Hsin Shin Ming: “13. Those who do not understand the Way (true-Self) will assert or deny the reality of things.”
‘Those who do not understand the Way’ implies those who are ignorant of the truth that everything is Oneness as emptiness. ‘Assert or deny the reality of things’ means to discriminate or to be deluded by illusions. That is, in other words, to make extremes.
Let’s suppose that a person from Alaska is talking to a man from the tropics about Korean spring weather that is 24 degrees centigrade now. The person from Alaska argues that it is very hot weather, but the man from the tropics says, “No, it is not hot at all, it’s very cold weather.” Then a Korean seeing their argument interrupts, “No, both of you are wrong. It’s not cold, not warm. It’s beautiful and pleasant weather.” They are asserting and denying the reality of things. Which of them is right and which is wrong?
We come to make assertions like this because we are ignorant of the fact that everything is empty and that everything is neutral when it is empty.
The truth is that the weather is not hot, not cold, not pleasant but neutral in essence. The weather never says or thinks that it is cold or warm. It is warm because we think that it is warm, cold because we think that it is cold and pleasant because we think that it is pleasant.
The first comment that Buddha made when he attained enlightenment at the sight of the morning star was ‘I’ve realised that the star is not a star’.
Student: “What happens when we understand the Way?”
Master: “There is nothing to assert or deny.”
Student: “What happens when we assert or deny the reality of things?”
Master: “The level ground becomes rough and bumpy, and we stumble over the lines drawn on flatland by ourselves.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/Acpyu