In Buddhism, Samsara is the name for the realm we inhabit — the cycle of birth and death. Samsara is therefore the domain marked above all by suffering.
The Buddha diagnosed the source of this suffering as consciousness, and especially the way that the self which only has its existence through consciousness is constantly plagued by the problem of desire. He therefore tried to point the way towards Nirvana, a state where the self was no-self, and desire was extinguished.
Nonetheless, we find that Zen Buddhism arrived at a profound realization — Nirvana is Samsara. Salvation is therefore not to be sought beyond life, but only in and through life. Nirvana is simply a mode of being-in Samsara.
We are thus forced to re-think the nature of emancipation, traveling beyond the Buddha’s teaching of unity with nothingness, and discovering afresh the brutal path which has been inexorably carved for us as linguistic creatures.
We do not seek a beyond to life, but rather we seek the beyond which is within life already. This wild excess, this manic repetition, this abundant drive... As life overflows its bounds, this joyful wasting excess creates new horizons of pain and beauty for us to discover. We touch infinity only in this tortured sacrifice.
Life is already too much for itself. We wound and are wounded, but from our wounds are born all manner of beautiful things.
Like a corpse whose mouth blesses the dirt...
Like the bloody pulp of a man hung on a cross...
Come. See all things made new.
For at each moment, they are.