Hsin Shin Ming: “14. Deny the existence of things and you will fall into the existence of things. Follow the emptiness and you will forsake the emptiness.”
‘The existence of things’ implies forms. To rephrase the first sentence, it reads: Deny forms and you will fall into forms. The existence of things or forms is to the emptiness as the right is to the left. The existence of things and the emptiness are not separate and not different from each other but oneness and the same with each other, like the right and the left. Forms, as the Heart Sutra says, are the emptiness and the emptiness is forms. Enlightenment is to realise that the existence is the emptiness.
Denying the existence is denying the emptiness, and following the emptiness is following the existence of things. If you, denying the right, follow the left, could you stay in the left without the right? There is no left without the right. So, following the left without the right is as foolish as arguing that there is the right without the left.
The emptiness that you can follow is not true emptiness but another form, the existence of things. There is nothing to deny or follow in the emptiness. So, following the emptiness is following the existence of things and missing the emptiness. The emptiness is oneness that remains undivided by our imaginary lines. When the emptiness is divided into many by our imaginary lines, it becomes many. This is the existence of things called forms. So, one is many, and many are one.
Student: “What is the existence of things?”
Master: “You are asking me a question now, and I respond to it like this.”
Student: “What is the emptiness?”
Master: “I am wrong if I answer your question.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/Ah0d1