Sunshine - A Dialogue

Hui Hai, on the first page of his treatise on Sudden Enlightenment, explains it by saying that it is a means of getting rid of conceptual thinking. An instantaneous means. But how?
He tells us that also; does he not add that 'enlightenment' is just the apperception that 'enlightenment' is not anything to be obtained, to be obtained or attained by anyone soever?

He does, but what does he mean?
If he had wished to answer that question would he not have done so? He wished us to answer it, to insee the answer. It should be seen directly, not indirectly via a Master, not intellectually as knowledge, but by whole-mind. It is for you to see it.

We are told that it means that it cannot be attained because we have it already, that it is always ours.
Typical half-baked nonsense! What are we, phenomena, to have or possess that or anything else? That is the usual pitiful attempt of volitional consciousness to maintain its position as an entity!

Then he means to imply that 'enlightenment', 'awakening', 'liberation', or whatever term one uses, is not any 'thing', that there isn't any such thing anywhere, or nowhere, to be obtained or attained?
No doubt that is a fact, but why? What conclusion do you draw from that?

If it is not there, we cannot have it!
That is not the point. What does the absence of an object connote?

The absence of a subject.
The absence if its subject!

You mean there is neither object nor subject, which are inseparable, that there is no one to do it, neither doer nor anything done?
Never mind what I mean; is it a fact?

Yes, it must be a fact.
So what?

There is no 'us' to have or to do anything whatsoever!
Good! Is not that the point?

I suppose it is. But what, then, are 'we'?
Did not Hui Hai start by telling, actually telling, you that?

He told us that 'enlightenment' was a means of being rid of conceptual thinking.

You mean that 'we' are 'conceptual thinking'?
Can you suggest a better definition of what we imagine that we are?

I suppose not! So that 'enlightenment' is ridding ourselves of what we imagine that 'we' are?
Yes, and 'suddenly', once and for all 'time'.

But, then, who does it?
There is no 'who'. Nothing phenomenal, evidently, if anything is done.

But is anything done?
What could there be to 'do'?

No do-er and no-thing done. So what?
Neither subject nor object, and out of 'time'.

Yet there is some - let us say adjustment, or integration.
Adjustment or re-integration.

Even that needs doing!
A doing that is no-doing, action that is non-action.

Taoist wei wu wei?
Yes, and that implies ...?

It must be what-we-are!
Quite so. What else could it be?

So that is the whole story! Everything is therein! There is no 'us' at all, never was and never will be!
Because there is no 'time' in which to 'last' and no space in which to be 'extended', since both are just concepts in mind.

There is no 'us' either to experience 'enlightenment', to be awakened from a 'sleep', or to be freed from any kind of 'bondage'!
Go on! Why not add - and no enlightenment, no sleep, and no bondage either? And how so?

Because there could not be one without the others, nor any others without the one!
That is surely the 'doctrine that is no-doctrine' of Bodhidharma, the 'transmission outside the Scriptures', which is the definition of Ch'an, the burden of 'Ekayana' - the Supreme Vehicle.

Written and read its significance is not apparent, but suddenly apperceived it is luminous - like the sun emerging from behind the clouds!
What we are is the sun; 'we' do not dissipate the clouds in order to reach (obtain or attain to) it: it is the sun which dissipates the clouds and enlightens us without us even knowing that 'we' are there?

'Enlightenment' does not exist phenomenally at all, and 'we' cannot have it - because it is what-we-are!

(© T.J. Gray, 1968)

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