Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Schinwald
Zen, Lost Paradise and the Four Great Realms of Heart
by Josef Schinwald-Barrytown, NY
This is the first of two excerpts of my thesis "Zen, Lost Paradise and the Four Great Realms of Heart" edited and adapted to an Unificationist audience.
The religion of Buddhism can be depicted symbolically by a circle of which the beginning and the end is Siddhartha Gautama's experience of enlightenment. Conventional philosophical systems usually start out from certain premises in the head and end in logical syllogisms proving the concepts to be true or false. This often leads to an abundant coordination and manipulation of words which can fill entire libraries. The fact is, however, that this accumulation of statements never represent more than maps of other maps. In other words, the sphere of rationality, as important as it is for our lives, is only the representation of that which is. For Shakyamuni Buddha knowledge was not something external to be discovered through books but through responsible scrutiny of one's own reality. At the end of his life he taught his followers: "You are the lamp to lighten the way" (in Dhammapada, 18).
When Siddhartha came to reflect the universe through the recovery of Buddha-nature, or what Unification doctrine would express as ideal action of give and take between the dual characteristics of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang, he "returned" to what I would designate as "original resemblance."
His awakening was a joyful one because he came to resemble the universe's compassion and goodness. It was at the point when he no longer relied on anything, not on thoughts, or deeds, that he arrived at resemblance, nothing but likeness with the light of the "unborn" which radiated its rays on him just as the sun illuminates the moon. Buddha stated in regard to nirvana the following: "There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not [then] escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible. But since there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore, escape is possible from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed" (in Udana 8.3).
Buddha-nature has been likened to a "bright mirror," the awakened mind to a "mirror-mind," and perfect wisdom to "mirror-wisdom." The Avatamsaka Sutra, one of the main writings in Mahayana Buddhism, describes Buddha-nature with the simile of a "Net of Jewels" which reflect each others images ad infinitum. Nonetheless, the word "Buddha-nature" or the metaphors of a "mirror" or a "jewel" are but a "finger pointing" to the actual experience which is the manifestation of a principle described in Divine Principle as the law of resemblance.
Master yourself according to the law. This is the simple teaching of the awakened. (in Dhammapada, 14) Buddhism has been described as a non-theistic religion. This view is held primarily from two positions, one is the Judeo-Chrisitian-Islamic conception of God as transcendent maker of the world, the other the Hindu image of the divine drama between Brahman and Atman, the "hide and seek" play of God with God. It is true that Buddhism can be regarded non-theistic in its denial of the theological hallucination that God is a monarchical boss over a world He has mechanically fabricated and systematically arranged and which ticks like a clock. It is also true that Buddhism is non- theistic in its denial of the Hindu mythological idea that God would be terribly bored if He would not have His fascinating dream of the world from which he can wake up to Himself only to become unaware of Himself again and to experience infinite bliss through countless dream-adventures, let's pretend games or divine four-dimensional motion pictures.
Therefore, the superficial judgment that the religion of Buddhism is non-theistic could easily miss the point of Shakyamuni Buddha's profound and unsurpassed enlightenment experience, and this has been recognized by more authentic thinkers from East and West in the sense that the knowledge of God which comes from divine encounter is ineffable and mysterious. Those sincere contemplaters found God not through conceptual knowing neither through not-knowing, but as a living presence within and through themselves.
That it is sometimes better to deny with Shakyamuni Buddha any conception of God or self can be derived from what Unificationism would regard as the consequences of Satan's temptation at the time of the Fall. While still immature, Eve had only partial knowledge of God. Lucifer, took advantage of this fact in tempting her with more knowledge, precisely with the acquisition of divine knowledge. As a result of believing and acting on Satan's lie, our first ancestors came not only to loose their partial knowledge of God but they came to falsely imagine that they themselves knew as God does. To falsely imagine that one knows is much worse than just being ignorant, because the state of mind of not-yet-knowing develops into knowing by responsibly asking the right questions and through sincere effort.
