A talk given at Parklands by Eugene Halliday. Ishval tape 129
Certain people have been migrating to the East in order to gain enlightenment. Simultaneously, some others of the same age have been migrating to the West, in order to gain enlightenment. Some have been migrating vertically, in order to gain enlightenment; some are digging in the depths of the ocean, looking for new sources of shellfish food, to gain enlightenment. The thing about enlightenment is, it is where you are, North, South, East, West, up or down. But everybody’s grass seems greener and there has been a conspiracy in ancient times to represent enlightenment as anywhere except where you are, and this is the concept we are going to examine why it should be…, why it should be that enlightenment is always somewhere else.
I am going to do a diagram for those people who have no imagination. Such people, of course will not know what the diagram means…but it will not matter. I am going to draw a circle and I am going to use this circle to signify a concept of enlightenment. Now, it happens, that a large number of people in the West, for centuries, have been taught that enlightenment comes from the East, and they have not realised that in the East, say Far East like China, there is actually a tradition that says that enlightenment comes form the West. Now, the reason for this is quite simple, there is a routine process of maintaining a civilisation. Can you remember that diagram? Do you think you need it? Can you do without it? Those who cannot do without it can request its reappearance when the memory fades.
Only the other day, a young man with hair longer than mine and nicer, was talking about going to the Far East for enlightenment. He was going to go to China because he had a book to prove that in China they had a doctrine of immediate enlightenment in the place called the Pure Land, and he had heard about this Pure Land doctrine, a form of Buddhism and in the Pure Land one attains enlightenment immediately. And he was very intrigued by this idea of a Pure Land. In the Pure Land the Buddha lives and anyone who gets to the Pure Land is in the company with the Buddha, and therefore it would be very nice for a young man, fed up with an explosive occidental civilisation, to go to China and study the doctrine of the Pure Land. I asked him if he had read the book thoroughly and he said, “No, he had glanced through it.” He had selected the Pure Land. I asked him if he had the book with him. He had. He took it out from between a sandwich, a notebook and some carbon copy paper that had dirtied the outside of the edge of his pocket. And I opened the book and quite early in the book it said, “The Pure Land Doctrine refers to a Pure Land in the West.” Now he was going to go to China to study this doctrine. So when I pointed out that it said, “The Pure Land in the West,” he said he had not noticed the words, in the West. They were in the same sentence but he had not noticed the words in the West. Now can you imagine reading a sentence that the Pure Land is in the West and just read the Pure Land and ignore the rest of the sentence. The reason for this is quite simple. The human being has a capacity for positing what he wants to read in the book that he is reading, even if it is not there. We call this the intentionality of the Field of Consciousness. You read into life whatever you feel you need and this capacity is really a magical capacity because by means of it,all great inventions, all great philosophies, all great religions, have been produced.
Can anybody remember the diagram?
Can the girls remember it?
Mmm… very defiant tone I heard there, yes? Right, there is a dot in the circle.
Now there are two ways of thinking about compass directions. One is to think of North, South, East, and West in relation to a flat earth concept like going North is going if you lived, say, in Manchester, you would go North to Cheetham Hill and South to Didsbury, and you would have a flat earth concept about it. If you were in London you could go to Golders Green or you could go to Whitechapel and with this flat earth concept you would have an idea of North and South and East and West all in the same plane.
But there is another way of thinking about the symbology of directions. It is called the Mystical Way, the Way of the Wise, in which case East always refers to the centre of a being and West refers to the periphery of the being. So, in this sense, East is your hidden centre of motivation and West is your physical body expression.
Now it is a fact, in China, for many centuries, it has been said that if one goes West, one comes ultimately, to the Pure Land, and common people thought West meant India, relative to China. And we thought India was more or less East relative to us. But the West referred to is the physical world. So I want you to think about this very carefully. The real meaning of East and West, mystically, the east is consciousness at its centre and the West is the physical body, which is thrown out from that centre as a sphere of activity. You all have a binding integument, that is, apart from the ones that are drooling about in the form of fluids on the carpet, anybody who is able to sit up for any length of time without leaking, has an integument and this integument is the periphery of your physical being. It is locatable from outside, observable fro the outside and, because it is external, it is called the West. It is called the West because the word West means to drive outwards until you have reached the limit of your drive. That is the West, the limit of your drive towards externality. Now think that your body is the mystical West and your consciousness in the centre of that body is the mystical East, and if you become thoroughly clear about that and realise in all the major religions, this is the real meaning of the East and West, then you will know that that it is no good migrating on the surface of the Earth to the East or West in the hope of attaining enlightenment. The enlightenment consists in recognising that the only East is your centre; the only West is your physical body. Now let us examine this Pure Land doctrine, the Chinese doctrine of the Pure Land in the West.
Now, in the west, geographically, in Western Europe particularly, we find people engaged in a physical, empirical, experimental procedure. They do experiments on physical bodies. Now, any physical body can be observed from outside and because you can observe it from outside it is called West, and in the geographical West there has been a concentration upon this kind of externalised, experimental approach to the study of reality, so that the geographical West has been called West, because in that zone of the earth the people there tend to do physical experiments to discover the nature of reality. So the whole of the material development, which culminated in nuclear weapons and so on, is western, equals external, physical, experimental. Meanwhile, in the geographical East, the mystical eastern introvert discovery of the centre of consciousness was being examined with the same energy, same perseverance, that we find in Europe engaged in attacking the physical world, with that same degree of energy that we find in the geographical East, the mystical East, the centrality, the introvert consciousness of the Orient.
