But if you see that it’s futile, then you can let go. Don’t try to cling. Relax. And if you do that, you’re in the state of nirvana. And you become a Buddha. And of course it means that you become a rather astonishing person. You may of course be subtle about it and make like you’re a very ordinary person. So that you don’t, get people mixed up. And so in Buddhism the Buddha explained that his doctrine, his method, was a raft. It’s sometimes called a yana, the word y-a-n-a, yana,  means a vehicle a conveyance. And when you cross a river on a raft, and you get to the other shore, you don’t pick up the raft and carried on your back you leave it behind. But people who are what I would call hooked on religion, are always on the raft. They are going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth on the raft, so that clergyman tends to turn into a ferryman who is always on the raft and never gets over to the other shore himself.

 

Now something to be said for that because how we going to get the raft back to the first shot to bring over the other people see somebody has to volunteer to take the back journey. But he must be awfully careful to realise that the real objective is to get the people across and set them free. If you dedicate yourself to ferrying people across. Don’t ask them to come back on the raft with you. Because you get overcrowded and people will think that the raft is the goal rather than the other shore. So when I find this in in actual practice that when clergyman. Do not ever ask for money, and it’s all right, you know like a doctor who simply charges a fee says, ‘You come to me you pay me so much.’ But the clergyman says he doesn’t say pay me so much he says ‘We would like your pledge your voluntary contribution.’ You see, then nobody knows what to give you. 

 

As the idea of the rot now then the fourth noble truth is called Marga. This word means ‘path’. And. The way of Buddhism is often called the Noble Eightfold Path. Because there are eight. Phases I won’t say steps because they’re not sequential. And samyak is a very curious phrase. [It] doesn’t mean right in our sense of correct some is the same really as our word sum total complete. All inclusive. We might say we might use the word integrated as when we say a person has integrity. That every person has integrity we mean is all of a piece. He’s not divided against himself. So in this sense of Samyak. Dirshi. This is related to the word. Darshan. Which means a point of view, or viewing when you go to visit a great guru or teacher you have that you look at [him]. And you offer your reverence to. Many senses of it but it means simply ‘to view’ Look at the view. So the summing up Darshan is the complete view. For example let’s take the constellation called the Big Dipper. We look at it from a fairly restricted zone in space. And it always seems whatever the season of the year, because we’re so far away from it that the stars in the Big Dipper in the same position. But imagine looking at it from somewhere else in space altogether and those stars would not look like a Dipper. They would be in another position. 

 

Now then, what is the true position of those stars? Don’t you see, there isn’t one? Because wherever you look for position of hers. You could say that the true situation of those stars is how they are looked at from all points of view all possible points of view, inside the constellation looking outwards, outside the constellation looking inwards, from everywhere and everywhere. But you see, there is no such thing as the truth. And the world, in other words, is not existing independently of those who witness it. Because the world is precisely the relationship between the world and its witnesses. And so if there are no eyes, in this world the sun doesn’t make any light. Nor do the stars. 

 

So what is? is a relationship. You can, for example, prop up two sticks by leaning them against each other and they will stand. But only by depending on each other. Take one away and the other falls. So, in Buddhism it is taught that everything in this universe depends on everything else. That we have a kind of a huge network and this is called the doctrine of mutual interdependence. All of it hangs on you. And you can on all of it. Just as the two sticks support each other. And this is conveyed in a symbol which is called Indra’s net. Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web. In the early morning, covered with dew drops. And every drop contains the reflection of all the other do drops. And in each reflected you drop the reflections of all the other do drops in that reflection and so at infinite. That is the Buddhist conception of the of the universe in an image. The Japanese call that jijimuge. Ji. Means a thing event. A happening. So. Between happening and happening. There is no gap. In separation. Jijimuge. 