This is not the case with "double ignorance", which means not knowing that one is ignorant. "Double ignorance" undoubtedly refers to stagnation, spiritual death and suffering. The twisted knowledge, the human knowledge of Good and Evil which came as a result of the Fall is karmic in nature. Shakyamuni Buddha stated "on ignorance depends karma" which is, of course, a factual reality, but from a Unification view, this dependency works in both ways. To put it differently, it is also true to say that "on karma depends ignorance". Why so? Because Adam and Eve came to falsely presume to know as God after they acted. Their evil karma produced the slanted human standard of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
It was not only their twisted knowledge which resulted from their bad karma, or the Fall, but progeny as well. Since Adam and Eve's mistake humankind not only does not know God or his true identity, but worse of all, it inaccurately thinks it knows. Even though revelations have been given to dramatically improve our knowledge of God and thus the knowledge of who we really are, our inherited twisted psychology that falsely presumes to know sometimes still finds its way into what is called philosophy, theology, or other so called scholastic sciences. These disciplines are sometimes based primarily on reason and not on experience, on systematic arrangements of syllogisms and not on genuine resemblance experiences with the Divine.
It has been said that the Christian concept of the world in regard to creation is constructional: that is, God said: let there be! and presto - there was. The Hindus view the causal relationship between Creator and creation as an ever-recurring divine drama. The Chinese image of the universe is that of a huge organism which is explained through the dynamic of the Tao pervading and sustaining the whole structure. Buddhism teaches "conditioned genesis" expressed through a principle which is called the law of dependent origination: the creation is timeless without beginning and end. What has Unificationism to say on the subject?
According to Unification doctrine, the Creator followed the pattern of His own nature when He created the world. His nature is comprised of the dual characteristics of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang and Masculinity and Femininity which exist in a harmonious relationship within Himself. These characteristics describe a perfect circle, sphere or realm through which God exists. It is true love which freely circulates within these characteristics of God and which forms the content of His realm of existence. Unificationism holds that "the reason why God created humankind and the universe is that God is a being of Heart (in Essentials of Unification Thought, 152).
Through the accomplishment of perfectly resembling God in His dual characteristics, that is to say through fulfilling their responsibility to gain the knowledge of God's mind-set at the time of creation, Adam and Eve were to follow God's pattern and form the first family. The basic unit of the family has all the relationships of love representing the complete "mirror" of God's realm of shimjung. By perfecting their love first as a child, then as brother and sister, as husband and wife, and ultimately as parents, our first ancestors were to attain to the status of divinity itself, having the same divine value as God. God wanted them to become His eternal love-partners.
At the time of the Fall Satan misdirected God's love with the outcome being that God's children came to resemble not only God, their creator, but also Satan's fallen nature and sinfulness, though only impermanently. That God's divine image, the dual characteristics of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang always remained within God's children despite the Fall is a key to the phenomena of Buddhist enlightenment. In order to understand Buddhist awakening from a Judeo-Christian perspective it is vital to realize that Satan could not destroy God's image within Adam and Eve, he was only able to obscure it with fallen nature.
What does Buddha say on the subject? In the Suramgama-sutra we can discover the congruency of his teaching with the Divine Principle: "Fundamentally, everyone has a pure clean mind, but it is usually covered by the defilement and dust of worldly desires which have arisen from one's circumstances. This defiled mind is not of the essence of one's nature: something has been added, like an intruder or even a guest in a home, but not its host."
Unificationism asserts that evil is not something entirely different from love. Evil is the misuse of love. To determine good and evil is to ask the question of how love is used, selfishly or for the sake of others. In the beginning there was no evil, but then good and evil started from one point - love. Because of the abuse of love by the fallen archangel Lucifer, and God's children Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden, ideal conjugal love was never attained throughout human history. It is written in Gen. 6:6 that "This sinful world brings man sorrow and causes God to grieve."
It is the unique feature of Unificationism that the law of resemblance is also applicable to God's sorrow and suffering. Father declares "My ultimate goal is to liberate God ... ." (in "Restoration from the Origin and Rebirth are for Myself" Sept. 20, 1992. Today's World. Dec. 1992.)
Understanding God's broken Heart due to the Fall was for many of our members a vital experience when joining the movement. Consequently, we try to resemble God not only in His joyful Heart but also to empathize with and share in His suffering. The thorny path of God's dispensation for salvation consists in the restoration of the family and ultimately in the liberation of God himself. We believe that God, too, has to be liberated from His grief and sorrow.
