Chapter 9: Illusion
Secondly he says,.they’ve appeared and disappeared in the sea of birth and death.
That is absolutely wrong. Once a man is enlightened, he never comes back into a womb; he goes beyond birth and death. Good men are bound to be born, are bound to die, but not the enlightened one. The very foundation of enlightenment is to get free from the wheel of birth and death, and to enter into universal life - formless, without a body. A body is a confinement, it is an imprisonment. Consciousness need not have a body; it can be just pure, formless space.
Once a man is enlightened, he never comes back into another body. And because Ta Hui is saying that “he appears and disappears in the sea of birth and death,” he is showing his ignorance about the whole affair of enlightenment.
The last sentence is certainly beautiful and significant, but it is again stolen; it is stolen from Gautam Buddha himself. Buddha was always asked, “Does the experience of awakening, in different people, have the same taste, the same flower, or is it different?” And he has used two statements. One is: “The sea is vast, but you can taste it from anywhere and it is always salty; it has the same taste.” And second: “Like cutting up sandalwood, each piece is it.” You can cut the sandalwood into many pieces, but each piece will have the same fragrance; it will not be different in different pieces.
This is a famous statement of Gautam Buddha. Ta Hui has simply used it.
There is no deficit or surplus: like cutting up sandalwood, each piece is it.
Since there is no place to locate it, buddha is illusion and dharma is illusion.
The reason that he is giving for why buddha is illusion and why dharma, the nature of enlightenment, is illusion is that you cannot find a place to locate them. Can you find a place to locate space? Can you find a place to locate time? Is time illusory? Is space illusory?
Just because you cannot locate them.they are formless, hence location is not possible. If you make it a criterion that anything that cannot be located and pointed at is not real, then only things which have boundaries will be real and things that don’t have any boundaries will not be real. Then your body will be real, because it can be located, and your consciousness will be unreal, because it cannot be located.