What If There Is No God? (Part III)
Part I: Hope and Fear
Part II: The God Within
Part III: "HSIN HSIN MING"
Hsing Hsing Ming
The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set
infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for
or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is
the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of things is not
understood the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
Verses On The Faith And The Mind
By Sengtsan, Third Zen Patriarch
A New Translation
The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and
nothing is in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or
reject that we do not see the true nature of things. Live neither in the
entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be
serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear
by themselves. When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your
very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain in one
extreme or the other you will never know oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and
passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to
miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their
reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you
wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing
you will not be able to know. To return to the root is to find the
meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond
appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty
world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the
truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid pursuits carefully. If
there is even a trace of this or that, of right and wrong, the
Mind-essence will be lost in confusion. Although all dualities come from
the One, do not be attached even to this One. When the mind exists
undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a
thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind
vanishes, objects vanish. Things are objects because of the subject
(mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (objects).
Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity
of emptiness. In this emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each
contains in itself the whole world. If you do not discriminate between
coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with
limited views are fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the
slower they go, and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited; even to be
attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things
be in their own way, and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely
and undisturbed. When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for
everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from
distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of
senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true
enlightenment. The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man
fetters himself. There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from
clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the (discriminating)
mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no
liking and disliking. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They
are like dreams or flowers in the air: foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished
If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind
makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of
single essence. To understand the mystery of this one-essence is to be
released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally the
timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are
possible in this causeless, relationless state.
Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both
movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist Oneness
itself cannot exist. To this ultimate finality no law or description
For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving
ceases. Doubts and irresolution vanish and life in true faith is
possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings
to us and we hold to nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no exertion of the mind's power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge,
and imagination are of no value. In this world of Suchness there is
neither self or other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when
doubts arise, "Not two." In this "not two" nothing is separate, nothing
is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this
truth. And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or
space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands
always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small: no
difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen. So
too with Being and non-Being, Don't waste time in doubts and arguments
that have nothing to do with this.
One thing, all things: move among, intermingle without distinction. To
live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, Because the non-dual
is one with the trusting mind.
Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday, no
tomorrow, no today.
Part I: Hope and Fear
Part II: The God Within