By Robert Linssen
We publish this article by one of the most eminent Western exponents of Zen not because The Mountain Path is concerned with the views of modern psychology as tomental processes or accepts all its findings, but because of the author's conclusion that thought must finally be stilled and that the ego, who is the thinker, resists this processas long as it can, owing to its "instinct for self-preservation". With profound intuitionand cogent reasoning, he uses psychology to undermine the conception of a psyche.
In order to know ourselves we must be able to answer a quadruple question: What dowe think? Why do we think? How do we think? and finally: Who thinks?In the West most of us claim to be positive and realistic. In fact we are incoherent inour inner life. As long as we are unaware of the deep motives of our thoughts and of our desires and actions we are incoherent and there is spiritual disorder.We are well aware, as a matter of fact, that most human beings today are unable toanswer the questions why or how we think. Progress made in psychology has made itclear to us how inaccurately we answer even the simplest of all questions. What do wethink? We know that the conscious part of ourselves, that which we know with relativeclearness, is only a small part of our total self. Beyond this peripheral and superficialConsciousness there lie a series of deep layers forming the unconscious. We canconsider it a huge recording of the past, full of the scorings of all incomplete actions,incomplete thoughts, incomplete emotions. It is a fact that a complete act, a completethought, leaves no score on the mind. As Lao Tzu said: "He who walks with Tao leavesno trace."