Gautama Buddha stated as the first truth of his Four Noble Truths doctrine that all life is dukkha (suffering). From a Unification outlook, dukkha, the reality of our fallen world is conditioned by the events of the Fall. The Pali translation of the Sanskrit word dukkha is metaphorical: it describes an "axle which is off-center in regard to its Wheel."
I assume that Sakyamuni Buddha used the simile of a wheel as part of His language because he lived in a primarily agricultural society where ox-carts in the fields were a common sight. The meaning of the wheels of dharma, of samsara, of existence and so on can also be grasped through the symbol of the circle which is, indeed, a predominant religious device of meditation and insight used by most religions. But beyond its use in religions, the symbol of the circle also refers to God and the primordial perfection of His creation.
If Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden would have used their love in a proper way, the ultimate end of love, goodness, would have been realized. If our first ancestors and their descendants had come to know absolute goodness instead of the slanted standard of good and evil, there would not have been need of any religion. The Garden of Eden symbolizing the whole universe with God's children at the center would have been encircled by true love forming one huge realm of heart. The content of that giant sphere or circle would have been love and its form its wisdom.
The 10th circle diagram of the Zen Oxherding pictures which still can be found on the walls of many Buddhist temples throughout the eastern hemisphere as a means of meditation and contemplation shows a compassionate Bodhisattva who has gone through the emptying process symbolized allegorically through the previous illustrations. He became free or "empty" of the illusion that duality exists in opposition and realized the highest form of Buddhist wisdom - compassion. The wisdom found through meditation upon the symbolic meaning of the circle is its experiential content - compassion. Compassion in Buddhism is experienced through the realization of absolute emptiness. The relationship between emptiness and the usage of love, either in compassionate ways or selfishly, is very much like the following Zen- story:
Compassion in Buddhism is experienced through the realization of absolute emptiness. The relationship between emptiness and the usage of love, either in compassionate ways or selfishly, is very much like the following Zen-story:
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
The usefulness of a cup lies in its emptiness to start with. If it would be full of coffee and I were to use it for a little child to drink milk from it, I would have to empty it first of coffee before it could be used again for milk. In the same way, the use of love determines good and evil. The Boddhisatva is different from ordinary people because he uses love in compassionate ways, whereas the world is full of selfishness. He uses love for the sake of others. That was God's original ideal. The Way of True Love is mine is yours, yours is for your family, which in turn exists for the nation, the whole world and the universe, forming a complete circle back to God, the origin of love.
Whether religious practitioners seek Nirvana out of Samsara, or Paradise out of Hell, God destines them all to become perfected incarnations of true love. I believe that Paradise or the Garden of Eden does not only stand for the whole world, but it is also and primarily a spiritual state of mind, and so is Nirvana. That two people, one dwelling in Paradise, the other in Nirvana, can speak about the one truth with respect and love for one another and reap mutual spiritual enrichment is proven by Thomas Merton's and D.T. Suzuki's Christian/Buddhist dialogue printed in a little book called Zen and the Birds of Appetite.
Their dialogue is remarkable and of stupendous significance. Since the first encounters between the two religions, Christians compared some Buddhist doctrines with the mystical ideas of Christianity's main heretics, and Buddhists, on the other hand, recognized illusion after illusion in some systematical and dogmatic masterpieces of Christian theology. Cultural stereotypes or the belief that one's own faith is the only universal one are some of the reasons for Christian/Buddhist divergences. Additionally, there is at least one chief philosopher in both traditions who might be partially responsible for the difficulties in this particular interfaith dialogue.
The great philosopher Aristotle was able to synthesize the classical Greek opposing views of "becoming" and "being", but he caused immense confusion throughout the history of Christianity by declaring that God is aloof from His creation, being pure spirit and hence entirely detached from matter. Compared with the doctrine of God as the unmoved mover, principal notions in Buddhism naturally appeared to be non- theistic.
Nagarjuna, a preeminent Buddhist philosopher, on the other hand, extraordinarily influenced Mahayana Buddhism with his teaching that dependent origination, or the middle way, and the dhamma is simultaneously emptiness. In his work, the Mulamadhymakakarikas, he stated "Never are any existing things found to originate from themselves, from something else, from both, or from no cause."