Now it is stated in these major religions that there is light coming from the East, out of the east. Light. But the light that comes from the East is coming from your centre of being it is your consciousness. If you tried to locate consciousness you would fail if you thought it was a physical body. Consciousness is you. Consciousness is yourself, you have not got a consciousness other than yourself and you have no self other than your consciousness locked in your body. If you had not got a body to dwell in, to dwell within, you would not be conscious. The SCI in conscious, the sci part, means ‘to cut’ and that cut depends upon the periphery of your body. Your skin surface separates you from the infinite beyond and the you on the inside of the skin is observing the you on the outside of the skin. Outside my skin, there are some other beings with skin and inside those beings with skin there is consciousness. Now this consciousness inside each one of the bodies in this room is, in essence, not different from the consciousness in any other body. It is not even different from the consciousness, essentially, of an animal, a plant or a stone. Consciousness itself depends upon a containing periphery, an integument which allows a discrimination between inside and outside and the periphery is the line of demarcation between the beyond and the contained consciousness. There is as much consciousness outside your skin as an individual as there is inside it. If you can understand that because you are conscious of yourself, with your own being, and that consciousness depends upon the fact that your body is a system of resistances through which energy flows and that because of the resistance is experienced you are conscious, and if you had not got this body of resistances you could not be conscious. Try to realise that first and then recognise that every living being that has a body has a system of resistances which means that the universal energy that flows through all bodies, including the mineral world as well as about animal and man, that energy becomes conscious in passing through resistances.
Think about that very carefully because it means there is a consciousness in an atom, there is a consciousness in the molecule, there is a consciousness in a diamond, there is a consciousness in a plant, consciousness in the animal, in the human and in anything beyond that which has a field, which is demarked with a periphery which allows resistance to be experienced.
Now, for certain reasons, it has been taught that man has a duty to perform. In human groups, in human societies, man has a group function as well as an individual function. An individual in isolation, total isolation, would have no function at all because all function is interfunction, because a function means that a power, that is the FU, is in relative motion, that is the N, in a closed situation, that is the C, which is intersected with other similar situations, that is the T, which posits individuality for it, the I, within the zone, the O, of this relative motion. So, function is interfunction. There is no such thing as a function that is not an interfunction. So every function in every organ in your body is an interfunction with other organs in your body and if you take an organ out of the body, away from its relation with other bodies, it cannot function. All function is interfunction but all interfunction is the generation of resistances because every organ has its own periphery through which the energy in passing, encounters a resistance and this resistance is a guarantee of its consciousness.
Now, in order to maintain human groups on earth, in order to evolve beings that can become reflexively self-conscious, in order that they may become creative, so that they may be like the original creative force that made the Universe, it is essential, that is, pertaining to the essence of the definition of interfunction of consciousnesses, that human beings shall be bound together, in social groups, to provide the necessary interfunction that will sharpen their self-awareness and guarantee their evolution towards creativity. Therefore, a system of ideas has been devised in all major civilisations, to circumscribe consciousness in the bodies of human beings to give them a national identity, a tribal identity, a family identity in which there is individual identity, so the individual has no identity except within the family, within the group, within the social group, within the nation, within the international situation, and, because we cannot advance to higher levels of consciousness without this imposed resistance that is constituted by other living beings opposing them, therefore, it has been necessary to devise the system of ideas that binds people together. That system of ideas has a philosophical expression through the reason and a religious expression through faith. The difference between religion and philosophy is that in religion you leap with faith at a conclusion; in philosophy, you reason from first principles of the terms used and arrive logically at the conclusion. In science, you dig into the material world to prove conclusively, conclusively because closed together in the molecular world, to prove that the ideas of philosophy the leap of faith of religion is really true or really false. Then we have three major approaches, the religious one, the leap of faith; the philosophical one, the step-by-step approach to truth through logic and concept manipulation; and the scientific or physical, empirical research approach.
Now, obviously, the leap of faith is the quickest, next to that is the philosophical approach by pure logic, step-by-step and very slow is the other, science, empirically, but you all know the story of the hare and the tortoise who had the race, and the hare symbolises the intuition and the leap of faith. In fact that leap… what is the Esperanto for hare, please, Donald?
Which one, the head…..?
The ones leaping on your head.
Leporo. Now, that Leporo, the hare, is a leaper. In Ancient Egyptian, that Leporo meant intuition, the sudden leap of truth; obviously a great time saver if you have got it, and everybody has it. But, if you leap to truth you might leap out of the social group, quickly, before the work is done for your more tardy brothers. So,
When you say you are leaping here aren’t you missing out a step?
Yes dear, if you leap.
But you are not allowed to do are you?
I mean, hares do exist you know, and they do leap.
Yes, they leap.
They are leaping beings. Well in the sudden school, everybody is a hare. In the mirror-polishing school, everybody is not a hare. Mirror polishing is refining your mental content. Hare means you jump to it, mmm? Ladies are better jumpers than men actually. That is probably why they invented jumpers and persist in wearing them. Sorry about that.
