Nothing ended, Nothing destroyed

Twenty-seven: Nothing ended, Nothing destroyed

Subhuti, you should not assume that the Tathagata has attained Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi by virtue of his possession of the thirty-two bodily marks. Why? Because the Tathagata could not have attained the Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi through possession of bodily marks alone.

“At the same time, Subhuti, no one should say that those who have set out on the path towards Bodhisattvahood need to see all dharmas in terms of their annihilation. I declare to you, Subhuti, that those who set out in the Bodhisattvayana never entertain any notions concerning the annihilation of dharmas.”

One can quite imagine that since the Diamond Sutra goes about negating and deconstructing literally everything under the sun that it is wholeheartedly embracing nihilism. Chao-ming can claim ownership to the title of this section, “Nothing ended, Nothing destroyed.” Hui-neng says that even though all is sunya, emptiness itself is not empty. (Red Pine, Diamond Sutra, pg. 388) Tozen once wrote something along the lines that although “empty” of all nominal attributes, “It is still full of its own Creative Suchness.”  Mu Soeng reinforces Tozen’s statement by asserting that “through the teachings of the two levels of truth and of suchness, Mahayana advocated seeing things as they are, without needing to “annihilate” or cling to them. In later articulation, the teaching of suchness goes even further and says that in their suchness things are perfect and absolute.” (Mu Soeng, pg. 133) Hence, though Shūnyatā declares that all-things are by their very nature self-empty, if one develops the proper Dharma-Eye on the Noble path to what Mu Soeng marvelously labels as Bodhisattvayana, then one transcends their relative-nature and miraculously sees the Absolute Dharmakaya shining through.

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