至道無難 The Perfect Way is not difficult
唯嫌揀擇 Save that it excludes picking and choosing
但憎莫愛 Once you are freed from hating and loving
洞然明白 That which is hidden will become clear and bright
And Yahwe Elohim commanded the man, saying,
Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat
But of the tree of the knowledge* of good (טוֹב) and evil (רָע) thou shalt not eat of it;
For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2)
Look therefore at that which is hidden from thee and see from today henceforth:
Lo, the way to travel is before thee; forget not thy departing.
Choose not the life of this body before eternal life:
put the fear of God in they heart and thou shalt live without toil.
Psalm CCLXV (MPB).
What is the cause of good and ill?
The body is the cause.
What is the cause of the body?
Desire is the cause. – The Vimalakirti Sutra
Case 23 Think Neither Good Nor Evil
The Sixth Patriarch was pursued by the monk Ming (a former general of the third rank and a coarse and violent man) as far as Taiyu Mountain.
The patriarch, seeing Ming coming, laid the robe and bowl on a rock and said, “This robe is a symbol of the faith, not something to be fought over. If you want to take it, take it now.”
Ming tried to move it, but it was as heavy as a mountain and would not budge. Faltering and trembling, he cried out, “I came for the Dharma, not for the robe. I beg you, please give me your instruction.”
The patriarch said, “Think neither good nor evil. At this very moment, what is the original self of the monk Ming?”
At these words, Ming was directly illuminated. (The Gateless Gate)
* * *
*Samjna (Sanskrit) is typically translated as perception, cognition or thought, but the root jna means knowledge. Samjna is what the mind does, which is to grasp or attach itself to the good or bad characteristics of things. In Genesis, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil gave Adam the knowledge that he was a mortal being who depended on things external to himself for his existence. The remedy for mortality, therefore, is to unlearn this knowledge. This is accomplished by viewing everything as Adam and Eve viewed Paradise: as good, as perfect, as oneself.