Now, we must distinguish very carefully between these three approaches, the religious approach, the leap of faith, which can actually come to a true conclusion immediately. For instance, let me see, if you have not all got this capacity in you. If I ask you, do you believe that ultimate reality is really whole? What do you say? Are there any dissenters? You see, there is a natural misrepresenter of his true feelings, but because of his profession, we allow him that. It is really an assumption of an attitude of mind. It is not that he really does not know, it is just that he doesn’t want to use that concept, “Ultimate reality is a whole.” You feel somehow, that perhaps after a million million years there will be an explanation that will cover the problems, the difficulties, there will be a solution of the problem. The same dissenting voice, would you say there is a possibility of a solution of problems in the universe….
Given sufficient time.
Given sufficient time and the instruments of approaching the problem, yes? Did that dissenting voice say yes? Given a lot of time, well we are given eternity, which is quite sufficient. Even he has a feeling….
It depends, given a lot of time again.
Somebody has got a good memory. Eternity contains all time and time is a process within eternity so that whatever time you have got, no matter how much you have got of it, eternity is bigger than that because it contains it. So you have got even more than time in eternity. However, we see that there is a feeling that there is a unity, which can ultimately be discovered.
And apart from jokers we know we feel it. So we can leap a bit and then we can say, “So what! So what, you know, there is an ultimate solution. Do you mind taking your foot off my toe, because it hurts,” that is a temporal problem. There may be a problem for here and now. But nevertheless you really feel there is an ultimate solution of all problems if we have the right instruments and given sufficient time we can find it, which means we have leapt to a conclusion because we have not seen all problems yet and we have not seen all time yet, and yet we have this peculiar feeling that somehow there must be an explanation, but that assumption somehow there must be an explanation is a leap; so actually we find we all have got a little touch of faith, we are all a bit hare-like.
So, right, we have this leap that we make every day. Without a leap of this kind, we would not feel any security about anything whatever because we assume that there is some meaningfulness in what we have done in the past, and that somehow, it is cumulative, the meaning to the past will add up and ultimately there will be an explanation, a full explanation of whole process. Now that is religious. Never mind churchianity, think about the real meaning of religious. It is from a word meaning ‘to bind’ and ‘back’. To bind back to ultimate reality, immediately, in place, is religion. To work out a rationale of that from a logical system of terms, without experimentation in the physical world is philosophy.
Let us do a little philosophical exercise. Now, do we all agree that we can use a term, the word the whole and another term, the part and do we agree that if this word, the part refers to something within the whole that this word part shall not mean the whole whole but only some of it, yes? We are now thinking philosophically because we are not doing any experiments with physical things we are merely saying the word the whole means more than the word the part of the same whole. Now, that is philosophy. Now if that is true then we can philosophically say, my physical body is a part of all the physical bodies there are in the Universe and by the law that whole is greater than the part, therefore my physical body does not constitute the whole, physical reality. That being so, my physical body, if it has a function, must have a part function within the whole, and if the whole is functional then the whole function must include my part function. We are now thinking philosophically and we thought like this for quite a long time, up to the Renaissance we were thinking like this and thinking we knew what we were talking about. It is perfectly true that A is taller than B and B is taller than C, then A is taller than C. And when we think in that way we are thinking philosophically. And if we find, through lack of concentration, we start saying silly things and we decide we would like to be more secure, then we get an apple, say a whole apple, we cut it in half and we measure the half apple and find that the volume of the half apple is only half that of the volume of the whole apple, and then we day we have proved it. Now, that is science.
How long is a piece of string? Twice as long as half of it. Now that is philosophy. Give me a piece of string, let me fold it in half and then cut it, and then borrow off a friend who has a slide rule and let us make a measurement and calculate from it and we will establish that the two halves of the string have the same length that the whole string before we cut it and that is empirical science. And we have a very peculiar sense of certainty through this, most peculiar. If you drop a five-pound weight on your toe and your toe on previous dropping was hurt, you anticipate being hurt, if you drop a five-pound weight on it. But, if you are going to be very scientific, you must drop it not once, but many times to get statistics. Now, after about the thousandth drop, if you have still got a toe, you are convinced, absolutely. No, no, that would be philosophic because there is no absolute in science, there is only statistics. It is times plus times to one against your toe being not damaged the next time you drop it.
Now we will excuse those three processes because there are other processes that we are going to come to, but we must be very clear about those. And we are going to examine the Pure Land doctrine first in three ways and then in the other ways.