 

Now so the first phase of the Eightfold Path has to do with one’s view understanding of the world. The second phase has to do with action. How you act. Buddhist idea of ethics is based on expediency. If you are engaged in the way of liberation. And you want to clarify your consciousness. Doing that is inconsistent with certain kinds of action. So every Buddhist makes five vows. Five precepts. And you may perhaps have heard the Buddhist formula of taking what is called pancha sila [sic] five precepts. And they take what are called Sana the three refuges and the five precepts the refuges are the Buddha. The Dharma, the doctrine and the Sangha, the fellowship of all those who are on the way. So, the priest, the bhikku,  the Buddhist monk. And the laypeople will chant the formula [sings] Those are the three refuges the border the Dharma and the Sangha. Then they take the five precepts. [sings] So they take these five precepts but are they part of. I undertake the precept to abstain from taking life. Adinadana. I undertake the precept to abstain from taking what is not given. Come as a mature heart. I undertake the precept to abstain from exploiting the passions. Of other I undertake the precept to abstain from falsifying speech. So that I marry a magical mother Tana I undertake the precept to abstain from being intoxicated by Sora, Mariya and much of a mother tongue or whatever they were.[laughs] I presume tardy which is alcohol. I don’t know I don’t know what else it was nobody does know. Because you see if you start killing people. Or taking life you’re in trouble you set up an opposition and you’ve got to become involved in taking care of it. If you start stealing you worry people you upset people’s orientation in life because if you suddenly come into the back home for dinner and find somebody stolen your table, where you going to serve dinner? If you exploited your passions it means that when you are when you feel bored, and somehow that life is a little bit empty, you say well our what are we going to do this evening let’s go and get stuffed. The A lot of people who suffer from the the city are trying to simply fill their empty psyche by stuffing themselves with food was the wrong cure. 

 

So, likewise Musavada, if you start telling lies to everybody you know what happens when you start telling lies you have to tell extra lies to cover up the first one and you get into the most hopelessness understanding, speech collapses. And of course, the intoxication is the same problem as the exploitation of the passions. So there’s a purely kind of, practical, expedient utilitarian approach to morals. There’s another side to this, which doesn’t enters into the into the precepts, which I will explain later. 

 

So, that’s the third phase of the Eightfold Path, then, now the second phase then, the third thing is has to do with your mind, with your state of consciousness. And this has to do with what we would ordinarily call meditation. There are the two final, the seventh and eighth aspects. Of the part. I called Samyak Samadhi and Samyak Sriti. Sriti means recollection. That’s the best English word for it. Now do you understand the word recollect. Is to gather together what has been scattered. What is the opposite of remember. Obviously dismember. What has been chopped up. And scattered becomes really remembered. So in the Christian scheme do this in remembrance of me. You see the Christ has been sacrificed. Chopped up. But the mass is celebrated in remembrance. One of the old litigious says the wheat which has been scattered all over the hills, and grows up, is gathered again into the bread. Remembered. Go back to your Hindu basis. The world is regarded as the Dismemberment of the Self, the Brahman, the Godhead. The one is dismembered into the many. So remembrance, is realizing again that each single member of the many is really the one. So that’s re-collection. You can think of it too in another way and it’s really the same way if you think it through I’m going to leave you with a few puzzles. So that you can think them through and I want to explain. That Another way is to be recollected. Is to be completely here and now, are you here and now? Are you really here? There was a wise old boy who used to give lectures on these things, and he would get up and not say a word and he would just look at the audience. And he’d examine every person individually. And they’re all start feeling uncomfortable. He wouldn’t say anything, he’d look at them all. And then he had sudden he’d yell ‘Wake up!’ You’re all asleep. And if you don’t wake up I won’t give you any lecture. Are you here recollected. See most people aren’t there bothering about yesterday and wanting what they’re going to do tomorrow. And I and all here that’s a definition of sanity, to be all there. 

