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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 TRUTH HAS NO DISTINCTIONS;
THESE COME FROM OUR FOOLISH CLINGING TO THIS AND THAT.
There is the distinction between the wise man and the fool, a
wise thought and a foolish one, but none in the Nature of Things.
Here there is perfect uniformity, law and equality. Mountains and
rivers, birds, beasts and flowers are all on undivided
indivisible thing. Yet on the other hand, each thing is itself
and no other thing, unique, irreplaceable and invaluable. Sameness
and difference are also one thing, yet two things. At one moment
we see the separate meaning of a thing, at another, its meaning
as being all things; and at some most precious moments of all,
incommunicable in speech but yet heard also through it, we know
that a thing, a person, a flower, the cry of a bird, is both one
thing and all things. Sameness and difference, and *their*
sameness and difference are the same and yet different from our
own non-existence.



SEEKING THE MIND WITH THE MIND, - - -
IS NOT THIS THE GREATEST OF ALL MISTAKES?
Clinging to the search for the mind is the last infirmity of the
religious soul, and the most self-evidently absurd, for why
should we search for the Buddha that we have already, why seek
to release ourselves from bonds that are only fancied?
But it is the greediness of our searching which invalidates it.
This is beautifully expressed in the following:


There is a treasure in the deep mountains;
He who has no desire for it finds it.


ILLUSION PRODUCES REST AND MOTION;
ILLUMINATION DESTROYS LIKING AND DISLIKING.
The state of the ordinary man is one in which he is continually
either peacefully contented by successful activity, or in the
anxious throes of that activity, either winning or losing, having
won or having lost. The enlightened man loses well and wins well.


ALL THESE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES
ARE CREATED BY OUR OWN FOLLY.
Once Dogen was approached by a short-tempered man and asked to
cure his short-temperedness. Dogen asked him to show his shortness
of temper, but the man confessed his inability to do so.
It had no real existence, any more than his patience. Both are
created by our own folly and idle fancy. When our minds are
full of something, not part of a thing, but all of it, when there
is no vacancy for odds and ends of passion to occupy, we act
without rashness or hesitation. What the Third Patriarch says is
very much akin to the old proverb,
"Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do".


DREAMS, DELUSIONS, FLOWERS OF AIR, --
WHY SHOULD WE BE SO ANXIOUS TO HAVE THEM IN OUR GRASP?
These creations of the mind, so common and habitual that there
seems to be some concrete reality behind them, are the
protagonists of all tragic drama. Fixed notions of honour,
propriety, faithfulness, conflict of necessity with the
imperturbable, ineffable, and intangible truth ultimately
destroys them. Rigidity versus fluidity, the name versus the
nameless; yet in this very willingness to die for some impossible
creed we see once more that just as the ordinary man, as he is, is
the Buddha, so these delusions are, as they stand, the truth, and
without them there is no reality. What is wrong is the anxiety to
get hold of them or the anxiety to reject them. Error or truth,
profit or loss, - - if we accept them readily, cheerfully, as in
some sense ministers of God, remembering that even the devils
fear and serve Him, these flowers of the air also have their
beauty and value, for


Every error is an image of truth,


and in every illusion there beats the heart of mankind that
aspires for the truth that error masks.
But the mask *is* the face.


PROFIT AND LOSS, RIGHT AND WRONG, --
AWAY WITH THEM ONCE FOR ALL!
What Sengtsan means here, is that we are to give up the false
idea that profit actually profits us, that there is any
individual self to suffer loss or gain. Forgetting all moral
principles, we are to "Dilige, et quod vis fac". (Love, and as
you please.) This abstention from choosing, from judging, does
not mean that we do not choose as pleasant or judge as wrong.
What is means is that God does it for us, God who is so often
disobeyed, who turns the other cheek and forgives his enemies.
When for example we give an order, as a teacher, or an official,
it is to be given peremptorily without a thought of the
possibility of its not being obeyed. But if it is not obeyed,
there is no *personal* irritation and wounded vanity in the angry
remonstrance w make. A law of nature, of human society has been
broken and it is right that our emotion should be aroused by
this.
The doctrine that in all our acts we are to be vicegerents of
Nature is a dangerous one, but every truth is dangerous, for it
liberated universal energies that may easily go astray. Religious
persecution, megalomania, political fanaticism are all misuses of
what the Third Patriarch inculcates. But we know them by their
fruits; by the defects, the distortions, the hatred of the
dictators.


