Chapter 35: Discontinuity
A Talk to the Assembly (Part One)
Do you want to attain true one suchness of mind and objects? It requires an abrupt, complete break: pick out the one inside your skull that’s doing the false thinking, take the eighth consciousness, and cut it off with one blow.
Haven’t you read Master Yen T’ou’s saying? “As soon as there’s something considered important, it becomes a nest.”
All of you people have spent your whole lives inquiring after this matter - without any attainment - sitting in your nests your whole lives without being able to come out, totally unaware of your error. Those who’ve become infatuated with the words and phrases of the ancients take amazing words and subtle phrases as their nest. Those who take delight in the verbal meaning of the scriptures take the scriptures as their nest.
All the above have things they consider important where their infatuations lie. Lacking the qualities of great men of power to step back and recognize their error, they think of what they consider important as extraordinary, as wondrous and subtle, as peace and security, as the ultimate, as liberation.
For those who entertain such thoughts, even if Buddha appeared in the world, it would be to no avail. With nothing considered important, naturally you’re full of rawboned power, without desire or dependence, and master of the dharma.
Every man creates a certain psychological security, unaware of the fact that his security is his prison. People are surrounded by all kinds of insecurities; hence the natural desire is to create a protection. This protection becomes bigger and bigger as you become more alert to the dangers you are living through. Your prison cell becomes smaller; you start living so much protected that life itself becomes impossible.
Life is possible only in insecurity.
This is something very fundamental to be understood: life in its very essence is insecurity. While you are protecting yourself, you are destroying your very life. Protection is death, because only those who are dead in their graves are absolutely protected. Nobody can harm them, nothing can go wrong for them. There is no longer any death for them - all that has happened. Now nothing more is going to happen.
Do you want the security of a graveyard? Unknowingly that’s what everybody is trying to do. Different are their ways, but the goal is the same. By money, by power, by prestige, by social conformity, by belonging to a herd - religious, political - by being part of a family, a nation, what are you seeking? Just an unknown fear surrounds you, and you start creating as many barriers as possible between you and the fear. But those same barriers are going to prevent you from living.