An earnest, true Lankavatarian adept of the Unborn Mind-school should recognize and be fully convinced that this triple world is nothing but a complex manifestation of one`s mental activities; that it is devoid of selfness and its belongings. That there are no strivings, no comings and no goings. In light of the Lanka, One should recognize and accept the fact that this triple world is manifested and imagined as real only under the influence of habit-energy that has been accumulated since the beginning-less past, by reason of memory, false-imagination, false-reasoning as well as attachments to the multiplicities of objects and reactions in close relationship and in conformity to ideas of body-property-and-its-master, the imaginary mind.
Tozen provides here an excellent overview of the Lankavatara Sutra core teaching: everything is nothing more than mind-creations subject to habit-energy that has been accumulating since time immemorial. Of particular import for this blog is the faulty faculty of false-imagination. We shall see how this faculty has even given rise to notions of a “Creator God” and the ramifications that follow such a belief-system.
As to the Second thing; one should recognize and be convinced that all things are to be regarded as forms seen in a vision and a dream, empty of substance, un-born without self-nature, that all things exist only by reason of a complicated network of causation. As for the third; one should recognize and patiently accept the fact that his own mind and personality is also Mind-constructed (thus imaginary), that it is originally empty of substance, unborn and Egoless.
All phenomenalizations lack the True Mind-Substance that gives rise to such dreamy associations in the first place. They are secondary and thus devoid of any worthwhile considerations, even though they are accepted as such. This includes one’s “personality”, which is comprised in actuality of the five skandhas, devoid of which such notions is rendered null and void. In order to even begin to grasp the Unborn Principle any sense of a person or personality needs to be abandoned. You are marvelously impersonal and Unborn.
Buddha Gautama stressed the importance that all notions of something that constitutes something you call “personality” or “personal soul” or even “supreme spirit” or what we imagine to be, God, is all resulting from this very powerful thing called imagination and thus a pure manifestation of the mind.
This human distinction between Creator and created is manifested in the human culture with countless forms, rituals and laws on how to behave and live in order to manage to have one’s personal soul accepted by this God.
We can see here the ultimate ramification in believing in such “personal” notions that give rise to the belief in an associational “Creator God.” The Buddha was silent about the existence of such a God. In fact, he denied any first such Cause or the Cause of the Causes as the primary source of all creation. The creation, according to Buddhism, is an ongoing and ever continuous process, which is without a beginning and without an end—hence such phrases in the literature as the “beginningless past.” Such a realization lays bare Abrahamic assumptions of what a religion and theism should be. Tozen’s teaching here is in reference to such monotheistic associations. Of course, there are numerous “gods” in Buddhism and such polytheistic associations bespeaks of the god-realms as being one of the six realms of impermanence; even though their lifespan is considerable, they are still subject to the laws of Karma and will eventually be reincarnated in another form.
Within this saha realm, many recognize this thing called guilt or sin and even ‘human’ imperfection. It is especially noted that those with Christian origin, suffer from this mind disease called guilt. Well, I can only say that once one imagines something unattainable and apart from the supreme Unborn self, is doomed to be nothing but imperfect and thus subject to different forms of subjective suffering.
It must be noted here that all such monotheistic religions, not just Christianity, can give rise to associational guilt and sin. At the same time this is not to say that guilt in itself is always such a bad connotation. Witness the sorry state of affairs in our world today when people just react on their impulses, regardless of the consequences. Guilt in such episodes can act as a deterrent to such consequential episodes. But in reference here to the teaching guilt can and does restrict healthy and balanced Self-realizations in the Unborn, wherein no such bifurcations exist. Over the years in ministry I can attest to the negative effects of guilt resulting in self-loathing to the point of no return. This was evident particularly in the confessional when such unhealthy attitudes rose to the surface—excessive subjective suffering, which in fact those poor souls relished in, an excessive morbidity in self-punishment. In this sense, guilt becomes a mind disease.
Thus whether you succeed or fail in life you will most likely, still have this feeling of a black empty hole or void within you. Unless you do not realize the Unborn Mind that shines brilliantly before your every sense, it will not matter if you become a very rich person or a happily married person. The feeling of a void will still be there one day and thus cause its own special suffering depending on a particular state of mind deriving from a specific situation.
Life in the Unborn assures Self-satisfaction since it is the Absolute Self Itself that acquires such. In this vein one is always Self-fulfilled, minus that painful voidness that is experienced in being apart from the Unborn Mind.
The creation of a ‘personal’ Creator God, is originally constituted by discriminating minds and is set into motion by inevitable constituted laws that one has chosen to obey without any questioning. Buddha Gautama basically says that once one recognizes the source of all things, namely the Unborn Mind, one will understand the true nature of its Perfect and Egoless State which needs nothing once it is fully recollected (enlightened).
Perfect Recollection of Mind and Spirit is only possible in the Unborn.
This is attained by a perfect wisdom which can only be activated by a perfect state of imagelessness. One should therefore cease to imagine or obsessively desire things. By imagination you create a countless number of ghosts in your lives – all created by this most perfect and limitless mind used in an imperfect mode (imaginary mind). Instead you should get to know its nature which is eternally undisturbed, in perfect samadhi and all-illuminative, of everything, instantly and beyond that which plagues your imaginary minds; namely time and space.
Imagelessness is key here—it is the proper compass to Self-realization. The alternative is to remain trapped in the dungeon of the false imagination which will continue to produce image after image. Drop the image-maker and remain centered in the Unborn—the very womb of imagelessness Itself.
If you discover or recollect a glimpse of this Unborn Mind, you enter a path called “right view”. Here you will realize that questions or desires are useless, as the Unborn Mind has no need of such things as deluded fantasies or things or notions of a perfect world. Once entering such a state the one ‘awakened’ to this ‘right view’ recalls the source of all sources and has the perfect freedom to cultivate and finally “enter” this state permanently, pari-nirvana. This action should not be considered as an “egoistic” action. What merely happens is a perfect recollection of the One becomes Many-
Many becomes One, which is no more or less then the Universal Unborn
Mind. Its nature is pure and naturally luminous, utterly dynamic in its
blissful radiant light and limitless in its compassion for all “sentient beings”.
May the light guide you and protect you on the path you have chosen.
All my hopes…
Right View consists in what Tozen as expressed elsewhere:
[The realization] that anything born, conceived and is subject to the endless cycle of becoming is doomed to decay and ‘die’. Hence birth, conception, becoming of any phenomena is dukkha (suffering or dissatisfaction) for a Mind that clings to such phenomena. The basis here is that what a mind follows makes the mind its ‘slave’…
[Hence, Right View] Arises from right understanding in such a Mind, in that it makes a vow to not follow phenomena, but rather train itself to break the habitual dependent origination it has towards such phenomena.
Hence the Mind needs to, precede, all phenomena, in order to not remain as their slave, but rather to become the rightfully self-awakened Master of itself.