Pure Land doctrine says, “There is a happy land far, far away…where little piggies run, three times a day.” Now, do not think that is funny because pig means an obstinate being and there is no more obstinate being in this Universe than the human being. And when it says, “Little piggies run,” it means human beings are running about in the happy land which is far, far away, namely here, now, because, relative to China this is far, far away, and we obstinate little pigs running about are enjoying ourselves, admiring our own curly tails in shop windows as we dash by, because you know that is what shop windows were invented for. Some people think they were invented for shopkeepers to sell goods.But it is not true. Any young man knows very well what a shop window is for, it is for admiring his latest hair-do or something. So, religiously, we know there is a Happy Land far, far away, here it is. Now this is Pure Land doctrine. Far, far away is here-now because far, far away means relative to the other fellow who is not here. That is Chinese logic. There is a handle to Chinese logic that says a white horse is not a horse because it is white. A pure horse would just be horse, not coloured horse. I mean if you colour a horse you have destroyed its horsiness. Supposing you had a black lady and a white horse, you see, and then you reversed it. You would be confusing yourself by adding colour. What you want is pure horseness and in China, where they are very fond of purity, they invented the land of pure consciousness and pure horseness. Plato did the same thing, but then he stole it from an oriental source anyway, indirectly. In fact, everything the Greeks had was stolen, they were some of the world’s best thieves in the Ancient World and they stole of lot of the very good ideas but the best ideas were, of course, from the East peoples from inside consciousness.
Now, the Pure land is here and now, whether you are in Shanghai, Yokohama number 9 or the striptease club in Market Street, Manchester. It is all the same, here and now is the Pure Land. Now the Pure Land is in the West, and this means, your physical body is the Pure Land, but in order to keep groups of human beings in interfunction so that through their interactions they will accelerate the development of consciousness, so that they will actually elevate their consciousness to the level of reflection/reflexion, groups of concepts, religious, philosophical and scientific, were fabricated to make it extremely difficult for people to move out of the group. And all of these concepts together in all of the different systems are called moral concepts. You can study the Philosophy of Morals, you can study the Morality of Religion, you can even study in a positivist, like Claude, a rational, empirical, experimental morality, but the word morality means get everybody inside the city walls and, by a system of ideas, constrain them to remain in relation so that they can develop.
Now, people that opt out of the human, social, civil situation, thinking that they will thereby live better have been mislead. They are merely reacting to the restraint, but the restraints are there to sharpen consciousness.
Now, there is the Pure Land, the Pure Land is your physical body, and there is, coupled with this, a doctrine called the Sudden Doctrine and another doctrine called Mirror Polishing, but, funnily enough, in orthodox Buddhism, there are not two schools called the Sudden school and the Mirror Polishing school. What is stated is that there is a witty fellow, quick-witted, and a fellow who is not so quick-witted and the quick-witted fellow gets there quickly and so if you went to school, it was sudden for him, and the fellow who is slow-witted, he gets there gradually, step-by-step, but it is not as if there are two totally different kinds of people essentially, there are not, there are different rates of travel, different developmental tempi. Interesting word, ‘tempi.’ When we examine this fact, we know that we can, in a moment, religiously leap to the idea of the whole. When we do that we are doing a sudden school activity. But, if we try to work it out logically why there should be a whole, then we are mirror polishing. We are polishing the mind with logic. And, if we go round with instruments, Geiger counters and things, all over the Universe, which will be done, as far as possible, we are trying to verify the thing and, particularly, scientifically. Now, we want to economise on time as much as possible. The moral concepts that have been fabricated to hold individuals in interfunction within human society, were fabricated because it was the only way that human beings could actually develop consciousness to its highest level. But, like every other instrument it is dangerous. A lot of damage has been done by misunderstood usage of moral concepts, just like you can damage yourself with a razor, especially if it has got a new blade, or you can damage yourself with a hammer by hitting yourself on the thumb. It is not designed for that but you can use it. Fire is a good servant, a bad master. There is no such thing as a useful instrument that is not also dangerous and morality, therefore, must come under the same heading. Morality is useful, the word means to put a wall round to constrain people into interfunctional relation within a closed situation, whether it is a nation or a whole world. There we have, in morality, something that binds us all together but through not understanding its purpose, many millions of people have been tortured by it.
Just recently there fell into my hands a book called The Christian Hell and I opened it at random and there, on the right hand page, about an inch from the top it said, “The sublime bliss of the saint looking down from heaven and watching the tortures of the damned.” And this was a quote from an early Christian father. Now, at that time it was very, very difficult to persuade people to stay on the job.
I have just been informed by a fellow who knows another fellow who is an expert on bee keeping, that Italian bees are as lazy as Italian people, that Dutch bees are quite industrious but not as industrious as the British bees. I do not know how the German bees are going on, but it appears from this, and no doubt this is a very sincere statement by a man who does not earn much, that a country affects not only the human inhabitants but the animals, the plants; so if young Italian males drive their cars on the pavements every time they see a girl it is not surprising that the bees do likewise when they see a bee girl.
Let us consider that in societies of living beings, there is a necessity to maintain interfunction by setting up a system of controls. Now, in the animal world, the binding forces are instincts, so that a whole animal group, like a colony of ants or a hive of bees, actually behave experimentally as if they have a mind in which they participate, but an ant has not got an individual mind. An ant is like a little motor, which is electrically controlled, remotely, and does a job, not because the individual ant wants to but because there is a group mind, which is controlling the movement of that ant. There are many experiments to show that this is very largely true of the insect world, and especially of the ant world, the termite world, the bee world. If we said, as a broad useful generalisation, the animal groups are held together by instinct and therefore they are faultless in their group activities; but the human races, the human tribes, human clans, human families, are not held together by instinct, because they are not at the level of merely having a group mind. They have an individual mind in each individual and because they are individuals they are not under the dominion of a group mind. In consequence, the mental processes in a human individual are not instinctive. Now, that being so, as they are not instinctive, that they are not controlled by a group mind, and yet they must be held together in interfunction within the human society, there is no way of holding them together other than by the application of an external force, and to bang people into social order was a very early way of doing it. Now if you have got big muscles and a big arm and you can wield the club efficiently, you can knock some people into a semblance of a group, and that was a very primitive way of doing it.