Nagarjuna's philosophy makes denial of false knowledge an ultimate end and his teaching is a closed system of denial. The problem with Nagarjuna's philosophy is that it is a trap, a vicious circle of denial from which there is no way out. Denial of the false knowledge has to ultimately result in the recovery of true knowledge, the knowledge of God, absolute goodness, and the knowledge of who we really are. The realization of emptiness or nothingness is, according to Unificationism, but a finger pointing to a principle through which God becomes manifest within ourselves, the principle of resemblance.
Buddhism packaged in Nagarjuna's vicious circle of emptiness was and is a main obstacle in the Christian/Buddhist dialogue. Suzuki's final remark that the Kingdom of God is a departure from emptiness and mere speculation confirms Nagarjuna's detrimental influence on even contemporary Buddhist scholars. Nagarjuna's regression from the recovery of authentic knowledge back to emptiness, forming a vicious circle of denial, has to be abandoned. The historical Buddha asserted that it is proper to doubt in order to know for oneself: "It is proper...to doubt, to be uncertain....Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; ... nor upon what is in a scripture; ... [Rather] when you yourselves know: "These things are bad; [when] undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill," abandon them. [Likewise] when you yourselves know: "These things are good; [when] undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness," enter on and abide in them (in Soma Thera, Kalama Sutta).
Unificationism, likewise, emphasizes one's own personal experience resulting in individual knowledge: "Man is the mirror of the living God, and His every virtue, characteristic and quality is reflected in this mirror... Life in union with God is the one great way to live - life with God, life in God, and God living in you. This is the state where God is made the living reality. You no longer believe, but you know. And you live the truth. If you really experience this kind of love and oneness with God, then you have tasted the supreme experience of life." (Father in God's Will and the World, 167-8)
The insights which I gained from reading Zen and the Birds of Appetite along with intense study of the above mentioned allegory of the Zen- Oxherding pictures motivated me to enlarge the circle of interfaith dialogue between Merton and Suzuki on the basis of my Unificationist background. It was particularly fascinating for me - equipped with the spiritual treasures found in the countless sermons given by Father and by his teaching as expressed in the Divine Principle - to be able to walk over bridges linking two different religious notions, one Christian, the other Buddhist, for which the foundations had been laid by Merton and Suzuki.
My thesis is that the knowledge of absolute nothingness (Sanskrit: shunyata) is known in Unification theology as the principle of resemblance which results from another principle, called origin- division-union action, through which God, motivated by His Heart, multiplied His own Divine Image directly in man and woman and symbolically in the rest of creation. Furthermore, since it is precisely through this principle of resemblance that God's ideal of love can be realized, it is the one fundamental spiritual law through which God intended to build the Kingdom of God in and through humankind.
The essential task of my thesis is to demonstrate the deep insights Divine Principle can give into religious questions such as what is the invisible principle behind the realization of shunyata (a Unification interpretation of the Platform and the Avatamsaka Sutra); how does the Buddhist notion of avidya (false knowledge) relate to Satan's temptation at the time of the Fall, why dukkha (Shakyamuni Buddha's metaphor for life: an axle which is off-center in regard to its wheel) is a simile for fallen humankind's blood-lineage with Satan; and why the highest form of karuna (compassion) is not the Bodhisattva's help in individual liberation from the net of samsara but the complete removal of the conditioned reality of samsara through the Maitreya Buddha and Maitreya Bodhisattvas. My approach to these theological questions is a deductive one, assuming the Divine Principle offers the most profound expression of the one truth.
The dialogue between Suzuki and Merton is particularly significant because the Scriptures in Buddhism and Christianity varied according to their unique mission which was that they should have eventually merged into one religious movement, historically. Reformed Hinduism and reformed Judaism should have encountered and mutually enriched each other in order to fuse with the religions of China and describe a full circle to unify the whole world. According to Father "Jesus was supposed to travel to the Eastern nations for the unification of religions and the unification of thoughts. This means that, centering on Godism, Jesus was supposed to unify Judaism first, then Zoroastrianism in the Middle East, Buddhism in India, and Confucianism in China. Also while traveling around India and China, Jesus was supposed to undertake the unification of thoughts. In this way, he was to then stand on the platform of the Senate in Rome to persuade the Senators with Godism, and finally achieve the unification of Greco- Roman thought and Eastern thought, in other words, the unification of Western culture and Eastern culture. But due to the crucifixion, God's Will for unification was postponed until the time of the Second Advent" (Unification Thought: The New Cultural Revolution and Unification Thought, 18)
Unification theology holds that full restoration can never be achieved by individual liberation alone, it strongly emphasizes that restoration, salvation and liberation has to start with the family. According to Unification theology it was the mission of Israel to lay the foundation for the restoration of the first family of Adam and Eve.
