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Blue Cliff Record, Case 18: National Teacher Chung’s Seamless Monument

July 18, 1981 Dharma Talk by Dainin Katagiri Roshi

Transcribed by Kikan Michael Howard

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Case 18 of Blue Cliff Record:

Emperor Su Tsung asked National Teacher Hui Chung, “After you die, what will you need?”

The National Teacher said, “Build a seamless monument for me.”

The Emperor said, “Please tell me, Master, what the monument would look like.”

The National Teacher was silent for a long time; then he asked, “Do you understand?”

The Emperor said, “I don’t understand.”

The National Teacher said, “I have a disciple to whom I have transmitted the Teaching, Tan Yuan, who is well versed in this matter. Please summon him and ask him about it.”

After the National Teacher passed on, the Emperor summoned Tan Yuan and asked him what the meaning of this was. Tan Yuan said,

(First, here is the poem without Hsueh Tou’s comments.)

South of Hsiang, north of T’an;
In between there is gold sufficient to a nation.
Beneath the shadowless tree, the community ferryboat;
Within the crystal palace, there is no one who knows.

(Now, here is the poem with Hseuh Tou’s comments, as Katagiri Roshi read it.)

South of Hsiang, north of T’an;

Hsueh Tou added the comment, “A single hand does not make random sound.”

In between there is gold sufficient to a nation.

Hsueh Tou added the comment, “A rough-hewn staff.”

Beneath the shadowless tree, the community ferryboat;

Hsueh Tou added the comment, “The sea is calm, the rivers are clear.”

Within the crystal palace, there is no one who knows.

Hsueh Tou added the comment, “He has raised it up.”

3:05

Emperor Su Tsung asked National Teacher Hui Chung, “After you die, what will you need?”

This is a common question to a person who is about to die: “What do you want after your death?” Because National Teacher Hui Chung was one of the greatest Zen teachers of those days in China, respected by Chinese emperors in the different ages, his disciples and many people expected something specific [for him], regardless of whether he was alive or passed away. Anyway, the people really wanted to respect him after his death. So [the Emperor] wanted to have something; that’s why he asked, “What do you need after your death?”

5:00

The National Teacher said, “Build a seamless monument for me.”

A ‘seamless monument’ is a very common term in Buddhism. If you go to Eiheiji monastery, in front of the gates, there is a huge lantern by the small pond, where people let go of fish and turtles, whatever. So that is freedom, for that time and place – for the fish and turtles to be free from the dangerous situation.

So by this pond you have a big lantern. You know the lanterns in the temple? Not like this … you can see them in pictures. (Tōrō?) And then these lanterns are called seamless lanterns. That pond is called [hoshō], that means “let the beings be alive” – just let go of these beings. So for this, you cannot have any exception for the fish and turtles you have caught. Just let go of it.

So, seamless means formless. In Prajnaparamita, we say formless: no form, no eyes, no ears. So, seamless lantern.

Seamless lantern or seamless monument is not a particular monument or lantern, but this is exactly a picture of life and death. When your picture of life is just like a seamless monument, then at that time you can really transmit human culture to the next generation.

8:25

In your life, what we can perceive is filled with pros and cons, successes and failures, praise and suffering. Lots of stuff there, named zazen, and Katagiri, and the trees, and the suffering; life and death, old age and sickness, et cetera. Lots of stuff in human life.

But this is [taking up] those names. You call it life and death. Take out those clouds completely – life and death, old age and sickness, and trees, birds, suffering, et cetera – completely take them out. What’s left?

What’s left is really important, because this is the quality of life. Life is already a name you put on it, but you have to know the quality of life. You say death, but that death is a name of death which you put on it; you have to know the real quality of death. What is the quality of death?

In zazen … sitting right now, right here means you cannot bring any name, any concept into what to do – so-called ‘zazen’, or ‘breath’, or ‘concentration’. Nothing. While we have even slightly something in zazen, it’s not real zazen. Zazen is exactly touching the real core, the quality of life and death. If you take out all things, what’s left?

That is, Buddhism always says, emptiness.

Emptiness is not a nihilistic quality of existence. The quality of existence, so-called emptiness, is really dynamic working. But no one can touch it, because it’s really dynamic.

12:19

From this point, when you experience success, you feel good – but you cannot [stay in] success for long, because without human effort you cannot succeed in anything. So regardless of whether you succeed or not, failure or success, you have to continue to make every possible effort to live. If you have a certain vision, constantly you have to take care of it.