But it was not terribly economic because the fellow with a strong arm had to keep rushing about. Have you ever tried to control a team of cats? You know, if you lay your kitty food out, for a TV programme and you are watching the filming of this in the studio, and they get all the pussy cats there and they get the canned food out and they have all got obnoxious smells in them, specially put in chemically, except one, that is the trade one you are selling, now all the cats will rush to the one that smells nice. Now, supposing you were to conduct this impartially and intelligently and freely to see which they really liked, so you ring up the wholesaler of catty foods and you get them to send you a dozen samples and you put different labels on these, but they all smell exactly the same. Now, supposing you wanted to market them under a red label and you ordered all the pussy cats to go only to the red label; now pussy cats are more interested in smell than the colour of labels, so they would probably go, if you release them and distribute themselves economically over the twelve cans. Now if you then got a club and began to beat these pussy cats towards the red label can, you would find that the pussy cats will tend to rush off and not co-operate properly, and the result would be a very bad piece of advertising.
You see, in the days of using physical force, you had to be very, very quick as well as powerful. Some powerful men have very tiny feet. Have you noticed some very large bodied men that they trip about with fantastical speed? And they would actually be in the ballet except for the shape of their figures. They are very powerful and very, very quick and in the old days, their ancestors used to beat up quite a lot of people in a short space of time. But the trouble is the moment the fellow recovers consciousness he tends to drift away again unless you round him up again. So, it was decided that there must be a better way than this. How many millions of years do you think it took before the penny dropped that there was a better way than that? About a million and a half years ago, somebody thought there must be a better way than that. We will invent a binding force concept. We will call it Spirit. That is good, we will say the Spirit bloweth where it listeth. That is a good idea. If we can persuade people that the Spirit is all-seeing, which it is, so we can actually persuade them that it is, because Spirit means only consciousness any way, then instead of rushing about and getting overheated and smelling like an overdone ham in the process, instead of doing those things and beating them up, you tell them all the eternal Spirit is an all-seeing eye, that it knows what you are doing, and if you are slacking it will report you to the boss.
That is very good. A friend of mine in Kenya was working out poaching ivory, which, of course, he should not have been doing, he should not have been doing it at all. Being a friend of mine he did not think it matters, but every time he went out poaching, his wife used to send him food in a basket and she would put a packet of cigarettes there for him and a Negro boy used to take these foodstuffs and cigarettes and it was covered up with a cloth. And very often there was something stolen. So he said to his wife, will you please put this glass eye on the top of the basket? So, for a few weeks, everything was complete because this Negro fellow thought the eye was watching him. You never can tell you know. One poet once said that you should be scared of a blind wall watching you, because, “tout est sensible,” everything in the Universe is sensible, sensitive, so the blind wall is watching you, that is rather nerve-wracking is not it? Anyhow, one time he lifted up the cloth, the cigarettes were not there, he thought, “My word this fellow is very smart.” He realised this man had taken the eye, put it on the floor behind a tree and covered it with leaves and then taken he cigarettes. So he said to his wife…. Actually he was not terribly bothered about the cigarettes and things like that, never the less it is there.
Now after a time, people began to disbelieve in this all-seeing eye and it became necessary to reinforce this with a philosophical proof and we find the evidence of this about four or five, six hundred years B.C., an outbreak of philosophical proofs of all kinds of wonderful, social binding concepts, in fact it was he birth of philosophy, about 600 BC, explaining why religious acts of faith are really sensible and using reason to do so. And this lasted up to the Renaissance when it became necessary to start using physical, scientific methods to prove sociologically, statistically, that human beings ought to be together and the whole purpose, to make interfunction between human beings a possibility, an actuality, to make them ultimately reflexively conscious. So we have then, a will positing itself that there shall be a group, and we have a governing concept to reinforce that will, and we have a temporal, experimental process to justify the use of that concept.
Now, one of the concepts invented was there is a Happy Land far, far away, and if you behave yourself well in this life, then you will go to a Happy Land when you have fulfilled your social function and duly died. Now, the power of an idea that makes the idea acceptable is really the essential truth of the idea hidden under the terminology. People do not believe rubbish, fundamentally, if it is really rubbish, they suspect it, but they do believe what is essentially true, even if they cannot explain it properly.
Now the statement was made, in the West, that means in your physical body, there is a Pure Land, and that Pure Land is pure because it has been purified by seeing through the veil of imposed moralising concepts Now, if you feel guilty it is evidence of impurity, but the impurity is the feeling of guilt and the feeling of guilt is the feeling that you are not interfunctioning properly with other human beings. As soon as you interfunction properly with other human beings your sense of guilt goes away.