Since God's dispensation for the restoration of that first family lasted thousands of years, he also had to inspire other religions because of emerging new cultural spheres. Unification teaching asserts that it was God who ultimately inspired religious founders and their scriptures. All existing religious doctrines and thoughts had insufficiencies when measured against the absolute truth that God had yet to reveal to man. The reason for this lies in the fact that God's providence was to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, or the central figure of all religions. The Messiah, however, "does not abolish those doctrines or thoughts by regarding them as unfit for the times, but instead supplements their defects with the absolute truth or the core truth, and revives them..." (in Unification Thought: The New Cultural Revolution and Unification Thought, 82). The core truth, implies the ideal relationships within the family (the Four Realms of Heart), particularly the most complex principles of restoration of the love between a man and a woman. Have you ever asked yourself why is it that prominent scholars, professors and intelligent people who attended our conferences and some might even have met and talked to Father directly, could never make the final decision to follow Father entirely. There might be something in the following paragraphs which could serve as answers.
D.T.Suzuki wrote in his response to Thomas Merton's essays on Zen- Buddhism, that the Zen-man "only wants to have the heart thoroughly cleansed of all impurities issuing from "Knowledge" which we acquired by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. Prof. Suzuki continues: "When we return to the state of "innocence," anything we do is good... When Knowledge is awakened in the Garden of Eden where Innocence prevails, the differentiation of good and evil takes place."
Suzuki's acumen, to relate the Buddhist notion of sunyata (a Sanskrit term commonly translated as emptiness) with the innocence of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before they fell and avidya (a Sanskrit word meaning literally translated non-seeing, ignorance is, however, a more common translation), with the Knowledge of Good and Evil which our first ancestors gained after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, is - in regard to the Buddhist/Christian/Unification interfaith dialogue - of stupendous significance.
Unificationism holds, that if our first ancestors would have remained innocent by obeying God's commandment "not to eat from the forbidden fruit," their love towards God and for each other would have produced inner wisdom since love and wisdom are an inseparable pair. Their inner wisdom, or conscience, would have guided them towards greater and greater love, ultimately towards their perfection of love which would have also become their accomplishment of perfect knowledge or wisdom.
Obviously, the more they would have resembled God through following their conscience, the more they would have come to know about themselves and the rest of creation which in turn would have resulted in increased knowledge in regard to the Creator. The knowledge would have come on the basis of their good actions in accordance with God's will. Complete wisdom would have accompanied their joy, happiness, and love because just as these values can only be realized in relation, wisdom was to be gained through the bond of love with the living God.
Due to the Fall, however, only a faint awareness of their original mind remained, and instead of gaining true wisdom as a result of good actions in accord with God's will, they were polluted with the Knowledge of Good and Evil which came as the consequence of evil action based on Satan's plot. This knowledge was not mere intellectual so that they could have unlearned and corrected it immediately after they fell, but it was rooted in a newly acquired mind which Unificationists call "evil mind" and which was formed through the reciprocation between their spirit mind centered on Satan's lie and their physical mind under the dominion of which they came because of this very deception.
Within that evil mind the ego became supreme causing the loss of the middle way between the two extremes of body and mind, the phenomenal world was put over the essential truth, craving over spiritual insight, and spiritual pride over humility. Since this mind is not our original reality it is conditioned by the events of the Fall and therefore, seen from the standpoint of the original mind, illusory. Buddha stated: "From the unknown past, being conditioned by their own deeds and deluded by two fundamental misconceptions, people have wandered about in ignorance. First, they believed that the discriminating mind, which lies at the root of this life of birth and death, was their real nature; and second, they did not know that, hidden behind the discriminating mind, they possessed a pure mind of Enlightenment which is their true nature" (in Suramgama-sutra).
