Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow...
CAN ONE LIVE A LIFE NOT RELYING ON BELIEF OR VIEW?
CT: People must believe in this or that, rely on this or that to live and feel some security or peace for this life and next life - suppose there is a next life - they believe that they will live life after life under different forms. They believe there will be next life to get some energy to live this life with better feelings. They think of reincarnation to gain some more energy to practice harder and believe that they are better other people who do not do the same with what they are doing. Therefore, they always search for ways or methods to prolong their lives or reach some state which they believe it is divine, eternal or never ends. They go into forest, hide themselves in the stone caves under black mountains to find secret methods to make stone into gold. If something comes up and take away what they believe in or rely on, then they feel lost in the darkness and need some teacher or guru lead their lives.
Even at the moments of death they still dream of an eternal life.
It's really difficult for them to live a life unconditionally or to die a death of nirvana!
Visitor: "People must believe in this or that, rely on this or that to live and feel some security or peace for this life and next life - suppose there is a next life - they believe that they will live life after life under different forms."
What you say is true. Some do use beliefs to find peace and security. If that makes them happy, fine with me. I do not much care for religious dogmas, so that is not my way. And while I cited scientific "facts" about the conservation of energy theory, I realise for some science has become a religion. (I guess I also pick from science those things that ring true to me.)
But recently, there has been a holistic view of the universe - that it is all interconnected...(guess it took science thousands of years to confirm Buddha's teachings!) So where can I look for peace and security? Only within myself...and when I touch it, I touch the Soul - or whatever else you call it.
CT: You can call it whatever you like. However, words are usually dualistic and might lead to misunderstanding! Many words have been used with some specific definitions for thousands of years. Their often-used meanings stored really deep in one's memory. If one uses one of those words but does not make it clear in the sense he/she is using, problem of misunderstanding might occur. I am aware of this.
Visitor: Yes, words are crude tools that can cause problems if the true meaning is miscommunicated. In the Christian religions, 'soul' does mean the unique, separate spirit of a certain human being. Separate and below God. (Even though they believe God is everywhere - which means God would have to be within everyone and in each separate 'soul'). To me, my 'soul'or my spirit or my energy or my 'Buddha self' is not separate at all - instead it is linked to the Soul/God/Tao/All/One as a wave is part of the ocean. Becoming aware of this connection is the road around ego (separation). So you think I should use different words to help? What words would be better? Thanks.
CT: Communication between human beings is not easy at all. When we understand one another or we can see a thing, for example, with the same eye, then we are fine. And in this case, words would not cause much difficulty in communication.
Sometimes, one might use an antonym but the other could understand exactly what the first one meant. However, this does not happens every time even we want to. Therefore, it's hard to tell which word is better. With this I do not mean we are allowed to use a wrong word in a sentence or a statement.
The listener may ask the speaker for a clarification of some word if the listener is not sure what the speaker means with that word. Otherwise, the speaker is supposed to make the word he uses clear in the sense he wants to communicate. With this way I think we could avoid some misunderstanding that words might cause.
ChonTri & Visitors 11/01/03
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