In the Pure Land, which means in your physical body, in the West, Buddha lives. We have already said the West means extroverted, physical, so it means do not look other than in your physical body, for this spirit, this Buddha, this enlightenment. To understand, fully, your physical body and its functions is to be enlightened. Now there is a word that means contemplation, Samadhi, and a word that means Wisdom, Praja, and those two words have been thought to refer to two separate entities as if you could have one without the other but you cannot. Your wisdom is you in your physical body physically experienced in physical situations by you. You there, is the field of consciousness, which has become conscious because it is a field of power, because the body offers it resistances and because it is put into relation with other bodies, the resistances are increased and through the increase of resistances there is an increase of consciousness.
In that case, your wisdom and your contemplation are your physical body in self-experience. What is the physical body? That is the land in the West, it is a projection of the East. Out of the East comes the light, the Sun rises in the geographical East and its light shines to the West. Now, imagine that your consciousness is a field of power, which is sentient, that is feeling, in its capacity, but attains consciousness only in encountering a resistance. A field of sentient power, that becomes conscious in being pushed through resistances and the resistances are enhanced and increased by grouping, by interfunction. So that this word, Samadhi, contemplation, means literally, to go up and down in the same time with, in other words, to be synchronised with. Your physical body is the body of experience. It is projected by you.
Now, many people do not understand that the physical body is not that body that you contact. If I touch myself like this, what I am touching as a resistance, there, is the food that I have eaten, which has put an inertia, a weight, a substantiality into my body. You know that word, physical, does not mean exactly the same thing as material. If you talk about the material world and the physical world, there is a slight difference, because implied in that word physical is the word of growth and emergence, of something new, which in the word matter is not. Matter itself implies a repetitive, rotatory process that does not emerge, but the physical world implies an emergence from that material world.
Think very carefully, that when you eat food, you are packing the food energy, you break the food down and then you pack it into your space where your body is, and the food that you pack in is not the body, it is the ballast in the body. Your real physical body is the growing power. Do you not tend to think that your physicality is your materiality? Have you not been more or less led to believe that is true by your education? Yet it is not true. When you eat food, you take in matter; you break that matter down into energy quanta and you distribute those quantities of energies throughout your self, your physicality. Your physicality is not your materiality; your materiality is the food that you have taken in; but you have packed it into a shape, a form. When Aristotle said the soul is the form of the body this is what he was talking about. The form, the shape of your being is not made by the matter; if you ate a carrot, you do not look like a carrot, you just look like you. You are the intentional field, which ingests, takes in matter, breaks it down and then packs it into shapes that you like to pack it in or you fear to pack it in. Either you like it or you fear it, and you can get a bump on the end of your nose through fear or hope, because hope and fear are the same force vectored in two different ways. So, discriminate very carefully between your physical self, which is your growing self, because that word physical implies that, and your material self which is your physical food, which you have taken in, broken down, reduced into elemental forms of energy and which you distribute in the form of your own being, and that form is your real physicality, and that real physicality is the Pure Land.
I want you to think about that very carefully because, if you take into your physical structures a material which is toxic, which poisons you, one of the first thing your physical self does is start fighting the poison. You know that if you get a physical thing, like this pen and jab it into yourself and make a wound, immediately, your physical self starts repairing the wound so there is a considerable difference between your material self and your physical self. Your physical self is the Pure Land that the Buddhists are talking about; the Pure Land. Now it is pure for the very simple reason it is always itself and is never adulterated. When you put matter or food inside yourself, or poisons inside yourself, you do not adulterate your physical self with it, what you do is clothe it, veil it, obscure it with matter and make it different, so you can put certain substances inside you which make it difficult for you to think properly, you can impair your thought process with drugs. That is because of the veiling effect of the matter so that your immediate, physical, real self, your Pure Land, cannot express itself through the veil of matter. So think about all the food that you have ever eaten, as a material veil which is shaped, roughly like your real physical self, but think that your real physical self is a spiritual self, so there is no difference, whatever between your spiritual self and your physical self. There is a very great difference between your spiritual self and your material food that you have taken from outside and which you will return to the earth, later in an act of excrement, but, the physical is projected from the centre of your consciousness and is that consciousness pushed out, so that your physical self is spirit. You do not have two things a spirit body and a physical body, it is one thing, just as, in the picture, there, is your centre of consciousness, and that point there, simply spreads itself out to a certain distance and then it adds to itself, it adds to itself food, which it keeps on the periphery of its being and that point has extended itself to there, so that the whole of this being is your physicality. We will talk about physiological processes here not simple inorganic material processes, physiological processes.
Now, this is a most important thing about Pure Land doctrine because it says a very simple thing. There is a Koan. A young disciple went to a Sage and said, “How do I gain emancipation?” And the Sage said, “Who is holding you in bondage?”
Who is? It is the Who. Everyone is a who. That word who means a field of power, sentience, power. It is a Who. Who means sentient power. That is who is holding you in bondage. You are held in bondage by concepts. Remember, you are not an insect so you are not held in bondage to the social situation by instinct. You are held in bondage in the social situation by concepts specially fabricated as economic methods of keeping you in the close, frictive, social relation to guarantee your development and one of the most powerful of all weapons for binding people together was the alphabet and that is only about six thousand years old. So, after the days of the clubs and the other things, the written language, the alphabetic structure, very, very economic. Just think what we can do in English with twenty-six letters, think of that. In Greek, with twenty-four, in Hebrew with twenty-two, with a very small number of symbols we can produce an infinity of concepts and bind, but there is no bondage other than self-bondage. You bind you when you accept a concept and you can accept that concept either with the leap of faith or, philosophically, by reasoning through it, or scientifically by experiment.