The "Knowledge of Good and Evil" is not the wisdom, or inner knowledge accompanying love, it is only external in nature, somehow disconnected by a dreadful barrier from intuitive wisdom. This "Knowledge" is the first part in the nexus of conditionality which leads to entanglement in the world of samsara. It is one of the passions (klesha) and the last of the ten fetters (samyojana). Furthermore, it is considered as the root of everything unwholesome in the world. It is that state of mind that does not correspond to reality, that holds illusory phenomena for reality, and brings forth suffering. According to the Mahayana view, avidya with regard to the emptiness of appearances entails that a person who is not enlightened will take the phenomenal world to be the only reality and thus conceal from himself the essential truth.
A person who sets himself on the Buddhist path wants nothing, relies on nothing and becomes like nothing. Emptiness or sunyata is a denial of everything: "And yet it is not good conduct that helps you upon the way, nor ritual, nor book learning, nor withdrawal into the self, nor deep meditation. None of these confers mastery or joy. O seeker! Rely on nothing until you want nothing"(in Dhammapada, 19).
Could Suzuki's conclusion that the knowledge of good and evil is equivalent with the loss of the intrinsic emptiness of the mind imply that a person denying all his desires, even the desire to deny, is ultimately returning to Paradise by denying our first ancestor's disobedient approval of the forbidden fruit? I would like to suggest here that the Buddhist notion of awakening or enlightenment is a return, though not a final one, to the mind-state our first ancestors were in (empty of the "Knowledge of Good and Evil) before they lost Paradise.
Merton concludes his response to Suzuki's essay on Zen that it will be the "great, mysterious, theandric work of the Mystical Christ, the New Adam" in whom the whole "cosmos" will be "transfigured." Merton did not mention that this new Adam has to restore the new family, sinless and centered on God. The Kingdom is God's and humankind's creation after the "Marriage of the Lamb" has taken place. Then, according to the same book in the Bible, a "new heaven and new earth" will appear. This will be the creation of God in and through man. The new Adam comes to perfect love in the family after having restored Eve. This new family, then, is the new paradigm for all the dimensions of heartistic relationships. This is the way the whole universe will be gradually transfigured through the appearance of true families.
According to Father, the "Three Great Kingships" are to be fulfilled in each family. In such families each member is supposed to treat each other "like royalty." The grandfather is the retired king, parents are the incumbent king, and the children are the future kings. The "Three Great Kingships" are to be fulfilled in each family. This will be the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The image of "Lord Indra's Net", mentioned in the Avatamsaka sutra, can also be applied as a profound and subtle metaphor for the structure of the Kingdom of God, where each jewel can represent a royal family.
The image of "Lord Indra's Net" is a profound and subtle metaphor for the structure of reality signifying that the Buddha-nature of all sentient beings can be imagined as tied together to form a huge net where the jewels (bright mirrors) represent knots at the crossing points.
It is precisely by not leaving one's own jewel (representing one's own royal family) that the we are connected with all other royal families, kings and queens, retired, incumbent and future. This principle applies even more so to God who will be truly present in His Kingdom. All the jewels in totality are but one single jewel, that is to say that within God's image all infinite images can be contained just like the spectrum or infinite colors originate from the one white color or like sound consists of and us cannot but follow each other.
But how often to we catch ourselves looking outside our own jewel hoping to find something of greater value, ignorant of the Kingdom within? Our fallen nature draws us into our senses, excited by an external stimulus, only to discover over and over again that there is nothing outside there, nothing but nihility. The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. The question is how much we love whatever keeps you from our journey back to our true self. Or as the Chinese Sage Lao Tzu observed: "Without stirring abroad one can know the whole world; without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows (in Tao Te Ching, XLVII:106).
Keiji Nishitani, the renowned Kyoto school Zen-philosopher also known as the "man of the circle", declares in his book Religion and Nothingness that "The field of nihility appears at the point that one breaks a step away from the field of consciousness and reason; and this is at the same time a step further in the direction of the field of sunyata, or emptiness."
Shunyata, however, is not the ultimate step to be taken but just as nihility has a "transitional character", it is precisely through resemblance with the Divine, the innermost recognition of the principle of resemblance, that we can make the final ultimate step from the field of sunyata, emptiness, or nothingness to the abundant pasture of resemblance, fullness, or somethingness which is God's love, life, and ideal.
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