IF THE EYE DOES NOT SLEEP,
ALL DREAMING CEASES NATURALLY.
Human life is a dream, not is its brevity and discontinuity, but
in the fact that we see things almost always as related to our
own personal interests. But we must "persist in our folly" to the
bitter end, and say,


My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken *me*?


At such moments we wake and see things as they really are, in
their suchness, the nails in the wood, the wood in the ground,
the sun setting in the western sky, a mother weeping for her son,
a man-less, God-less universe, each thing fulfilling the law of
its being. When we wake from our sleep of relativity and
subjectivism, nightmares of glory and disgrace, flattery and
condemnation will cease of themselves.


IF THE MIND MAKES NO DISCRIMINATION,
ALL THINGS ARE AS THEY REALLY ARE.
Things are all right, if only we will let them be alone,
cooperate with them, take lead as heavy and use it as a plummet,
take swords as sharp and receive the surgeon's knife, take pain
as dreadful but nor as something distinct from ourselves, adding
imagination to reality. Yungchia describes this condition in the
following way:


The moon reflected in the stream, the wind blowing through the pines
In the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight, -- what is it for?
It is all for nothing, for itself, for others.
This is the suchness of things.


IN THE DEEP MYSTERY OF THIS "THINGS AS THEY ARE",
WE ARE RELEASED FROM OUR RELATIONS TO THEM.
Things as they are, the coldness of ice and the sound of rain,
the fall of leaves and the silence of the sky, are ultimate
things, never to be questioned, never to be explained away. When
we know them, our relations to them, their use and misuse, their
associated pleasures and pains are all forgotten.


WHEN ALL THINGS ARE SEEN "WITH EQUAL MIND",
THEY RETURN TO THEIR NATURE.
This "equal mind" of Matthew Arnold is that which speaks in the
words of Marcus Aurelius:


All that happens is as usual and familiar as
the rose in spring and the crop in summer.


NO DESCRIPTION BY ANALOGY IS POSSIBLE
OF THIS STATE WHERE ALL RELATIONS HAVE CEASED.
Metaphors and similes, parables and comparisons may be used to
describe anything belonging to the relative, the intellectually
dichotomised world, but even the simplest and commonest
experience of reality, the touch of the hot water, the smell of
camphor, are incommunicable by such and any means; how much more
so the Fatherhood of God, the Meaningless of Meaning, the
Absolute Value of a pop-corn, for in such matters, the unity of
our own emptiness and that of all other things is perceived as an
act of self-consciousness, and nothing remains to be compared
with anything. In Chapter VII of the "Platform Sutra" we are told
of Nanyueh, 677-744, and hid meeting with Huineng, the Sixth
Patriarch, who asked him from whence he had come. "From Suzan",
he replied, "What comes? How did it come?" asked the Patriarch.
Nanyueh replied, "We cannot say it is similar to anything".
At the beginning if Chapter IX of the same sutra, Huineng quotes
form the "Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra":


The Law has no analogy, since it is not relative.


WHEN WE STOP MOVEMENT, THERE IS NO-MOVEMENT;
WHEN WE STOP RESTING, THERE IS NO-REST.
Neither rest or movement has any reality as such; they are two
names of one thinglessness which cannot be caused to cease,
because it is uncreated. There is a waka which says:


When it blows,
How noisy
The mountain wind!
But when it blows not,
Where will it have gone?
Blowing, not blowing, what is there but nothingness ...
an invisible, intangible something-heard-and-not-heard?


WHEN BOTH CEASE TO BE,
HOW CAN THE UNITY SUBSIST?
There is no more a unity than there is duality; relative and
absolute are named of the nameless. Zen, that is to say, is a
word that is used like an algebraic sign, for all that is
nameless, all that escapes thought, definition, explanation, yet
breathes through words and silence; is communicated in spite of
our best efforts to communicate it. Actions are either good or
bad; yet nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so. That
is to say, things are both good or bad and neither; relative and
absolute; or, if you wish, neither relative nor absolute, there
is neither duality nor a unity.


THINGS ARE ULTIMATELY, IN THEIR FINALITY,
SUBJECT TO NO LAW.
"No law" means no scientific, psychological, logical,
philosophical, Buddhist, or any other kind of law. As
D.H.Lawrence says, "Life is what one wants in one's soul".
It is indeed an intellectual, rational conception, and applies
only to the intellectual, rational aspect of things abstracted
from the whole.