Think again, your physicality is not your materiality, your materiality is gross, it is only earth picked up by photosynthesis from plants and made available so that you can put a bit of inertia and mass into your real physicality, but your physicality is nothing but an expression, a pressing outwards from the centre of generative consciousness. So that you are, exactly as you are because you have so made yourself with your consciousness, your intention, your will, your feeling. You have projected consciousness out to meet this world and you have taken that world and used it as meat and you have given yourself mass inertia through it. No one is responsible for the condition of any human individual other than that human individual because that human individual precipitates from the centre, not by instinct of a group mind but by individual, precipitative, self-definition.
Now to realise this is to realise, what is called, Buddha Nature and the essence of mind. Now the essence of mind is a technical term, because mind itself is an evaluative process, but every process takes place inside a whole sentient power. The whole sentient power is called the essence of mind, but the process of evaluating within that essence is called the mind. You have no more mind than you have evaluative operations inside you, and no less.
So, remember that that Buddha word means the enlightenment, which results from the recognition that you are entirely self-precipitated, that the gross materiality of your food is alien to you, that really your physicality is your spirituality, self-expressed. In which case, you become pure the moment you recognise that you are, yourself, the creator of your own being. Then you go into the Pure Land, your own, physical self when you recognise that that physical self is exactly what you have so far, precipitated, through how many lives you have found it necessary to do so to produce yourself as you now are at a stage on the way to a reflexive, self-conscious, creative position within infinite reality.
Now, where the Pure Land is there is the Buddha. Now, Boddhi, which is enlightenment and it has the same root, and the Buddha is he who knows that he is self-precipitated. Wherever you go in any place, in any country, in any time there will never be anything other than you. Each human being, as an individual self-precipitating, self-designing, self-appropriating food to give ballast, but never at any time, becoming at the mercy of that food unless there is a definite will to subject the self to that dominion. Nothing happens to the individual except that which the individual is willing from centre.
Now, this being so, what happens to morality? You find in Pure Land doctrine, it says very simply, when you are aware that there is no evil and no good, when there is no eternity and no time, no high, no low, no rich, no poor, then you are in the Pure Land. That is to say you have realised that you are yourself the definer of your own condition. Wisdom, contemplation, spirituality, Buddha and your physical self are synonyms. To realise that is to stop chasing them serially. And think what happens. One of the rules is, serial thought binds you. Why does it do that? In your head you have information with infinite significance, but supposing we confined ourselves for a moment to the amount of information that any individual has taken in through the sense organs since his birth, and he has records in his brain of all his experiences. Now, supposing we fired, by electrical, simultaneous stimuli all the contents of all the things that had ever happened to any individual since he was born. He would then have total presentation of his knowledge content. Total presentation is wisdom and wisdom could not make a mistake because it is cross-referred. All the things you know cross-referred make a meaningful pattern. But, if you take one of those things out of context, and then take another one out of context, and then another, and then you read then, one after the other in a series, you are now in bondage. You have gone out of wisdom into knowledge, and the fall from wisdom into knowledge is terrific, because, in the one case, you have total awareness of what is going to happen, in the other case, you have only a linear, statistical possibility of a guess. If you know that your physicality is your spirituality, you will not start looking outside your physicality for spirituality; what you will do is start spiritualising your physicality consciously. That is, realising that you are, actually physically spiritual. There is then no battle between spirit and flesh. The battle is between the erroneous ideas and true ideas and you let the battle fight itself out and you watch.
Now, in certain loosely put together books which are floating about in paperback in the West, geographically, called books of meditation, there is a suggestion that if a person sits still and empties the mind and blanks the mind out, that they will be illuminated. Now, it is a funny thing, because all the orthodox scriptures, for several thousands of years, warn against this very thing and they say, in practising meditation, contemplation, do not produce a blank mind and impose the concept of blankness on the mind, because this really makes you stupid. But some people actually sit, not with an empty mind, but with a concept of an empty mind and then hold the concept of blankness. And sometimes they do it very efficiently, and they become very stupid in the process, because the essence of mind is creative, but the concept of the blank mind is not creative, it is death. So that, if, in so-called meditation, you sit in zazen, and you look at what the mind is offering you, and you are very alert to what you are looking at, you discover that the essence of mind is fully creative, it is not blank, it is not static, it is creative, but it is not serial. It is giving you simultaneous, total presentation of the truth of being. And when, in that total presentation, in that mind which is not negatively blanked by identification with the concept of emptiness, but the reality of the real meaning of voidity is understood, then the Pure Land, the attainment, the Buddha, the bliss, is all there simultaneously. And therefore, the doctrine of the void is presented also with the Pure Land and so that you enter the Pure Land when you enter voidity.
