, the soul turns into a dove.
The Dove is a symbol of spirituality and the power of sublimation.
In Christianity, the third person of the Trinity— the Holy Ghost—
is depicted as a dove, and also by a tongue of Pentecostal fire.
— J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols
     Philosophical Library, NY, 1962, p. 81
Dove in Alchemy from Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzifal (Penguin, p. 239):
A hermit is describing the grail castle to Parzifal. The Grail is guarded by
the Templars. "I will tell you how they are nourished. They live from a Stone
whose essence is most pure. If you have never heard of it I shall name it for
you here. It is called 'Lapsit exillis'... On good Friday the hermit continues.
A dove flies down from heaven "It brings a small white Wafer to the Stone
and leaves it there. The Dove all dazzling white, then flies up to heaven again...
from which the Stone receives all that is good on earth of food and drink
of paradisal excellence". Hence, the dove symbolizes the spirit in flight.

"Hugs and Kisses" is a term for a sequence of the letters X and O, that is, XOXO,
typically used by lovers to denote at the end of a written letter or email.
X represents a kiss, O a hug. In Internet and IRC chat, kiss is expressed
by the characters xx. In fairy-tales, the symbolism of the kiss may represent
the awakening of a princess from prolonged sleep from a prince as in
Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. In the Frog Prince, a frog is transformed to
a prince when a princess kissed it. In Greek myth, Pygmalion was a sculptor
who fell in love with a statue he has made and brought to life with a kiss.
The Matrix turns the tables on this motif when Trinity kisses the sleeping
main character Neo, bringing him back to life at the end of the film.
Hence, a true kiss is a symbol of transformation to spiritual awakening.

                                                            — Peter Y. Chou
                                                                 Mountain View, 8-15-2006

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (8-15-2006)