FOR THE ACCORDANT MIND IN ITS UNITY,
INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY CEASES.
When the mind is in accord with all creatures and with the
Buddha, one with all things, its activity as an individual
entity ceases. What Mozart was at the piano, Bach at the organ,
Shakespeare with his pen, Turner with his brush, we are with out
most trivial and personal affairs of life. When this is not so,
when our acts are hesitant, our work repugnant, our life full of
fears for the morrow and regret for the past, even the spider in
its web, the violet by the stone give us that feeling of envy,
a realization of our alienation from God that no pleasure can
assuage.
Some minds have a tendency to over-emphasize difference, some to
make everything of a meaningless sameness. Both are wrong, the
latter perhaps more than the former.
To correct this there is a saying,


A high place has a high level;
A low place has a low level.


ALL DOUBTS ARE CLEARED UP,
TRUE FAITH IS CONFIRMED.
Doubt and faith are concerned with one thing and one thing only,
the Goodness of the universe. And this is tested by us most
intimately and searchingly within ourselves. If at the outset we
stipulate a personal Deity, individual immortality and so on,
no resolution of doubt and establishment of faith is possible.
We are to make no demands whatever upon the world. "Judge not"
is the word here too. Standing apart from things and questioning
them, praising and condemning -- this is the cardinal error.
Living their life, dying their death, being cloven with the worm
and shrivelled in the candle flame with the moth, is the only way
to solve the mystery of the fruitless suffering, the problem of
the waste of beauty and goodness.


NOTHING REMAINS BEHIND;
THERE IS NOT ANYTHING WE MUST REMEMBER.
We are not bound by any "imitation of the Buddha". There are no
snags, no undigested material, no fitting in with preconceived
notions, no formula to follow in the way of our life or manner
of death. We may be confirmed or baptized if we feel it is good
for us, or die at the stake rather than submit to it. And we
extend the same privilege to everyone else. No one need be
converted to this or that religion. When we do wrong or make
mistakes, we go on with renewed vigour to the next task; a faux
pas cannot check us or make us dwell on it with self-torturing
shame.


EMPTY, LUCID, SELF-ILLUMINATED,
WITH NO OVER-EXERTION OF THE POWER OF THE MIND.
Empty means with nothing clogging the mind, no trace of
self-interest. Lucid means seeing unreason as clearly as reason,
reflecting ugliness as serenely as beauty. Self-illuminated means
truth is not revealed to it from some outside agency.
Over-exertion of the power of the mind is that of Othello,
Mr.Tulliver, Mr.Dombey, and the protagonists of all tragic drama.
There is nothing tragic or comic, but thinking makes it so, the
thinking of the actors and the sympathetic thinking of the
self-illuminated spectators, who see their self-interest and
grieve for it, perceive the self-defacement and unreasonableness
without the reflecting surface of their own minds being marred by
it.


THIS IS WHERE THOUGHT IS USELESS,
WHAT KNOWLEDGE CANNOT FATHOM.
This verse looks back to a passage in the "Lotus Sutra":
This law cannot be known properly by thought and description,
and looks forward to the reply of Yunmen to a certain monk, who
asked, "What is this place where though is useless?", "Knowledge
and emotion cannot fathom it!" To express this thoughtless,
knowledgeless, emotionless state, in which thought and knowledge
and emotion are sublimed into instinct of the highest order, we
have such a phase as,


The lotus blooms in the midst of the fire.


But this is too intellectual in its denial and rejection of the
intellect. Better in the following, from Thoreau:


The weeds at the bottom gently bending down the stream, shaken by
the watery wind, still planted where their seeds had sunk, but
ere long to die and go down likewise; the shining pebbles, not
yet anxious to better their condition; the chips and reeds, and
occasional logs and stems of trees that floated past, fulfilling
their fate, were objects of singular interest to me, and at last
I resolved to launch myself on its bosom and float whither is
would bear me.
("A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers")


IN THE WORLD OF REALITY,
THERE IS NO SELF, TO OTHER THAN SELF.
To say this is easy, to believe it intentionally is not
difficult. It has an emotional, a poetical appeal which few can
withstand. With a full belly, a bank balance, when all is going
well, such a doctrine will be readily adopted. But when food is
scarce, when a man has lost his job, in hours of boredom, when
children die, and our own death is not far off, -- can we then
rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those that mourn?
In my own case, I must say that nothing makes me more contented
with my lot than to see the sufferings of others, to find my
children cleverer and prettier than those of my colleagues.
How far indeed is this from the lines above.