So strictly speaking, why don’t you take off the clouds of success and failure, pros and cons – and then what’s left? Nothing to get in your hand. But is it just silence? Is it just nothing to do? No, I don’t mean that.

Nothing, emptiness, dynamic working, means full aliveness of your life, so you have to do something from day to day, beyond success and failure. You have to really devote yourself to taking care of life. This is a seamless life. Seamless life, seamless death. And then at that time, we can really [weave] so-called human culture.

I told you before, culture is not just received from somebody else. “Oh, this is a beautiful culture”; I don’t think this is something you have to do. You should receive the culture from somebody, but culture is not just to receive. You have to light the candle of so-called culture.

How do you light the candle of human culture? Your individual daily life is also human culture, beautiful culture. That beautiful culture of your life – is what? Something that you have to [let] people … understand, or see?

Beyond whether people can see it or not, real human culture is constantly there. That is seamless human culture.

15:45

That’s why I told you before, the quality of your life must be taught by your back.

‘Back’ means not back opposed to front – do you remember? My teacher says the Zen teacher teaches Buddhist teachings with his back. ‘Back’ means seamless, formless teaching, constantly.

So whoever you are, if you really live a life just like this, people can accept something about how important human life is from you. Not from the right side, left side, back side, but from the seamless form of your existence, which you have taken care of.

For instance, when my teacher was alive, I really didn’t understand his way and his life, Zen Buddhism, et cetera. Even though he kept silent, or even though he said something – one word, saying, “get up” – “When the people get up, why don’t you get up?” – at that time I got the big experience, but still I didn’t appreciate this. [This is] because of human speculation: always looking at the front, trying to understand logically and theoretically. If you don’t understand [something logically], it’s very hard for us to accept.

If you don’t want to accept, that’s okay – it depends on you, that’s up to you. But you cannot always do it in that way. If you take care of your life just like that, you become a very small scale of human being, isolating from people. Then the people don’t understand you, people don’t respect you. So very naturally you are isolated from people, because you cannot live in peace and harmony with all sentient beings.

So then finally you have self-doubt. Self-doubt means [you think], “I am stupid.” You’re not stupid, but a certain big doubt comes up.

19:22

Now I can really treasure the core of human existence which my teacher had demonstrated while he was alive. That means not the logical aspect, not the matter of his life in failure or his life in success; completely beyond this. As a total picture, you can really feel something.

So now I really appreciate his life. Whatever he did, whatever he said to me, I really appreciate. Something which he always taught me is not some teaching in the possession of a form, so-called success or failure, or pros and cons; it’s completely beyond that. Of course you can see those, but the more important part of human life is completely beyond there. From his life as a whole, you can really get something.

That is very common for human beings. When your parents die, when your brothers die, when your sisters die – anyway after people’s death, you really feel something. Don’t you think? This is very true. But while they are alive, you’re really ignorant – because we are always looking at the front, trying to understand logically, theoretically.

That is a very common human style. So that’s why the National Teacher said, “Build a seamless monument for me.”

22:08

And then,

The Emperor said, “Please tell me, Master, what the monument would look like.”

This is a very nice person. Because the National Teacher wants to build a seamless monument, [the Emperor asks,] “What is a seamless monument? Would you tell me what kind of seamless monument you would want to have?”

22:43

The National Teacher was silent for a long time; then he asked, “Do you understand?”
The Emperor said, “I don’t understand.”

This “I don’t understand” has two meanings. Bodhidharma said this also, when he was asked by Emperor Wu, “Who are you, in front of me?” He said, “I don’t know.”

This is also “I don’t know.” But [Bodhidharma] knows pretty well; he knows very clearly who he is: becoming one. At that time there is nothing to dichotomize, or contaminate.

23:55

For instance, when you really do something with your wholeheartedness, cleaning the room, and [unintelligible] – at that time you don’t know who you are, or you don’t know how fast time is going. You don’t care about the time; you’re really one. At that time people ask you, “What time is it?” You say, “I don’t know.” But it’s really late, you know?

Japanese people like very much playing Go. Go is very wonderful to play, but if you start to do this, you completely forget time and space, you’re really devoted to it. So even at midnight, you can stay late, just playing Go all night. You don’t feel tired, you don’t feel what time it is, you don’t want anything except to play Go.

So even though someone asks you what time it is, you don’t know. Time is already with you, so you know the time pretty well; but when you become really one with time, you don’t know time. Do you understand?

