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Self Discovery

Self Discovery



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Published by tathaagat

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Published by: tathaagat on Sep 06, 2009
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Hubert BenoitOn Faith in our Creative Principle
According to Zen man is of the nature of Buddha; he is perfect, nothing islacking in him. But he does not realize this because he is caught in theentanglements of his mental representations. Everything happens as though ascreen were woven between himself and Reality by his imaginative activityfunctioning in the dualistic mode....Man... does not know that there is in him something invisible which works inhis favor in the dark. Identifying himself... with his imaginative mind, he doesnot think that he is anything more. Everything happens as though he said tohimself: 'Who would work for me except myself?' And not seeing in himself any other self than his imaginative mind and the sentiments and actions whichdepend on it, he turns to this mind to rid himself of distress. When one onlysees a single means of salvation, one believes in it because necessarily onewishes to believe in it.However, if I look at the life of my body I observe that all kinds of marvelousoperations are performed spontaneously in it without the concourse of thatwhich I call 'me.' My body is maintained by processes whose ingeniouscomplexity surpasses all imagination [note that Benoit was a medical doctor].After being wounded, it heals itself. By what? By whom? The idea is forcedupon me of a Principle, tireless and friendly, which unceasingly creates me onits own initiative.My organs appeared and developed spontaneously. My mediate dualisticunderstanding appeared and developed spontaneously. Could not myimmediate understanding, nondualistic, appear spontaneously? Zen repliesaffirmatively to this question. For Zen the normal spontaneous evolution of man results in satori. The Principle works unceasingly in me in the directionof the opening of satori (as this same Principle works in the bulb of the tuliptowards the opening of its flower).... An old Zen master said: 'What concealsRealization? Nothing but myself.'
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I do not know that my essential wish ~ to escape from the dualistic illusion,generator of anguish ~ is in process of being realized in me by somethingother than my personal 'me.' I do not believe that I can count on anyone butmyself: I believe myself therefore obliged to do something. I take fright inbelieving myself alone, abandoned by all; necessarily then I am uneasy andmy agitation neutralizes by degrees the beneficial work of my deeper self. Zenexpresses that in saying: 'Not knowing how near the Truth is, people look forit far away... what a pity!'This manner of thwarting the profound spontaneous process of construction isthe work of mechanical reflexes. It operates automatically when I am notdisposed to have faith in my invisible Principle and in its liberating task. Inother words, the profound spontaneous process of construction only makesprogress in me in the degree in which I am disposed to have faith in myPrinciple and in the spontaneity, always actual, of its liberating activity....My participation in the elaboration of my satori consists, then, in the activityof my faith; it consists in the conception of the idea, present and actual, thatmy supreme good is in process of being elaborated spontaneously.One sees in what respects Zen is quietist and in what respects it is not. It is,when it says to us: 'You do not have to liberate yourselves.' But it is not in thissense that, if we do not have to work directly for our liberation, we have tocollaborate in thinking effectively of the profound process which liberates us.For this thought is not by any means given to us automatically by nature. Theouter world unceasingly conspires to make us believe that our true goodresides in such and such a formal success which justifies all our agitations.The outer world distracts us, it steals our attention. An intense and patientlabor of thought is necessary in order that we may collaborate with ourliberating Principle.Arrived at this degree of understanding, a snare awaits us. We run the risk of believing that we must refuse to give our attention to life....We must proceed otherwise. At moments when outer and inner circumstanceslend themselves to it we reflect upon the understanding of our spontaneousliberation, we think with force, and in the most concrete manner possible, of 
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the unlimited prodigy which is in process of elaboration for us and which willsome day resolve all our fears, all our covetousness. In such moments we seedand re-seed the field of our faith; we awaken little by little in ourselves thisfaith which was sleeping, and the hope and the love which accompany it.Then we turn back to living as usual. Because we have thought correctly for amoment a portion of our attention remains attached to this plane of thought,although this plane penetrates the depths of our being and is lost to sight.... Inthe measure in which this second subterranean attention develops we willperceive a less compelling interest in the world of phenomena; our fears andour covetousness will lose their keenness. We will be able to learn how to bediscreet, non-active, towards our inner world and we will thus become able torealize this counsel of Zen: 'Let go, leave things as they may be...' Be obedientto the nature of things and you are in accord with the Way.From Chapter 13, Obedience to the Nature of Things, in
The SupremeDoctrine: Psychological Studies in ZEN Thought
, by Hubert Benoit, withan introduction by Aldous Huxley (currently published under the title of Zenand the Psychology of Transformation: The Supreme Doctrine)
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