SHOULD YOU DESIRE IMMEDIATE CORRESPONDENCE (WITH THIS REALITY),
ALL THAT CAN BE SAID IS, "NO DUALITY!"
But even this "No duality!", no relativity, no choosing, no
judging, is not to be elevated into a principle of living. It may
be used as a touchstone of past conduct, or as an ideal for some
possible future situation, but for living, which is the eternal
present only, all that can be said is nothing whatever.


WHEN THERE IS NO DUALITY, ALL THINGS ARE ONE.
THERE IS NOTHING THAT IS NOT INCLUDED.
When Thoreau lay dying, he was asked if he had made his peace
with God; he answered, "We have never quarreled". In Thoreau's
world, everything was included, nothing rejected and made into an
enemy. When God lived for two years by Walden lake, Thoreau did
not criticize, praise, or condemn Him. As St.Augustine says,


To live happily is to live according to the mind of God.

(:"Retractions", i.1)


THE ENLIGHTENED OF ALL TIMES AND PLACES
HAVE EVERY ONE ENTERED INTO THIS TRUTH.
This sounds rather depressing, as though ordinary people were
excluded, but what Sengtsan means is that comparatively few know
that they have entered into the realm of Buddhahood, where all
men and all things without exception have their (unconscious and
unwitting) being. Not a sparrow can fall out of God's care, nor
can anyone, for all his hair-shirts and flagellations enter into
His presence. It is only a question of becoming aware of our true
condition, and this becoming aware is called "entering".


TRUTH CANNOT BE INCREASED OR DECREASED;
AN INSTANTANEOUS THOUGHT LASTS A MYRIAD YEARS.
The bonds of time and space do not prevail against the Truth,
the Way, the Buddha Mind. Long and short, here and there,
a moment and eternity are all included in it, as names alone.
Blake says:


One thought fills immensity.


THERE IS NO HERE, NO THERE,
INFINITY IS BEFORE OUR EYES.
Here and there are dualities and therefore obstructions to the
life of perfection. Infinity is under our noses, our noses are
infinitely long. Yungchia says:


The Mirror of the Mind brightly shining, unobstructed,
Passes transparently through everything in the universe.


When this Mind is our mind, when we are not bored with here and
longing to be there, when the life of things is breathed in and
breathed out with every breath we take, when we live in the past
of our world and into the unborn future without desiring to undo
what is done, or avoid what must be, then we live a timeless live
now, a placeless life here.


THE INFINITELY SMALL IN AS LARGE AS THE INFINITELY GREAT,
FOR LIMITS ARE NON-EXISTENT THINGS.
This is a kind of *reductio ad absurdum* of the unpoetic,
commonplace position, that great and small are mutually exclusive
qualities. If the extremes meet, so does the middle and the
rest. Limits and boundaries are man-made things, and what man has
put together, man can put asunder. A doka which illustrates this
is the following:


Mount Fuji, --
Good in fine weather,
Good in the rain:
The Original Form
Never changes.


Thoreau says:
The shalowest still water is unfathomable.


THE INFINITELY LARGE IS AS SMALL AS THE INFINITELY MINUTE;
NO EYE CAN SEE THEIR BOUNDARIES.
Lying at night in camp Thoreau speaks of:


The barking of the house dogs, from the loudest and hoarsest bark
to the faintest aerial palpitation under the eaves of heaven.


WHAT IS, IS NOT; WHAT IS NOT, IS.
There is the most extreme form of expression of the Mahayana
theory that corresponds to the Christian doctrine (mystical, and
strictly speaking heretical) that God is above all qualities, all
predications, even of existence. The "is-ness" of things is a
fantasy of life's fitful fever, -- but so is their "is-not-ness".
Life is a dream, but so is the statement. This last fact is hard
to catch. When we say that unreality is also unreal, in our
normal moments, and especially when the mind is tired, this means
nothing, or less than nothing. It irritates by its illogicality,
and is repugnant because of the demand it makes that we are
unable to supply. It is therefore necessary that we say such
things, to ourselves or others, only then we are in a condition
of mind to know what we are saying, otherwise by frequent vain
repetitions we shall become as the heathen, unable to recognize
moments of vision when they visit us. So for example, death is a
fearful thing because of its irrevocableness, but at times, when
perhaps least expected, or even unwanted, the realization comes
to us that what has never existed, the individual soul, the ego,
has not done and cannot go out of existence. What was born,
immediately ceases to be. At every moment, neither existence nor
non-existence can be predicated or denied, -- yet what a world of
difference between a living child and a dead one!
Consider the following sentence of Thoreau's, put into the form
of a haiku:


Over the old wooden bridge
No traveller
Crossed.