When you’re riding an airplane, when you become one with the speed of the plane, you don’t know how fast the airplane goes. All you have to do is just be there. And then if you are asked by people how fast the plane is going, you don’t know. But it’s really fast.

This is also one meaning of “I don’t know.” You know pretty well, but if you are free from “you know,” you don’t know.

26:32

So this is all one meaning. If you know pretty well who you are, you cannot say anything, don’t you think so? While you say “I am an enlightened person,” still you create lots of space between you and enlightenment. If you’re a really great enlightened person, then there’s only one, there is no space to look at it objectively. So you don’t know.

It’s just like shaking a bottle filled with water. It’s completely one; at that time, you cannot make noise. But if you take a bottle with a little water and shake it, you know you really make noise. That is like, “You know pretty well how great I am.” But if you shake the bottle completely filled with water, you don’t know how much there is.

So, no sound; that is really oneness. That is very quiet. But it is really dynamic, and also total manifestation of [unintelligible] or majesty, and [improbability]. Just this. But, nothing to say.

So that is the “I don’t know” that Bodhidharma said.

28:34

Or, the other “I don’t know” means completely “I don’t know,” because I have no idea. People ask me what Buddhism is, what zazen is, and I say, “I don’t know.” That is really “I don’t know,” don’t you think so? [He laughs.]

If you say “I don’t know,” you cannot have any spirit to teach or to tell you, don’t you think so? But if you really know what zazen is, even though you say “I don’t know,” that “I don’t know” has a really great spirit to teach somebody. So, still people feel that point.

The “I don’t know” of Emperor Wu – I don’t know which of the two it was. [He laughs.] Whether he really didn’t know, or he knows pretty well and is free from he knows, and then he says he doesn’t know – I don’t know. No one knows. Okay? [Some laughter.] But anyway, from this story, Emperor Wu was not the common people, he was a “Great Zen Buddhist”.

30:32

Finally, the National Teacher was silent for a long time, then he said, “Do you understand?”

In Shobogenzo “Four Horses” (Japanese: Shime), Dogen Zenji says … from a Saṃyukta Āgama sutra,

The Buddha said to the assembled monks:

There are four kinds of horses.

The first kind immediately follows the rider’s will, when in surprise and fear, it sees the shadow of the whip.

The second does likewise when the whip flies in the air.

The third, however, doesn’t obey his master until after the whip has struck his flesh.

The fourth, finally, doesn’t do so until the whip has reached his very bones.

(Source unknown)

Four kinds of horses. [He chuckles.] I don’t know which of the horses you belong to, but anyway, most people are just like this.

33:05

From this, maybe you understand that the horse which really runs the moment when he sees the shadow of the whip, that is the best horse, in comparison with another horse who doesn’t run until the whip reaches the bone. That is a very common understanding. But that is discrimination. If you understand human life just in common sense like this, you never understand how to live in peace and harmony in the human life.

In Buddhism, if the whip touches a hair, strictly speaking you cannot just touch the hair, ignoring the skin, muscle and bones. Touching a hair means exactly touching the skin, muscle and bones. Without touching the bones, without the muscles and skin, how can you know the whip touches the hair?

So to touch a hair means completely to touch the whole body. In other words, broadly speaking, in Buddhism, when you do gassho, this gassho touches you and others and all sentient beings. This is exactly the truth; but you don’t know, you don’t believe this.

That’s why Buddha and Dogen Zenji explain the four kinds of horses. Which of the four are best? Do you think the horse who runs the moment he sees the shadow of the whip, that is the best? No, I don’t think so.

So, the four kinds of horses are exactly living in the realm of no discrimination, because touching the hair is exactly touching the skin, muscle and bones, whole body. And then, at that time, you can run.

36:08

For instance, playing piano, I tell you always, you cannot play the piano with just two hands. You have to play the piano with two hands, two feet, two eyes, nose, whole body, composers, and also your past life, and the composer’s life, the composer’s feelings, the composer’s heart; all the organs, heart and feelings. And then you can really play.

So what do you mean, touch the piano? Touching the piano is not touching the keys, not touching the [tuner]. To touch the piano is to touch all sentient beings! And then at that time, this is called to touch the keys. That is the [five skandhas]. So your presence is not only your presence but simultaneously the presence of the whole world: trees, birds, and this Zen Center. At that time, you can really take entire responsibility for you life, with gratitude. That is great.

