Fandom

Peace Elements

Hsin2

189pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk1 Share

For commentary, info and to add your own comments, click here or on the discussion tab above.


Introduction
Page One ... Page Two ... Page Three ... Without Commentary ... Cleary Translation ... Shinjin-No-Mei D.T.Suzuki


A translation known as Faith Mind by Clark is a W.I.P.
as is the original Chinese



HsinHsinMing

(commentary R.H.Blyth)


THE MORE TALKING AND THINKING,
THE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Haiku are the briefest kind of poetry consonant with the
possession of form and rhythm. By the reduction of poetical
expression to seventeen syllables we narrow the circle around
that invisible, unwritable central poetic life until no mistake
is possible, no discolouration of the object is left, all is
transparent and as though wordless. Yungchia says:


When asked, "What is your religion?"
I answer, "The Power of the Makahannya". [The Great Wisdom]
Sometimes affirming things, sometimes denying them,
It is beyond the wisdom of man.
Sometimes with common sense, sometimes against it,
Heaven cannot make head or tail of it.


CUTTING OFF ALL SPEECH, ALL THOUGHT,
THERE IS NOWHERE THAT YOU CANNOT GO.
This does not mean that there is to be no speech, no words, but
that there is to be speech that is non-speaking, silence that is
expressive; thought that is ego-less, mindlessness through which
the Mind is flowing. This mindless, speechless, thinking and
talking state is one in which we realize the impermanence of all
things. But this "realize", does not mean an intellectual
comprehension, but a "making real" in ourselves as
actual-potential state. It is not that all things are impermanent
and that we must perceive this fact, but that our "seeing" the
change that a thing is, and the change that is seen are one
activity, neither cause nor effect, neither hen nor egg.
"There is nowhere that you cannot go", in other words, you are
the Buddha, -- not *a* Buddha, but *the* Buddha, beyond all time
and space, eternal and infinite, yet here and now. You have all
because you have nothing; having no desires, they are all
fulfilled, yet you own property; you hope for this and that, talk
and think, plan and day-dream.


RETURNING TO THE ROOT, WE GET THE ESSENCE;
FOLLOWING AFTER APPEARANCES, WE LOSE THE SPIRIT.
What is the "root" of the universe? Some say man, some say God.
It is often convenient to have two names for one thing:
spiritual, material; human, divine; freewill, determinism;
relative, absolute. But if we think of the essence of things as
the root, and the things themselves as branches and leaves, we
are allowing these "thoughts" and "words", spoken of in the
previous verse, to divide once more what is a living unity into a
duality that is dead as such. For whether we look at things in
their multifariousness, their variety and differences, or at the
common elements, the "Life-force", the principles of Science, we
are still far from the root, which is not either, not both, not a
thing at all, -- yet it is not nothing. Buddhists say the mind,
is the root of things -- but it is not something inside us.
Christians say it is God, -- but it is not something outside us.
But to know, to *realize*, the inside and outside as one, that my
profit is your profit, that your loss is my loss, to make this
fact, this dead matter-of-fact into a living, yea-saying Fact, --
this is our own and our only problem. When this is solved, in out
thinking and speaking, all is solved. When it is not solved,
every thought is twisted, every word is sophisticated. Yungchia
uses the same metaphor of root and leaves in the following verse:


Cutting off the root (of life and death) directly,
This is the mark of Buddhahood;
If you go on plucking leaves (of creeds) and seeking branches
(of abstract principles),
I can do nothing for you.


IF FOR ONLY A MOMENT WE SEE WITHIN,
WE HAVE SURPASSED THE EMPTINESS OF THINGS.
Moments of vision, provided that we are watchful for and
unforgetful of them, coming and going as they do, like a breath
of air, enable us to go beyond the transitoriness, the emptiness,
the unreality of things, -- into what? Our going is to nowhere,
our going is staying here. It is the timeless and spaceless that
cannot exist except in time and space. What happiness to have so
many of these moments, for them to run in a stream through our
lives! Nietzsche, Mozart, Spinoza, Marcus Aurelius, Basho, --
this is what these names mean to us, the painful-happiness of
these moments of seeing within.


CHANGES GO ON IN THIS EMPTINESS
ALL BECAUSE OF OUR IGNORANCE.
Once we realize that there is no such thing as reality, nothing
can appear as real or unreal. All things are empty in their
self-nature, and when we realize that nothing is unreal, we are
at home in every place; every moment of time, whether past or
present, is now. In our yearning for what is to come, in our
regrets for what is past, time lives in eternity. Our thoughts
wander through infinite space, which is thus in this point of
feeling matter.