 

So to be recollected, is to be completely alert. Available for the present. Because that’s the only place that you are ever going to be in. Yesterday doesn’t exist, tomorrow never comes. There is only today. A great Sanskrit sort of invocation says ‘Look to this day, for it is life. In its brief because lie all the realities of our existence. Yesterday is but a memory. Tomorrow is only a vision. Look well then to this day. Such is the salutation of the dawn.’ 

 

So Smriti means then, recollected this in the sense of being all here. In the sense that this is the only only where there is. Then beyond that comes Samadhi. Again, notice the presence of this word S.A.M. Sam. Somebody who is. Integrated consciousness in which there is no further separation between the know and the know the subject and the object. You are what you know. Now we think, in the ordinary way, that we are the witnesses of a constantly changing panorama of experience. From which we as the knowers of this in a way stand aside. And watch it. We think of our minds as a kind of tablet upon which experience writes a record and the tablet is always there. Although the experience goes by. And eventually the experience by writing so much on the tablet wears it out. It’s all scratched away and you die. 

 

But actually, if you will investigate this and you have to experiment on this because I cannot explain it to you in words you can only find it out for yourself, there is no difference between the knower and the known. When you say, I see a sight. I feel a feeling you are using redundant language. I see implies the sight, I feel implies the feeling. Do you hear sounds? That you just hear or you can say there are sounds. Either one will do. So you will find, if you thoroughly investigate the process of experiencing, that the experiencing is the same as the experiencer. And this is the state of samadhi. I put it originally in this form, that the organism and the environment are a single behavioral process. So likewise is the knower and the known. So you as someone who is aware, and all that you are aware of, is one process. That is the state of samadhi. And you get to that state, by the practice of meditation. Everybody Buddha figure practically is seen in the sitting posture of meditation. Which is sitting down quietly, and being aware of all that goes on without comment. Without thinking about it. And when you stop categorising, verbalizing, talking to yourself, inside your head, naturally, the separations between for example no unknown self and other simply vanish. Can you point to the difference between my five fingers? Where will you put your finger if you want to point to the difference? You see the idea of difference is an abstraction. It just isn’t there. In the physical world. Of course, that’s not saying that the fingers are joined like ducks claws with the web. But that it’s just that. They’re not the same, that’s an idea, they’re not different, that’s an idea. And these ideas. That just aren’t here see. You can’t point to it, can’t put your finger on it. Get down to the state of affairs where you see the world free from concepts. That’s what but it’s mean by void, and they say the world is basically, they use the phrase Sunya. That has a meaning of like empty, void, everything is sunya. This has certainly also the meaning of of a nature of transience gotten basically it means you can’t catch the world in a conceptual net. Just if you try to catch water in a net it all slips through. If you try to tie up water in a paper package or grab it in your hands it all flows through. 

 

So, sunya doesn’t really mean that the world itself, that the energy of the world is nothing at all. It means that no concept of it is valid. You cannot make any one idea or belief or doctrine or system or theory tie the thing up. So, if you go through this, and you get completely blown out. And released in or in the state of nirvana. For no reason that anybody can explain it in just as for example as I pointed out when you see that you can’t change yourself you can’t lift yourself up by our own bootstraps you then get a new access of psychic energy. So in exactly the same way when you get to the state of Nirvana, there wells up from within you what the Buddhists call Corona or compassion. The sense that you aren’t different from everybody else, everybody else’s is suffering is you are suffering. And so this tremendous sense of solidarity with all other beings arising. So that he who reaches Nirvana, doesn’t as it were, withdraw into a sort of isolated piece, but is always coming back into the world into the difficulties into the problems of life. In compassion for everyone else. You can’t be saved alone. Because you’re not alone. 

 

[You’ve been listening to following the middle way with Alan Watts from the Alan Watts radio series number six on Buddhism. For information on how to obtain the radio series on cassette tape call one eight hundred nine hundred nine to eight seven or you can write to the electronic University. Two three zero nine San in Selma California nine four nine seven nine when you call or write please indicate the name of your local station that you’ve heard the program following the middle way from the Alan Watts radio series number six.]