The Meaning of Ott’s Jack’s Cheese and Bread Snack Lyrics

I first heard this song about ten years ago and loved it, and was intrigued by the lyrics. Post-liberation, I can now say what they mean, from experience. When I first heard the lyrics, I didn’t know what they meant, but liked them and was intrigued. Later, I knew what they meant intellectually: it’s called “Dependent Origination” in Buddhism and (found out in late July 2019) the list of four is called the “Four Seals of Buddhism” or “Four Dharma Seals”. But what is it like to experience the emptiness this points to? That’s very difficult, or impossible to describe, since language and the mind are children of time and space. But I can talk about dependent origination, to the best of my ability. 

Ott – Jack’s Cheese and Bread Snack


One: All composite phenomena are impermanent.
Two: All contaminated things and events are unsatisfactory.
Three: All phenomena are empty and selfless.
And four: Nirvana is true peace.


Here’s what I wrote on July 22, 2018:

Basically, it’s like this:

One: All composite phenomena are impermanent

It’s talking about separation and oneness: if a phenomenon, an appearance, which is what an object is composed of, must in order to be perceived as a thing in consciousness (what there is, and what all phenomenon appear within), have some sort of border, boundary, or seeming separateness from other things, then it is part of the world of change – you need time and space to have objects, and a self, and movement – then by nature it will come and go. Anything that is born dies; any perception, sensation, or thought arises then goes away; the only thing that does not change is the totality, which cannot be perceived as a thing because it isn’t – and intuitively it must the same as what is reading these words – the one perceiver.
So in short, “composite”, “phenomenon” and “impermanent” all imply each other: so see what changes and thus is illusory and you will know what is eternal.

Two: All contaminated things and events are unsatisfactory.

By “contaminated” here means the experience of fear and desire: reactions, unconsciousness, which if acted on – a reaction, which is repeated and automatic (karma: cause and effect) via mental activity – this by nature leads to suffering. Pure consciousness is “contaminated” in the sense of obscured: the waters are muddied by personal thinking, mental activity or vibration comes from separateness, which wants to complete itself, but blindly, through objects which it either desires, or fears, thinking they are outside itself, and complete disappearance (non-existence) is implied as a possibility in separateness, and this disturbance is suffering and not peace.

(In a practical sense or example, people can achieve a lot, be ambitious, but create a lot of wreckage in the process through desire and fear – the ego-driven activity, creating stress, suffering, such as coming from competitiveness, anger, driven-ness, unconsciousness, stupidity of learned or clever rather than natural intelligence; but in action through non-attachment the “sage” achieves without doing; life is lived through him, not by him).

Three: All phenomena are empty and selfless:

Given that self and other arise together (how can there be one without the other – it would just be One), the separate or personal self is a phenomenon like any other, composed of passing, illusory sensations, perception, thoughts: a concept, the “I” thought. So just as this self does not actually exist in any real and substantial sense, so by implication are all others, all of what was considered to be “out there”: as such all phenomenon are as non-existing in-themselves as this self, ultimately. That is, absolutely, all phenomenon do not exist in themselves but as the perceiving ultimate witness, which is universal. That unknowable “this-ness” is empty as far as being objective.

And four: Nirvana is true peace:

True peace is nirvana. Is happiness, is love, is beauty is truth. Is Self.

July 29, 2019

Woke up this morning with a different way of seeing. But I’m having trouble finding a vocabulary. 
I know, I’ll spend time just “being with it” – which is a dualistic way of saying it.
But to put this seeing way crudely, I see there are just “energies”, not objects, not space. Even the “energies” are not in space. We assumed space because we see (our) hands manipulating objects, and made a model that we over-apply, of space and objects, and that there’s what there is. Well there isn’t. 
It’s like if you see gorillas throwing shit in a zoo, you assume the world is made of shit. 
But if I say “energies” or “fields” it sounds New-Agey, or physics-knowing folks and whatnot will associate with physics language and so won’t like “energies”. 
And even for non-physic-knowing folks, physics language and concepts presumes space and time. 
But it’s useful to say for example, “when I drink too much beer, it lowers my energy”. My consciousness is lowered, or rather occluded, clouded. I’m seeing things occluded, a lower “vibration.” 
There wee are, back at New Age language again. 
I seems to me like everything is “transparent” or “has no self-nature” –  then I sound like Rupert Spira, or a Buddhist and will trigger off Buddhists ideas, beliefs. 
If we speak, there is a mind, and the assumption of another, or for the listener there is anyway, so therefore objects, bodies, time space – the language and mind go together in a  sense – so why am I trying to communicate? To who? 
Just a bunch of noise.
As the Eric-organism.


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