DO NOT SEEK FOR THE TRUTH,
ONLY STOP HAVING AN OPINION.
The drowning man searches for water. A more homely and apt
illustration is a man looking for the spectacles that are on his
nose. Confucius says, "making an axe looking for the one your are
using". There is no such thing as "the Truth". The nearest
approach to anything like it is our state of mind when we desist
form the search for it, and live our life. This is what the
"Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment" means when it says:


Positive views are all perverted views;
All no-opinions are true opinions.


And Yungchia says also explicitly,
Do not seek after the truth,
Do not cut off delusions.


DO NOT REMAIN IN THE RELATIVE VIEW OF THINGS;
RELIGIOUSLY AVOID FOLLOWING IT.
In every way the world is double, good and bad, profit and loss,
here and there. But from another point of view, "There is nothing
good or bad but our thinking makes it so". We are to stop this
"thinking", this "having an opinion", this "judging". Yet if you
say, this is the right view, this is the wring, this the
relative, this is the absolute, we are still "following" it.
Truth is attained only when we realize that there is nothing to
attain to. Eternity has its fulness of perfection in us only when
we are engrossed in the temporal and imperfect.


IF THERE IS THE SLIGHTEST TRACE OF THIS AND THAT,
THE MIND IS LOST IN THE MAZE OF COMPLEXITY.
The Middle Way is indeed the difficult path to tread, a
razor-edge from which we fall into the common errors of mankind.
When we compare the Chinese above with the Hebrew:


Thou shalt worship no other God; for the Lord, whose name is
jealous, is a jealous God.


We cannot but be struck by the variety of expressions of an
identical, inexpressible truth. There is here a variety in which
the Mind is *not* lost; this *is* that, however well disguised.


DUALITY ARISES FROM UNITY;
BUT DO NOT BE ATTACHED TO THIS UNITY.
It is the One that unites the Two; without It, the Buddha-nature,
the Void, the Mind, this and that could not exist. But do not
despise this and that and yearn after the Ground of Existence.
Things and circumstances are in themselves neutral, not
meaningless, but *not* coloured intrinsically with the "opinion"
we have of them.


When we clap our hands,
The maid serves tea,
Birds fly up,
Fish draw near, --
At the pond in Sarusawa.


The clapping of the hands is It. The sound as interpreted by the
maid-servant, by the bird, by the fish, is only half of It. But
without halves there is no whole, just as without whole there are
no halves. As we endeavour to release ourselves from phenomena,
the relative world, we became attached to something even more
non-existent, the thing in itself, the noumenon, and thus also it
is said:


Holding to the One in not Truth.


WHEN THE MIND IS ONE, AND NOTHING HAPPENS,
EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD IS UNBLAMEABLE.
"Nothing happens" means our realizing that nothing increases or
decreases, things are as they are. This is "realized" when the
mind is undivided, when in my own person you and I, he and I are
different names of one thing, that is nevertheless two things.
When nothing in the world is "blamed" as itself and nothing else,
or everything, when, that is, nature has done its part and we do
ours, when we do not upbraid circumstances or indulge in
self-reproach, the mind is the mind and nothing untoward can
occur. Chesterton rightly says,


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly understood. An
inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
("On Running After One's Hat")


Things are unblameable, unpraiseable as they flow from change to change:


Whatever arises from the nature of the whole, and tends towards
its well-being, is good also for every part of that nature. But
the well-being of the universe depends on change, not only of the
elementary, nut also of the compound.
(Marcus Aurelius)


IN THINGS ARE UNBLAMED THEY CEASE TO EXIST;
IF NOTHING HAPPENS, THERE IS NO MIND.
When we neither censure or praise anything, all things are devoid
of censurable and praiseworthy qualities. When we do not judge
things, things do not judge us. When things simply flow, every
atom according to its own nature, according to Nature, according
to its Buddha-nature, there is no mind as something separable
from what is not mind. Yungchia says:


Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen;
Whether we speak or are silent, move or are still,
It is unperturbed.


