Chapter 26: Wordlessness
There Is No Second Person
Master Chang Ching said, “The ultimate truth is wordless. People of the time do not realize this: they impose the practice of other things, considering them accomplishments.
They do not know that inherent nature has never been sense objects, that it is the gate of subtle wondrous great liberation, aware of all there is without being stained or obstructed.
This light has never stopped: from ages past up to the present it’s been steady, never changing. The subtle illumination of the spiritual light does not depend on being cultivated and refined.
Since they don’t understand, people grasp the forms of things - it’s just like rubbing the eyes, falsely making optical illusions arise.
There is no second person
In this small statement Ta Hui is saying that the whole of existence is one. And because there is no second person we cannot even say that it is one. This has to be understood.because the moment we say “one,” “two” arises. Then all the numbers follow.
In India we have developed a roundabout way of saying “one,” not direct. The mystics of this country have never said that the world, existence is one; they have always said, “It is not two, it is non-dual.”
It may seem that there is no difference - but there is some problem logically. If you say “one,” it implies the whole series of numbers, all the digits. If you say “not two,” you don’t say “one,” still you are indicating “one” without saying it, indicating oneness.
That’s why Ta Hui is also saying in the same way, “There is no second person.” He could have simply said, “There is only one person” - but he is a well - trained logician, an intellectual of the first grade; hence he is also very clear not to commit any mistake when he is saying anything about the truth. And now he is in a position to say something about the truth.
One of the great logicians of our times, Ludwig Wittgenstein, has written a book on pure logic. He was a strange person, verging on the mystic side, but never saying anything about it. Only once in a while, writing about logic, he would give certain indications which show that he was aware that there is much more to existence than just logic. In this book, Tractatus, he says, “One should not say anything about something which is inexpressible.”
I wrote him a letter. I was a student and I wrote him a letter saying, “If you are true, you should not have said this much even. You say, ‘One should not say anything about the inexpressible’ - but you are already saying something about it. You are saying, ‘It is inexpressible.’ You are already giving some indication.”