The average run-of-the-mill person doesn’t see the transparent and luminous Mind anymore than they can see radio waves swirling about in the air. Whereas they might accept the latter on faith (after all they play a radio) the thought of highest mind being transparent and luminous is almost ludicrous even if you try and teach them by an analogy in this example.
Imagine a pane of perfectly transparent glass is placed upon a colored piece of paper. The paper could be, yellow, blue or black. Whatever color this pane of glass is placed upon it appears to be that particular color because the transparency of the glass is so flawless and perfect. Now with regard to our ordinary thoughts which, let us say for the sake of discussion, are many colored, we only see our ordinary, many colored thoughts—not the pure, transparent and luminous Mind.
If we happen to be one of those rare people who has the faith that there is such a Mind, it would prove a very difficult task to see, personally, such a Mind. Nevertheless, let’s further imagine that we have made up our mind to study Zen and see this Mind.
The first Zen school we go to believes in the transparent and luminous Mind but sees only the color—not the Mind. It could be any color such as yellow or blue. But more importantly, while the school teaches the transparent and luminous Mind, it also believes that the Mind’s clear nature is obscured by color which must be wiped away. So we try this school for several years. Then decide it’s time to move on. We are not getting any place.
The next Zen school believes that any color such as yellow or blue is the transparent and luminous Mind although the Mind, itself, cannot be seen. Even though it is a very popular Zen school in which everything you do is an expression of this Mind we decide, nevertheless, to move on. Something is missing.
The third Zen school we attend believes that no matter what the color is, including the transparent and luminous Mind, both are empty and unattainable. It doesn’t take us very long—maybe a month—to leave this Zen school even though it is very popular with materialists.
The last Zen school we visit we decide to stay. It teaches direct gnosis of the transparent and luminous Mind so that no matter what color is present, the transparent and luminous Mind is vitally present and first. When we meet the teacher we are surprised by sensing a magnetic like field around him. When we leave the temple we have to grab onto one of the pillars on the outside. The teacher comes up to us and laughs, patting us on the back. He says, “I see your body senses the luminous. That’s good. Come back tomorrow for your Dharma name.”