WHEN THINGS CEASE TO EXIST, THE MIND FOLLOWS THEM;
WHEN THE MIND VANISHES, THINGS ALSO FOLLOW IT.
Subject and object, I and that, here and there, -- when one or
the other (it does not matter which) ceases, both cease.
According to our temperaments, we find it less difficult to
become aware of the emptiness of the ego-concept or the emptiness
of the thing-concept. It is the same difference that gives us the
  • jiriki* and *tariki* sects, self-power and other-power. The
first like refers to the former, and the second to the latter.
Yungchia says:


Trying to get rid of illusion, and seeking to grasp reality, --
This giving up and keeping is mere sophistry and lies.


In other words, seeking for the truth and avoiding
discrimination, is itself discrimination. So long as we look for
reality outside ourselves, or inside ourselves, so long will
things refrain from following the (non-)ego into non-existence,
and the (illusory) ego refrain from following things into their
emptiness. Outside and inside are the same thing: what is
outside?
It is but a little blood, a few bones, a paltry net woven from
nerves and veins. A little air, and this for ever changing; every
minute of every hour we are gasping it forth and sucking it in
again.
What is inside?


Sense-perceptions vague and shadowy... the things of the soul,
dreams, vapours. (Marcus Aurelius)


THINGS ARE THINGS BECAUSE OF THE MIND;
THE MIND IS MIND BECAUSE OF THE THINGS.
The aim of Zen, the aim of the poetical life, is to reach and
remain in that undifferentiated state where subject and object
are one, in which the object is perceived by simple
introspection, the subject is the self-conscious object. Subject
and object and to be realized as the two sides of one sheet of
paper, that is one and yet is two. The one piece of paper cannot
exist without the two sides, nor the two sides without the one
sheet. This analogy fails to satisfy if taken in any other way
but lightly and quickly, for to what should we compare the
universe? How can anything be true parable of the Essence of
Being?


IF YOU WISH TO KNOW WHAT THESE TWO ARE,
THEY ARE ORIGINALLY ONE EMPTINESS.
The Emptiness is described in the following way: it is perfectly
Harmonious, subject and object, Mind and Form are one. it is Pure
and Undefiled, things are, just as they are, delivered from all
stain of sin or imperfection. It is Unobstructed; all things are
free, interpenetrative. That is to way it is age-less, non-moral,
law-less. It is like light, containing all colours in it, but
itself colourless. It is not a thing but contains all things;
not a person but includes all minds; not beautiful or ugly but
the essence of both.


IN THIS VOID, BOTH (MIND AND THINGS) ARE ONE.
ALL THE MYRIAD PHENOMENA CONTAINED IN BOTH.
All mental phenomena are contained in things; all things are
contained in the mind. But this "in" has an interpenetrative
meaning; it is not the "in" of "inside" and "outside". An example
of this interpenetration:


The Rose of Sharon
At the side of the road
Was eaten by my horse.
~ Basho ~


IF YOU DO NOT DISTINGUISH "REFINED" AND "COARSE",
HOW CAN YOU BE *FOR* THIS AND *AGAINST* THAT?
By "refined" and "coarse" is meant all the pairs of relatives
under which we look at the world. Habit makes it seem a necessity
that we should view the world so, since custom lies upon us "with
the weight heavy as frost, and deep almost as life", but moments
of vision, all moments profound enough to reach through to the
Void, the Ground of Being, the Way, tell us that refined or
coarse though things be, they are something which is neither,
yet which is not neither. Thoreau gives us an example, all the
truer because it is an unconscious one, of the way in which
the rough and the smooth are the same:


The landscape was clothed in a mild and quiet light, in
which the woods and fences checkered and partitioned it
with new regularity, and rough and uneven fields stretched
away with lawn-like smoothness to the horizon, and the clouds,
finely distinct and picturesque, seemed a fit drapery to hang
over fairy-land.


Thus all our preferences, from the weakest down to the strongest,
must be seen as one-sided, not in the sense that there are other
justifiable points of view, but that the thing is simply *not*
what we suppose it to be, the quality ascribed to it is entirely
absent. Then what is the thing if it is devoid of all qualities?
It is devoid of absence of those qualities, and what is meant by
this unpalatable conglomeration of negatives is that in some
mysterious way the thing is alive, it exists with a palpitating
stillness. A dark, invisible radiance comes from it, it moves
from nowhere to nowhere, its future and its past ever present. It
is the Way it travels; however small it fills all space; it is
the Ground of Being and the Flowers of the Spirit that spring
from it. It is the intimations of immortality and the certainty
of annihilation.


