Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": REALIZING THE SOLUTION

GENJO KOAN


[Against the notion that enlightenment is a single, momentary experience.]


To study the way of the Buddha is to study your own self. To study your own self is to forget yourself. To forget yourself is to have the objective world prevail in you. To have the objective world prevail in you, is to let go of your 'own' body and mind as well as the body and mind of 'others.' The enlightenment thus attained may seem to come to an end, but though it appears to have stopped this momentary enlightenment should be prolonged and prolonged.


[Against the notion that the objective world is merely a projection of one's own mind.]


When you go out on a boat and look around, you feel as if the shore were moving. But if you fix your eyes on the rim of the boat, you become aware that the boat is moving. It is exactly the same when you try to know the objective world while still in a state of confusion in regard to your own body and mind; you are under the misapprehension that your own mind, your own nature, is something real and enduring [while the external world is transitory]. Only when you sit straight and look into yourself, does it become clear that [you yourself are changing ] the objective world has a reality apart from you.


[The fullness of enlightenment.]


Our attainment of enlightenment is something like the reflection of the moon -in water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water cleft apart. Though the light of the moon is vast and immense, it finds a home in water only a foot long and an inch wide. The whole moon and the whole sky find room enough in a single dewdrop, a single drop of water. And just as the moon does not cleave the water apart, so enlightenment does not tear man apart. just as a dewdrop or drop of water offers no resistance to the moon in heaven, so man offers no obstacle to the full penetration of enlightenment. Height is always the measure of depth. [The higher the object, the deeper will seem its reflection in the water.]


From Hashida, Shobo genzo shakui, 1, 142-64, selections translated in De Bary (ed.), Sources of Japanese Tradition, Op. Cit., Pp. 251-2

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