Now we have said that you cannot have an idea that is useful and good without it being dangerous, and most people have thought that this word void in the Buddhist scriptures meant blank mind. It does not. It does not mean a mind filled with a concept of blankness. Void is made of two words, vo and id, and the vo part means the power, and the id part means the form that is precipitated by that power. Just as surely as your consciousness projects your physical body, which is therefore a spiritual structure, so this vo projects this id, this form. Now when it does this, it does it always in the same way. If we looked at the dot in the centre, so that dot has fixated consciousness when we concentrate on the dot, and we will say that is K. Let us write a K on there, this is dot thing, there is a K. Now that K as you can see means an impedance struck by a travelling arrowhead, |<, and halted. Now when we see this fact that each moment we posit in our sensorium, in the field of our sentience, we posit an idea. And the moment we posit the idea, that is the letter K, or poison, the result is a leakage, S, ksa. Think of that sound, kasa, ka, close it, sa, to leak out of the closure, ksa. The K is the idea that you posit, and you do this every moment of your existence, you posit an idea of your existence, interpreted, coloured in certain ways, but you posit it. It is you positing you, your definition of you in success or failure in the social, human, terrestrial, solar system, you positing you, K, and the moment you posit it, it leaks, s, ksa.
So we get a repetition of this process and we get the word, ksana. Ksana is a word meaning ‘moment’. It means the moment, it means now, when you posit an idea, the idea is the K, immediately, on positing it, the thing leaks, it escapes it slips. It is like the pip of the orange, still wet and you press it between finger and thumb and it flips. If you listen, as you do if you hear kta, and when we add this termination to it, it means the repetition of this process ktana. You are positing your destiny every second, every moment. Remember the word moment means orientation point, it means turn; you change your attitude to life, momently. If you know that you change your attitude to life momently, ksana by ksana, you are defining yourself at this very moment. While we are thinking about these ideas, we are either agreeing or disagreeing with what we are listening to and at the moment that we posit the idea, agreement, we get it, disagreement, we throw it away, ksa. So that the way we receive an idea when it is presented determines whether we can make that idea operative for us. So that, if we get a truth, we can say, “Oh, spheroids to that,” if we wish, or we can say, “ Worth thinking about,” and then forget it, or, “I have seen it.”
Now if you have said that one becomes Buddha Ktana, that is, in a moment, and that never do you become Buddha, other than in a moment, because enlightenment is momentary, because you posit your own enlightenment moment by moment, it is you positing your understanding of your condition, your situation, you positing you…… ksana. Every moment, every K idea that you posit in your mind, if you are not careful, the idea that you posit will leak and it will make an association with another K, ksak, and then you are on a linear process. So you have to remind yourself to reposit yourself, back, in your creativity, back into centre and with that it goes ksa. You define yourself ksa, it leaks into the outer world you bring it back, ksa. And you teach yourself. You know nobody can become a Buddha by somebody else doing the work, you do it by you doing it, momently, ksana by ksana, you do it.
Think of that, you are actually doing it now, there is a process going on inside you, how big is it? There is an act of will, there is a comprehensive field, there is a serial thinking process, there is a liking and disliking, and there is a physical, biochemical record being made of it There are five things there springing out of the sixth, your hexonic self, and you are doing this every moment, and you are willing a certain concept at any moment and you are slotting in these separate ideas within the concept and you are liking and disliking what you are using and the result is you are synthesizing chemistry to record your own ksa.
Think of that, that you are creating yourself, moment by moment and then you pay the price of your definition of you, your definition of the other beings to whom you relate yourself, your definition of the Universe, your definition of Cosmic Consciousness, of God, of whatever. You define it, you pay the price, ksana, and if you do not like the price, redefine it, have another K be a bit k-learer, because you can change, momently, because you cannot do anything other than momently. And, because you create yourself moment by moment, you can redesign and reposit yourself moment by moment, and in that repositing of you, your significance, your definition of you in the world defined by you, you can define your interfunction with all other beings. And, if it does not work out, redefine it the next ksana. You do not have to suffer from inertia. You do not have to say, well yesterday I said I was a rotten swine, so today I still feel sorry. You can say that was yesterday, some sort of whimsy came upon me. Now I redefine myself. Now, this capacity for re self-definition is forgiveness of sins and you know what is the hardest sin in the world to forgive? The sin that reduces one’s self-image. It is easy to forgive the errors of other people, because their errors merely prove that they are inferior, but to forgive one’s own error and dismiss it, ksana, and make a brighter definition and say did I talk utter drivel? How very interesting. That is part of the sensitive Universe, you know! I hope, for your sake, you are not holding it against me, my dear, because I have dismissed it, and if you are suffering from inertias an resenting, that is re-feeling the thing negatively, feeding it back into your self, you are doing yourself a profound dis-service because I have dismissed it! Did I call you a cross-eyed twit, did it injure you my dear? Ah, you posited that, because how did you know the significance of that particular alphabetic symbols? And why react to it anyway, I have given it up?
Now, when you can forgive yourself in that way, you will find mysteriously, that you can forgive other people in another way for what they do. Self-forgiveness means back into the moment, back into here and now.
So let us think about that while you have a cup of coffee or something. Ksa, you are defining yourself momently, and you are paying the price for the definition, and if you allow a serialisation of definitions to develop that serial chain of ideas will carry itself along and if you identify with it, it will take you with it and then you are really bound, and not profitably, to a chain of events which are implied in the definitions that you have released.