THE ACTIVITY OF THE GREAT WAY IS VAST;
IT IS NEITHER EASY NOR DIFFICULT.
The Way is called Great because there is nowhere else to walk
but on it:
I make myself a slave and yet must follow.
There is nothing difficult or easy about it, for it includes all
existence and all non-existence, all that is and all that can
never be. We think it is easy and it is not; we suppose it to be
difficult, and it is not. The ease or difficulty in entirely in
our fancy. But this fancy also is included in the vastness of the
activity of the Great Way and forms an essential part of it.
Marcus Aurelius says:


Forget not that all is opinion, and that opinion subject to thee.
Then cast it out when thou wilt, and, like the mariner who has
doubled the cape, thou wilt find thyself in a great calm, a
smooth sea, and a tideless bay.


SMALL VIEWS ARE FULL OF FOXY FEARS;
THE FASTER THE SLOWER.
Nothing can be achieved without courage. We fear to give up the
bird in the hand for the two in the bush. This bird in the hand
is not only life itself, but, for example, the Fatherhood of God.
When we give up life, we pass beyond life and death. When we
give up the Fatherhood of God, we lose also the feeling of
dependence and servility. But we are still alive, God is still
Our Father, -- but with a difference. Even with doubt there is
small view and large view, the former an over-cautiousness,
unadventurousness like that of the fox who will not venture on
the ice until it is safe for an elephant; and the Great Doubt,
which is the positive, active, thrusting doubt akin to curiosity
but much stronger and deeper.
Ordinary study is cumulative, but with Zen it is not so, because
it belongs to the timeless. This is why it is said, "The faster
the slower". The more you search, the farther away it gets, for
it is an open secret. To love God and love one's fellow man, --
there is nothing beyond this, nothing that requires explanation.
Marcus Aurelius says:


Life and death, fame and infamy, pain and pleasure, wealth and
poverty fall to the lot of both just and unjust, because they are
neither fair nor foul, neither good nor evil.


WHEN WE ATTACH OURSELVES TO THIS (IDEA OF ENLIGHTENMENT),
WE LOOSE OUR BALANCE; WE INFALLIBLY ENTER THE CROOKED WAY.
Our experience, our deepest experience has taught us something;
we wish to convey it to others. When they question its validity,
we become angry, losing our mental serenity by holding so firmly
to what is after all more intangible than snow-flakes or the
rainbow. It is not merely calmness of mind that we have lost,
however, but what is this and more, the Middle Way, the knowledge
(and practice) that our profoundest interpretation of life also
must be thrown overboard together with the sentimentality,
cruelty, snobbery, and folly that make our lives a misery. The
Crooked Way is not a morally distorted manner of life. It is
composed of virtues as much as of vices, of ideals, religious
dogmas, principles of freedom and justice, as much as of
degradation and tyranny. The Crooked Way is over-grieving at
inevitable sorrows, over-clinging to joys which must cease; it is
regarding as permanent what is but transitory; always looking for
the silver lining, desiring to be in the non-existent and
impossible "Land beyond the morning star".


WHEN WE ARE NOT ATTACHED TO ANYTHING, ALL THINGS ARE AS THEY ARE;
WITH ACTIVITY THERE IS NO GOING, NO STAYING.
Seize it and your hands are empty; drop it and they are full to
overflowing. Ask, and ye shall not receive, is the iron law. But
this non-asking is no indifference of blankness. It is like the
"weakness" of women that overcomes the strongest man. It is like
the force of gravity which pulls down the highest towers with not
a single movement on its own part. Buds open in spring without
straining; leaves fall in autumn without reluctance. The seasons
come and go, years and centuries, -- but not the Activity, not
the Great Way. There is no presence or absence, no increase or
diminution with that.


OBEYING OUR NATURE, WE ARE IN ACCORD WITH THE WAY.
WANDERING FREELY, WITHOUT ANNOYANCE.
Our own nature is not different from the nature of all things in
which there is nothing unnatural. The fiends of Hell, the
monsters of the deepest seas, the bacteria of our bosoms, the
perversions of maniacs cannot surprise or distrust us. Living by
Zen or without it, in perpetual fear and irritation; sadism and
masochism; the destruction of life and beauty; the annihilation
of the universe, -- none of these things can appal us. Our own
faults and shortcomings, crimes and follies are a pleasure to
us; the punishment they bring to us and the others are yet
another confirmation of our insight into our true nature,
overlaid as it is with illusions and superimposed habits that
have become instincts, and usurp the authority of the Activity
that yet works unceasingly within and without us.


