Reading and Study vs. Conceptualization

Lee asked, “If ceasing conceptualization is the way to awaken, does that mean we should abandon reading and study?”

Louie Wing said, “Anyone with true aspiration for awakening will only benefit from careful reading and intense study of the scriptures and treatises of the sages.”

Lee asked, “But wouldn’t that lead to conceptualization?”

Louie Wing said, “Hopefully, away from it! Listen, ceasing conceptualization is not putting a stop to rational thinking. Reading and study, like anything else, can be subjected to conceptualization, in which case it is not true reading and study but grasping for some definitive doctrine.”

Lee said, “I don’t see how anyone could read and study without getting caught up in conceptualizing.”

Louie Wing said, “Reading and study are no more prone to conceptualization than any other perception, feeling or thought. Reading and study, like seeing and hearing, can be performed from the perspective of your own pure and clear, luminous awareness.”

Lee said, “Still, I don’t see the benefit. It would just be adding something else to cease conceptualizing about.”

Louie Wing said, “If it really causes you so much concern, then leave it for now, but remember, reading and study, like seeing and hearing, might help you avoid walking into traffic.”

~The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing