Monday, June 18, 2012

The Central Problems of Life

The Reading:

     Tosotsu made three barriers, asking the monks:  "Getting rid of your illusions and penetrating into the truth is done by seeing into your nature.  At this moment, where is your nature?"  
     "When you realize what you nature is, you are free from life, free from death.  When the light of your eyes is falling, how can you be free from them?"
     "If you have freed yourself from life and death, you know where you are going.  When the Four Elements separate, where are you off to?"
-Case 47, Mumonkan, R.H. Blyth

The Discussion:

Every religion offers something.  Ultimate Truth, an afterlife, even magical powers.  These offers are really bribes, because religions cannot offer anything in reality.  Zen offers nothing.  A unpleasant person who achieves enlightenment is still unpleasant, an ugly person still ugly, a dying man is still dying.  When you come to the Gateless Gate, there is no way forward, there is no way back.  How can you pass through it?

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