WHEN OUR THINKING IS TIED,
IT IS DARK, SUBMERGED, WRONG.
It is *dark*, so that we cannot distinguish the true nature of
things; we see friends as enemies, strengthening trials as
useless annoyances. We fail to perceive the so-called defects and
errors of others as an aspect of their Buddha nature. It is
  • submerged*; it does not float upon the waves of circumstances
that can both drown or buoy us up. When all things work together
for good because we love God, that is, we seek not to change that
which is inevitable, the outside, but only the free, the inside,
then we are as light as corks however low the billows descend,
however high they mount aloft. It is *wrong*, because our nature
is freedom. Perfect service, no task left undone or scamped, as
best exemplified in a mother's unfailing, tender care, is right
because not tied by duty or public opinion. When we look around
and see odious people, a world of stupidity and spitefulness, the
weather always too warm or too cold, all the elements conspiring
to annoy us, death approaching nearer with ira prophetic twinges
and dull throbs, this is to be tied, pressed down by dark,
mournful waves of thought; Marcus Aurelius again:


Thou art stricken in years; then suffer it not to remain a
bond-servant; suffer is not to be puppet-like, hurried hither and
thither by impulses that take no thought of thy fellow-man;
suffer it not to murmur at destiny in the present or look askance
at it in the future.


IT IS FOOLISH TO IRRITATE YOUR MIND;
WHY SHUN THIS AND BE FRIENDS WITH THAT?
Our ordinary mind, our ordinary life consists of nothing else but
avoiding this and pursuing that, but the life of "reason", that
rises up at times from some submerged realm into conscious life
is far other:


The mind, when once it has withdrawn itself to itself and
realized its own power has neither part nor lot with the soft
and pleasant, or harsh and painful motions of thy breath.
(Marcus Aurelius)


IF YOU WISH TO TRAVEL IN THE VEHICLE,
DO NOT DISLIKE THE SIX DUSTS.
The Six Dusts are qualities produced by the objects and organs of
sense: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and idea. The One
Vehicle is the Mahayana, the vehicle of Oneness. The
"Saddharmapundarika Sutra" ("Hokkekyo") says:


Only one vehicle of the Law,
Not two, and not three.


The Six Dusts, that is, the body and its attendant misguided
ideas, are the cause of all our unhappiness and suffering, and
prevent us from seeing things as they really are and from having
the peace of mind that is our birthright. But an old waka says,
illustrating the way in which nothing is good or bad of its
nature, but thinking makes it so:


Sin and evil
Are not to be got rid of
Just blindly;
Look at the astringent persimmons!
They turn into sweet dried ones.


If you get rid of the unripe, astringent persimmon, how shall you
obtain the ripe one? Get rid of the Six Dusts, and where will the
One Vehicle be? A well known poetess has said the same thing in a
more sentimental manner:


He would not give me a lodging;
How disagreeable it was!
But through his kindness,
I could sleep beneath the cherry-blossoms
Under the hazy moon that night.


INDEED, NOT HATING THE SIX DUSTS
IS IDENTICAL WITH REAL ENLIGHTENMENT.
This absence of hatred, of intolerance, disgust, righteous
indignation, discrimination and judging, is itself the state of
Buddhahood. This negativeness, however, is not that of the
opposite of affirmation. It is not the passive condition it seems
to be, neither can it be described by the words "love our
enemies". It is not absence of feeling, of indifference, but some
unnameable attitude of mind in which evil is accepted as such
though not condoned. It is descried by George Eliot in following
way:


"Ay sir", said Luke, as he gave his arm to his master,
"you will make up your mind to it a bit better, when you've seen
everything; you'll get used to it. That's what my mother says
about her shortness of breath - she says she's made friends wi'
it, though she fought against it when it first came in".
("The Mill on the Floss")
In a word, we must not hate hatred.


THE WISE MAN DOES NOTHING,
THE FOOL SHACKLES HIMSELF.
The wise passivity is that of nature:
The buds swell imperceptibly without hurry or confusion, as if
the short spring day were an eternity.
(Thoreau, "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers")


We bind ourselves with our likes and dislikes, we are bound with
fancied bonds. There is nothing so strong in the world as a
delusion, nothing so indestructible as this imaginary,
non-existent self and its temporary profit and loss, loving and
loathing.



Introduction
Page One ... Page Two ... Page Three ... Without Commentary ... Cleary Translation ... Shinjin-No-Mei D.T.Suzuki


A translation known as Faith Mind by Clark is a W.I.P.
as is the original Chinese


Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.