So, when you do zazen, that’s why zazen is [not just] for deepening your own life. That’s why Dogen says to do zazen for all sentient beings. That is great compassion; because to touch you is to touch all sentient beings.

38:10

If so, it’s not necessary for the rider who controls the horse to understand the four kinds of horses. Just let go of any kind of horses, without controlling, without getting the whip.

Of course, you need a whip. Remember this. We need a whip because, when the cat was born, still as a cat… Because Buddha says, even a cat and dog are Buddha. If dogs and cats are Buddha, the cat was one with his skin, his muscles, and other cats. The Zen master says that is [karmic] consciousness, but whatever you say, it doesn’t hit the mark. (Transcriber’s Note: This paragraph is particularly hard to make out. At the moment, I don’t know what it means. However, needing a whip for cats? That I can relate to.)

Anyway, you have to understand [yourself] as a human being – but that human being is really stretched into the past, into the future. You have to understand human life for the long, long range.

If you understand your life for the long range, through the past, to the future, you cannot criticize the degree of stupidness, [He laughs.] how stupid you are. Because this is karmic life.

40:20

Karmic life is completely beyond your speculation, your understanding. Why am I Japanese? I don’t know. Completely, I don’t know. I know pretty well that I am Japanese, because I know my parents and my grandparents; but I don’t know why I am Japanese. Why were you born as American? You don’t know either. You can explain that you know why, but that explanation is really just a speck of dust, don’t you think so? Because you don’t know, exactly.

So you have to really understand human life for long range. At that time whatever makes you think how [stinky] you are, how great you are, that is completely beyond criticism or evaluation, judgement. All you have to do is, just to totally accept and take care of that aspect of human life.

From this point, [unintelligible] the whip. You need a whip. Shall I touch just a hair? Shall I touch the skin, shall I touch the bone and the muscles? That’s alright; this is not discrimination, because your life as karmic life is something you have to accept totally, beyond criticism and evaluation – because your life is really long.

If you really understand this karmic life, karmic life turns into Buddha’s life. You can really accept it. To accept is not just to accept it at random; you have to accept, and next, you have to take care of your life in a positive way.

That is the meaning of a whip. Or of practice, [constant] effort. Human effort is a sort of energy so that you can keep your life as a Buddha.

43:30

There is a story (in “Four Horses”) where Dogen Zenji says, “Haven’t you heard how an outsider asked the Buddha, ‘I don’t ask about the spoken, I don’t ask about the unspoken.’” In other words, completely beyond words or not-words, karmic life or not karmic life – what is life?

The outsider – in other words, this means a Brahman – asked the Buddha, “I don’t ask about the spoken …”

[Tape change.]

… seamless monument, if you don’t really attach, if you don’t really dichotomize, that is really a seamless monument for you, right now. That is really teaching from your back. That is teaching coming from life as a whole – not front, not back, not life or death, but as a whole. And if you do continue to take care of your life just like zazen, you really teach to somebody, even though you don’t say anything.

So, this Brahman really wanted to know what life’s seamless monument is.

The World-honored One remained silent. Just, sit down.

The outsider bowed in homage and cried in praise. He was really surprised to see the Buddha’s silence, “just sit down”; he really attained something, he really touched something. And then he said, “The World-honored One, with greatest mercy and great compassion, has dispersed the clouds of my delusion and caused me to gain entry.”

So after the outsider had left, Ānanda asked the Buddha, “What did the outsider witness, that he said he had gained entry?”

The World-honored One said, “In worldly terms, he’s like a good horse. He goes when he sees the shadow of the whip.”

47:05

People often go to the silence for their understanding. What is there to grasp? In Buddhism, silence is important – but silence itself is not important, to keep silent. If I write the words: “Teaching comes from silence” – many people these days, not only Buddhists but even Western philosophers, say life and human existence is really based on silence. And then we believe that silence is really the truth of human existence. But I don’t think so.

Because silence is human life, the truth of human life: if you believe in that way, you have to always keep silent. How can you keep silent? You cannot stay with the silence constantly.

So you have to know the world completely unfolded beyond silence. If you keep silent, keep silent. But you have to know the somebody unfolded completely behind this silence. Do you understand?

