It seems true that the element of water and its manifestation in the form of waves are one and undivided. But we would be wrong to assume that the element of water depends upon waves. It is only true that waves depend upon water. If the water doesn’t move, which is to say it is wave-less, it is still present.
This is somewhat related to the problem of realizing our true Mind or our original nature (or substance). What we are always facing are manifestations of Mind, or the same, Mind phenomena. All phenomena are, in fact, Mind dependent whereas Mind is independent. How many things arise or do not arise does not affect Mind. Mind, itself, is always unmanifest as a phenomenon.
No matter how hard the Zen adept tries to will Mind to appear, it will not appear. On the same track, no matter how hard this same Zen adept tries to see his own nature which is immediate and hidden, he cannot. It cannot be turned into a phenomenon. Yet, intrinsically we are the noumenon or Mind. This is our nature—our original nature.
It is not necessary for us to know Mind as a phenomenal thing. It is only necessary for us to penetrate through the seemingly impenetrable veil of Mind phenomena—the end of which is Mind. This is the so-called Mind to Mind transmission. Mind, in other words, returns to itself through its phenomena and beholds itself, directly. For the first time we enter the mystery of Mind which still cannot be phenomenalized or made any clearer. It is only enough for us to enter into this mystery. We need not know it as a determinate thing.
When Mind beholds itself, directly, we discover that Mind is really clear light or luminous. This luminosity is also extremely blissful, so much so that our normal perception of the mundane world radically changes. We eventually see that the world is a dependent origination of Mind by which is eternally self-awakens.