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Chapter 20: Affliction

If you can understand thoroughly like this, then it is called the knowledge that there is neither self nor others. Heaven and hell are nowhere else but in the heart of the person.

Because we are thinking of ourselves as separate from everybody else, we have created a hell. If we can start having a harmony, a deep accord with each other, this very earth is the lotus paradise.

As soon as you become aware of gradually conserving power in the midst of the afflictions of daily activities - this is how a person achieves buddhahood.

And because you are continuously in conflict with others, you are losing your power. If all conflicts disappear - that means if you understand and feel the oneness with existence - then you will start conserving your power without any effort, because there is nobody else to fight with, there is no way to destroy your power in unnecessary fights. You will conserve so much power that even if you are involved in the day-to-day activities of life, you will attain to buddhahood wherever you are.

This is a tremendous insight of Ta Hui. Now he is not talking from the mind; now he is saying things which only a man of experience can say.

When you see it as it really is, practice according to reality and act according to reality.

This is where the man of authentic experience differs from your so-called moralists, puritans, social servants, religious leaders.

The man of experience has no ten commandments, he does not have any fixed moral concepts, he has no ready-made ideas and ideals about good and bad, about right and wrong. He simply acts according to the harmonious reality; he does not fall in discord with it. That’s all he has to do: he remains alert not to fall in discord; to remain always in accord. In tune with reality, you are right; the moment you are out of tune with reality, you are wrong.

This is a very different approach towards morality. It does not say, “Thou should not do this, thou should do this.” There are no shoulds and should-nots. A very simple principle: Thou should not fall in discord with reality. Be in tune with it and you will be automatically on the right path. When you see it as it really is, practice according to reality.

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