If I sit down and really do zazen, then you believe concentration is the purpose of zazen. But I don’t think this is the purpose of zazen. The purpose of zazen is not to concentrate on breath, not to face something, not to keep out something, not to escape from, not to have a daydream, not to count the breaths. If so, is zazen just to sit down without doing anything? No, it doesn’t mean that. Because we have already [time and place], so-called karmic “monkey mind”. So you have to take care of accepting this, and then positively we have to take care of it. That’s why we say … take care of your breath. And then, when you take care of your breath, so-called concentration, with wholeheartedness, there is the big world absolutely unfolded – beyond the name of concentration, name of zazen, name of practicer.

That is, Dogen Zenji says, the total manifestation of the whole world. Huge.

50:31

That is teaching coming from your back. This is teaching coming from a powerless power, that you can get from your practice. Behind the effort, there is great power. Effort is not something you can create; there is power to teach or to understand behind this effort. Behind the effort means the world unfolded totally, beyond the name of concentration, name of practicer, name of emptiness – whatever you say, it doesn’t hit the mark. Anyway, take off any clouds. And then what’s left? Nothing to say.

So keep silent. Keep silent is what? Keep silent is not stumbling toward, it’s really working, which is called zazen. You have to really work.

51:55

So that is Buddhistic silence; really silent. Silence is totally accepting your life, including the whole world. Just like touching a hair; if you touch a hair, that means touching the whole world.

It is really true, because from where does your hair come? Does your hair come from you? Or from the function of your body? Of course; but that’s still an answer, an explanation. But broadly speaking, your hair comes from where? [unintelligible] That’s great.

That’s why it is important to see the hair; it’s very important. The human hair is maybe sort of like a person who gets a Ph.D. Is he great if you compare him with a first grade child? No, he is the same. Well, [it seems] maybe we have to give a whip until the whip touches the skin or the muscle. But this is your discrimination; touching the skin is exactly touching the hair and the whole body. So even though the first grade child is great – a wonderful person, human being, and we should totally accept and respect him – that is what? Nothing to say.

But right in the middle of silence you have to say something, because this is a human life.

For instance, right in the middle of suffering or pain in zazen – can you say something about pain? You cannot say anything about the pain in zazen. But if you keep silent in pain, that means that you have to die with the pain? No; you have to be alive!

So silence in pain is really aliveness, dynamically, in pain.

54:47

[The National Teacher] kept silence and sat down for a while and said, “Do you understand?” The emperor said, “I don’t understand.” And then the National Teacher said, “I have a disciple to whom I have transmitted the Teaching.”

So finally the emperor said, “I don’t know.” But whatever kind of meaning of his answer, it doesn’t matter, because there is no way to approach to him. So he said, well, I have a disciple. So after my death, please ask my disciple what it means.

55:46

The National Teacher said, “I have a disciple to whom I have transmitted the Teaching, Tan Yuan, who is well versed in this matter. Please summon him and ask him about it.”

After the National Teacher passed on, the Emperor summoned Tan Yuan and asked him what the meaning of this was. Tan Yuan said,

South of Hsiang, north of T’an;

That means: wherever.

Life and death is not something limited by name, or concept, or philosophy, or psychology. Life is something which exists, wherever. Eternal space, eternal time. This is life.

So, Tan Yuan said, “South of Hsiang, north of T’an”, and:

Hsueh Tou added the comment, “A single hand does not make random sound.”

Well, eternal life, eternal space and time is what? Can you make a sound? No.

No matter how long you shake a bottle filled completely with water, you cannot make a sound, because there are not two. It’s completely one bottle; not a bottle and water. That is one hand. One hand cannot make a sound at random.

So that is really a total picture of life and death, which is called a seamless monument. Which he really wanted to build up.

To build up a seamless monument means not for him, but for all sentient beings – for the disciples who are still alive, from now on, to the future. You have to build a seamless monument – not for me, for you!

That’s why Hsueh Tou added the comment, “A single hand does not make random sound.” It’s very simple and clear, and nothing to comment on.

58:54

In between there is gold sufficient to a nation.

Does “silent, nothing to say” mean it is something in vain? No, it’s just like gold – completely filling the whole world. That is the quality, that is the material of the seamless monument. You have to build up a seamless monument with this gold, the quality of life. But we believe the name of life; that is not the quality of life. The quality of life is completely gold, filling the whole world.

1:00:02

– Hsueh Tou added the comment, “A rough-hewn staff.”

That gold is not something a person refined; it is just like a rough-hewn staff, directly from the wilderness, which no one [can touch]. Completely pure and clean; nothing to contaminate. So that’s why Hsueh Tou added the comment, “A rough-hewn staff.”

