The Façade of Mind


Chapter Two: The Signless Dharma, cont’d

Vimukti Bodhisattva addressed the Buddha: “Lord! For those sentient beings who conceive of a self (grasping of ego) or conceive of a mind (grasping of dharmas), what Dharma will awaken them and lead them to leave behind such shackles (bondage)?”

The Buddha replied, “Good man, when someone conceives of a self, he should be led to contemplate the twelvefold interdependent origination (coorigination) [comprising: ignorance, volition, consciousness, body-mind formations, six sense-doors, contact, feeling/sensation, craving, clinging, becoming, birth and sickness/death]. The twelvefold interdependent-origination derives from cause and effect. But both cause and effect are fabrications of the mind! Since (basically) the mind does not exist, much less the body, [therefore] a person who conceives of a self, should be led to abandon the view that the self exists.

who conceive of a self (grasping of ego) or conceive of a mind (grasping of dharmas): once one becomes attached to the notion of the created skandhic-self, then the facade mind creates all manner of defiled dharmas; thus impermanence becomes a fixed shackle on the bonded-feet of the deluded ones.

The twelvefold interdependent-origination: the ever-familiar Buddhist construction of the ignominious link of ignorance and karmic-formations that are a result of grasping and the resultant springboard for all dukkha. Wŏnhyo states, however, that this samsaric-mechanism of cause and effect are mere fabrications of a clouded mind-field. In the Reality of the Such, such a mind-field does not even exist, let alone the creation of a phantom-selfhood that perpetuates the whole fabric of the mirage. Thus, there is need of the abandonment of all false dharmatas.

“[Similarly] a person who conceives of no-self should be led to abandon his view that the self does not exist. If a person conceives that the mind exists, he should be led to abandon [the view that] the nature [of the mind] is subject to creation. If a person conceives that the mind can be extinguished, he should be led to abandon [the view that] the nature [of the mind] is subject to extinction. Once all the views about the nature of the mind are extinguished, he immediately accesses Reality. Why? Because whatever that is basically unborn (not subject to the process of birth/creation) is beyond extinction [since everything arises and diminishes through coorigination]; and whatever that is extinct [being devoid of nature] is beyond creation. This is the same with all the dharmas.”

Wŏnhyo nicely unravels this apparent conundrum:

Two-vehicle adherents grasp at dharmas and actualize the mind; they postulate the existence of a mind that is subject to production and extinction and thus impermanent. Therefore one subverts production and extinction and thereby extinguishes this view that actualizes mind. If actualization of the mind occurs and develops into an illness, it will then subvert that previous quality of extinction, because it is principally through the support of the extinction of that [matter] that production is actualized in the present. If one perceives that extinction occurs later and one is attached to the existence of the mind in the present, then even though the mind may not be extinguished, it will still [be illusory], like a rabbit’s horn.” [ibid, pg. 80]

A false-mind actualization results in a form of “illness” that perceives both production and extinction of dharmatas. In Real Actuality, though, THAT which is Unborn and Uncreated is void of such dualities. Thus, the Real Dharma of the Unborn Buddha Mind is far and beyond such “ill”-conceived phantasms, akin to the illusion of a rabbit’s horn (a Lankavatarian illustration).

Vimukti Bodhisattva addressed the Buddha: “Lord! If a sentient being perceives that a dharma is subject to creation, what view should he be advised to abandon? What view should he be advised to abandon when he perceives that a dharma is subject to extinction?”

The Buddha replied, “Bodhisattva, if a sentient being perceives that a dharma [being beyond creation/extinction] is subject to creation, let him abandon his view on the nonexistence [of dharmas]. When he perceives a dharma is subject to extinction, let him abandon his view on the existence [of dharmas]. Once these views are extinguished, he realizes the absolute nonexistence of all dharmas and he accesses the definite non-projection [of the mind].”

Breaking this down, even the nonproduction of nonproduction is not productive…so axe-it! What needs to be instituted in a healthy and non-fixated mind-field is a “definite non-projection [of the mind].” All projections must cessate. Of course, this cessation is a revulsion in the pure mind-field that Self-Realizes Its True imageless Stature.

Vimukti Bodhisattva addressed the Buddha: “Lord! If a sentient being abides by non-creation, would it mean [he had realized] the non-creation [of dharmas]?”

The Buddha replied, “By abiding in non-creation, he would actually be creating something. Why? Only when one does not abide by non-creation is it really non-creation. Bodhisattva, if one abides by non-creation, this is creating (activating) [the mind] to extinguish creation! When creation and extinction are both being extinguished, creation cannot take place and the mind will be void and calm, without any abode. Only a truly non-abiding mind is non-creating.”

The very act of non-creation is in itself a false creation. Hence attempting to abide by the action of non-creation brings into “motion” both creation and extinction. The True Mind-abode is devoid of all ACTION—IT abides in MOTIONLESS void and quiescent-calm and No-thing else.

Vimukti Bodhisattva addressed the Buddha: “If the mind does not abide anywhere, is there need for learning and cultivation? Is there is still learning left to be completed or no more learning required?”

The Buddha replied, “Bodhisattva, a non-creating mind has neither egress nor access. Its basic tathagatagarbha (the unmanifested ‘store’ of everything) is calm and motionless [by nature]. It need neither further learning nor free from further learning. When there is neither learning nor non-learning is where no further learning is necessary. ‘Non-learning’ means no need for learning.” {Note: according to the texts, non-learning is only applicable to those who have awakened to a minimum of third-stage arhat, or seventh-bumi (ground/level) bodhisattva along the spiritual path.} 

Vimukti Bodhisattva asks a valid question: if the Self-Actualized Mind-field does not abide anywhere—in no-fixed point of localization—is there any reason to pursue further learning and cultivation of this realization? The Buddha replies that the nature of the Tathāgatagarbha is of a single-taste; thus within the Womb of Suchness what need of learning? Learning about what and for whom? There is no whom to initiate the quest for learning. Thus non-learning is normative is such a realization. However, the translator adds an important caveat: only those who have been initiated into the higher-bhumis awaken to this realization. Before this stage learning is needed to UN-learn all that is insufficient and signless in the Unborn.

This entry was posted in The Vajrasamādhi Sutra and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image