This no-traveller, like deserted roads, empty chairs, silent
organs, has more meaning, more poetry, solidity and permanence
that any traveller. "No traveller" does not mean nobody, nothing
at all; is means everyman, you and I and God and all things cross
this old rickety bridge, and like the bold lover on the Grecian
Urn can never reach the goal.


UNTIL YOU HAVE GRASPED THIS FACT,
YOUR POSITION IS SIMPLY UNTENABLE.
Common sense is revolted by the above assertion that what is,
is not, what is not, is, but in actual practice it is found to
be the only valid one. The story of the monk who was praised
for bringing a basket to catch the drips from the leaking roof
illustrates this identity of what is and what is not. A bucket
or a basket, there is no difference. One man's meat is another
man's poison. A leaf of grass is a six-foot golden Buddha.
Life is a perpetual dying. And if you keep to the so-called
commonsense point of view (which is more elastic than supposed)
you will find that your hard and fast divisions between right and
wrong, profit and loss, useful and harmful, are inapplicable to
all your problems and indeed to every circumstance of life that
is deeply felt and profoundly experienced. So Blake says:


Listen to fool's reproach! It is a kingly title!


and Yungchia says the same thing, a thousand years before him:


Let me allow others to speak ill of me, trespass against me;
It is like trying to burn the sky with fire, only wearing
themselves out.
Listening to them is like drinking the Nectar of Eternal Life;
All fades, and I am suddenly in the Wonderful World.


ONE THING IS ALL THINGS;
ALL THINGS ARE ONE THING.
This expresses in an extreme form the state of Mind towards which
things are constantly tending, called paradox by logic, metaphor
by literature, genius or madness by popular consent.
The humorist says, describing the beauty of a certain film actress,
"When she comes into the room, the room comes in with her".
Another step has been taken towards the region where:


One sentence decides heaven and earth;
One sword pacifies all sublunary things.


When you have really seen one flower, you have seen not only all
flowers, but all non-flowers. One principle, one life, one
animate or inanimate manifestation moves and upholds all things,
and thus it is said:


One sight, and all is seen,
Like a great round mirror.


IF THIS IS SO FOR YOU,
THERE IS NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT PERFECT KNOWLEDGE.
Worry in the great enemy. The search for enlightenment obscures
and delays it. What is wrong is not the pain and grief suffering,
but thinking about ourselves as sufferers.
Therefore, when, if only temporarily, we see into the unity of
the life of the multifarious things of this world, do not let us
lose our firm conviction of this vision by thoughts of our sins
of omission and commission, inconsistency of words and actions.
Thoreau says of the cry of the cock:


The merit of this bird's strain is in its freedom form all
plainliveness. The singer can easily move us to tears or
laughter, but where is he who can excite in us a pure morning
joy? When, in doleful dumps, breaking the awful stillness of our
wooden sidewalk on a Sunday, or, perchance, a watcher in the
house of mourning, I hear a cockerel crow far or near, I think to
myself, "There is one of us well, at any rate", -- and with a
sudden rush return to my senses.
("Walking")
It is the same spirit that breathes in the words of Miyamoto
Musashi, great swordsman and painter:


As far as I am concerned, I regret nothing.


THE BELIEVING MIND IS NOT DUAL;
WHAT IS DUAL IS NOT THE BELIEVING MIND.
When we believe in *something*, this is not the believing mind.
If we say we believe in ourselves, this again is a mistake, of
experience or of expression. "The believing mind believes in
itself", -- this, rightly understood, contains no error. The
"Lankavatara Sutra" says:


Believing in the truth of timeless life is called the Believing Mind.


Clearer still is the "Nirvana Sutra":
The Believing Mind is the Buddha nature.


Here there is no danger of one thing believing in another thing.
The Buddha nature is the true nature of every thing and of
everything. The believing mind is this Buddha-activity. A Haydn
minuet or the Lord's prayer, or a kitten catching at the falling
autumn leaves is a clear thought of this mind, a harmonious
movement of the Buddha nature. It is perfect because it is
single, unique, complete, all-including.


BEYOND ALL LANGUAGE,
FOR IT, THERE IS NO PAST, NO PRESENT, NO FUTURE.
Language is vitally concerned with time, with tense. The Way is
timeless and breaks through language, but does not discard it.
Silence itself is a form of speaking, just as the blank spaces
between the marks of the printing are as much part of the
printing as the letters themselves. The Way is timeless yet it
cannot dispense with time. Eternity and time are in love with
each other, continually embracing in a divine union, yet always
separate to the purely human eye.



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


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