Chapter 6: The Real Self and the False Ego
And Buddha is also right in calling it a no-self because when the real self is there you don’t have any idea of “I.” The “I” is also a thought. The real self has no idea of “I”; the real self is one with the universal self. It is not separate from existence, it is not an island. The unreal self is separate, the unreal self creates separation, hence, the unreal self creates misery. To be separate from the whole is to be miserable. To be one with the whole is bliss.
And the paradox is only apparent; there is no paradox in reality.
One Sunday morning at the parish of St. Mary’s, Little Wakefield, the signboard announcing the subject of the day’s sermon read: “And forgive us our trespasses.” A few yards away, stuck into the grass, was another sign which read: “Trespassers will be prosecuted.”
Just like that: there is no real contradiction, but it appears to be there. On the one hand, a sign says: “And forgive us our trespasses,” and on the other hand another sign says: “Trespassers will be prosecuted.” But they are not concerned with the same object; their meaning is totally different.
When I say you will not be there, I am talking about the artificial self - which you are not but which you have come to believe that you are. Your real self will be there - which you are but which you have forgotten completely.
The second question:
Please comment on these words of Yoka:
By zazen we can obtain directly the ultimate truth.
The scholars like to teach others
but have no deep convictions themselves.
Once you have revealed your prejudices you can see your true self.
How can you wander off into external struggles?
Yoka’s words are always tremendously beautiful. He is one of the greatest Zen masters. There have been many Zen mystics, but there is a difference between a master and a mystic.