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May 23, 2011


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I like the following passage from a Pali sutta in the MN, "Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea."

To compare the Buddha-mind to the sea, it doesn't express about something that is unreal, non-existant, or only conventionally existing, but something that exists in an overwhelming way, something so vast and real that it confounds our ability to encompass it through mere perception. The non-affirmation of any of the horns of the tetralemma, which encompass any possible valid approach to speaking of phenomena, ultimately affirms this transcendent reality.

What do you mean with "real"? Real like a chair or a table?

This sounds like talking about God in terms of an old man with a white beard.

Certainly, the basic principle of the universe cannot be something simply existing, a thing among other things.

A chair is, a table is, God is, the universe is, the mind is ... what is this "is" that unites everything?

This "is-ness", a word Meister Eckhart used, is at the root of everthing. But "is-ness", Being, cannot itself be.

Being cannot be a being; what is the source of everything CANNOT at the same time be something. This much is certain.

That is why the Christian Mystics said God is beyond being and not-being. Some even directly said: God does not exist.

This "God does not exist" is not atheism; it's just the highest reverence: God is not another being, merely another being.

I don't call myself a Buddhist and I don't sell anything on Amazon, so I'm not your enemy. At the same time, I am probably one of those who you accuse of understanding everything wrongly.

Maybe one day I will understand things differently, but for now, my mind clearly shows me how the source of being cannot itself be, but must be beyond existence or non-existence.

Actually, this formulation "beyond existence and non-existence" is very, very common in the Zen literature I have read. It is certainly present in Hui Neng, Huang Po, Yuan Wu, etc.

If it is the case that IT is beyond all opposites, then how can you say it simply "exists"? Certainly, we should at least envelope it in quotation marks.

I believe Buddha Mind is real, but I don't think it exists in the same way a chair or a table exists.

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