1:01:10

Beneath the shadowless tree, the community ferryboat;

This is the meaning of eternal time.

When you do zazen, there is eternal space, which is called all sentient beings. Simultaneously you can touch your skin, muscle; audience, composer, and past, present, future – this is touching the key of the piano.

According to the time process, we don’t understand [it that way]. But even according to the time process, for instance … according to dance, human life is analyzed exactly … moment by moment. So in one moment, countless beings exist. That is the most important attitude we should take toward human life – because that moment is really the wonderful community ferryboat, a great gift. You don’t believe in that way, but it is the most important attitude we should take forward.

That’s why, day by day, in the practice, the gassho, and doing zazen, the chanting, these things are very important. The gassho and zazen and chanting are all seamless monuments, they must be seamless monuments. At that time zazen is handed down from generation to generation as religious culture.

But don’t misunderstand. The religious culture of zazen is not only to sit zazen, but you have to light the candle of zazen. Do you understand “to light”? Light means you have to be alive, you have to make it alive. You have to animate zazen in your life. That is a culture, human culture.

1:04:14

– Hsueh Tou added the comment, “The sea is calm, the rivers are clear.”

That is really spiritual security, so-called spiritual security. If you do this – anyway, on the basis of human existence there is always spiritual security, which is going on constantly, carried on and on, consciously or unconsciously.

But that is not always calm. It’s really alive.

1:04:58

Within the crystal palace, there is no one who knows.

If you believe the seamless monument of human life and death, and human culture, whatever you say – we believe that is something great, wonderful, which has lots of halos, light coming from your bodies and coming from your whole spirit.

I don’t think so.

That (seamless monument) is really a crystal palace, a great palace, because it is spiritual security – we always expect that, in many ways. But if you really get into it: there is no one who knows. “There is no one who knows” means spiritual security which lets go of you yourself, as freedom.

If you have somebody who knows, you are stuck in this guy or his name. “I know Katagiri” – at that time, I’m really stuck in this guy. So who knows? No one knows.

“Know one knows” means you know pretty well, but you must be free from one who knows. Because this is the crystal palace – which I am, which you are. That is everybody.

So if you know, you have to be free from the person who knows. That is original nature, so-called spiritual security. Spiritual security lets you go free, constantly. That is spiritual security. If there is even slightly somebody or something which knows, that is really [unintelligible].

That’s why Hsueh Tou says, “Within the crystal palace, there is no one who knows.”

1:07:33

In Christian religion, always there is something we know. Wonderful spirit, halos, inspiration, catechism, [unintelligible], [unintelligible]. Spiritual greed; [unintelligible] That’s fine, if that makes you have fun – but is that really the spiritual security you are looking for? No. Because finally, you are really stuck in there.

The other day someone came to see me and told me about her life, because she was predicted by one of the great Indian religious persons. At that time she was not ready to accept that prediction. But recently she started to believe, because his predictions came to be true! [He laughs.] But, not all the predictions he gave; only some.

[Those predictions she believed] must be something unwholesome, bad, because people pay really careful attention to something unwholesome or bad. If we are happy, we don’t pay attention, because we are happy. We are really infatuated with happiness; that’s why we don’t pay attention. But if you are in fearful conditions, you really pay attention to it. Then, you create nervousness, paying more careful attention, again and again. Finally, you cannot move an inch, right in the middle of prediction.

Prediction is fine, because in a sense it is true, teaching you who you are. In astrology you can get them to tell you what is your future. Yes, it is – but, don’t believe it. You should believe this, but, you shouldn’t be stuck in there. You should be free from the prediction, because this is the real process of human life. In other words, still there is a chance you can create your life toward the future anyway, because basically everyone is free. There is nothing to limit, nothing to bound your life, tied up with a certain idea.

So even though a prediction can teach you, tell you the truth of your life toward the future – fine. The truth is still the name of the truth. You have to know behind the truth.

Don’t be cheated by the name of truth; you have to know the real quality of the truth. Take out the name of truth of your life, in the future, in the past – that’s fine. But you have to know the real quality. For this, you have to take off the clouds of naming truth. That is really our problem.

That’s why Hsueh Tou said, “Within the crystal palace, there is no one who knows.”

1:12:02

– Hsueh Tou added the comment, “He has raised it up.”

Exactly. Exactly, that is holding, understanding life.

1:12:32 end of recording

Next: Not Yet Transcribed: 1981 Part 2

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