You start from noticing all the particular things and being baffled by the multiplicity and dealing with the multiplicity of things but as you go into this you discover as you understand things what do you mean when you understand things it means you become aware of their relationships to each other, and eventually you see the unity of the mind. And it is as if the multiplicity of the world dissolved into unity. And so here you encounter a problem. I can see the world as a unity. I can see the world as a multiplicity. But how the devil am I going to put the two visions together. If I am to be a practical success, in business, in family life, and so on, I have to observe the world of particulars. Its particulars that matter. I have to know chalk from cheese. But if I become a saint, a monk, or hermit then I care about even perhaps a poet or an artist, I will forget about the practical matters, and contemplate the unity, the secret meaning underlying all events. Then ever all those practical people are going to say to me, you’re falling down on the job, you’ve escaped from life, because they feel that the world of particulars is the real world, but the other guy says No your particulars are not real. You make a success of things yes but it’s completely temporary. You think you’re an important person that you’re really contributing to human life, but actually your success in doing this sort of thing lasts for a few years, and then you fall apart like everybody else does. Where’s your success now, when you’re dead? What happened to the millions of dollars you made? Where are you all gone so that isn’t real from the standpoint of the person who concentrates on the unity.
So then to perfect our understanding we have to go to the third of these worlds which is called the ri game will get. Now that means between ri, the unity and ji, the particulars, mu there is no gap block. That means that world of the universal and the world of particulars are not incompatible. Let’s take two very different things. And see how they can be united take shape and color. Never in a million years can you, with a black pencil that can draw shapes, make red. But, if you have red, you can draw a circle. You can draw a red circle. Even though the circle shape and the red color, will never be the same. Yet red circle, they go beautifully together. So think of a circle. As ji, and red as a ri. The circle is the particular, the color is the universal they go together. So then we might say, the properly rounded out person, is both spiritual and material. Both, other worldly and worldly. This is the supreme attainment of a human being. To be both. Don’t get one sided.
A person who is what you might call just a materialist ends up by being very boring. It’s, you know you can live the successful life of the world. And you can own every kind of material refinement. You can have the most beautiful home, delicious food, marvelous yachts and cars and everything. But if you have no touch of mysticism it eventually is all perfectly boring. And you get tired of it. Then on the other hand there are people who are purely spiritual. And they live in a kind of dry world, where all luxury has been scrubbed away, and they are very intense people. When you are in their presence, a very spiritual person, an excessively spiritual person, you feel inclined to sit on the edge of your chair. You are not at ease, because you know the eye of judgment is looking through you and going down into your very soul and finding that you are just a scallywag after all. They are absolutely sincere, this dreadfully honest and unselfish person. This is something which is always puzzling to people brought up in a western environment. Because great Spiritual people are often very very censorious because they, they can’t be materialist in the ordinary sense. They can’t be straight open censorious, because for them the world is too wonderful for that. Any any human being is too marvelous to be treated as just a kind of sexual object. They may be very much a sexual object, but so marvelous, you have to stop with it and really go into the whole of that marvelous wonderful personality. So there is a trouble, keeps coming up for the west. When you go to church, and you suddenly go to a church where there’s a marvelous clergyman and you think he is a very exemplar of life and you idealize him and then suddenly there develops a fightful scandal, that he has an affair with his secretary. And you think all is lost that faith has been sold out that everything’s going to rack and ruin because he was not purely spiritual. And he himself may be terribly confused and worried about this. Because in our world, you see, we make the spiritual and the material mutually exclusive. But rijimuge, this third world means that between the spiritual and the material, there is no obstruction.
So we might say this. Would sound as if it were the highest level. But as one more to come. Which is call jijimuge. This means then suddenly ri has disappeared. But between ji and ji, there is no obstruction. Between one event, and any other event or events there is no mutual exclusiveness, should I put it that way? This is the doctrine of the highest doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism, which you could call the doctrine of the mutual interpenetration of all things, or the mutual interdependence of all things. And it symbol is the what is called Indra’s net, that is used Avatanksara Sutra. Imagine at dawn, a multidimensional spider’s web covered in dew. A vast, vast spider’s web that is the whole cosmos, and is not only a kind of a flat thing but a solid thing and are solid in four five six and n dimensions, covered with jewels of dew, all of which have a rainbow coloring, and every drop of dew contains in it the reflection of every other drop of dew. And since every drop of dew contains the reflections of all the others, each reflected drop of dew contains the reflections, you see, of all the others, and so ad infinitum. Now this is the Mahayana vision of the world. Which is to say this is relativity.
That whatever exists in this world and is characterized as something particular, as a thing, as an event as something or other you see as a unit. This does not exist without all other such things and events. So that you might say any one event, implies all events. And all events, the total universe, past, present, and future, depends on every single member. In other words, you may say, I can understand that I depend on this whole universe. There could not be me unless there was everything else it is harder to see the current corollary of that. That the whole universe depends on you. You might say, well how can that be? Because I come into being, and then I go out of being and when I am before I was born, I’m sure the universe was here and after I die, I’m sure it will go on. How can you say then that the whole thing depends on me? Very simply. It depends on, your supposing you’re dead, and we’re talking about someone in the past let’s say we’re talking about Socrates. And I’m going to say this whole universe depends on Socrates. I may put it more exactly. It depends on Socrates having existed. You see, your parents now, some of your parents may be alive, but some of your parents may be dead. Without your parents he would not have come into being. So you depend on your parents even when your parents have gone. So everything, even when you disappear, the universe will still depend on you. On your having been here. Or if you have not yet arrived, it depends on your going to be here. So we can say obviously, going back to Socrates, that the fact that Socrates existed tells us something about the kind of world we’re living in. This world once Socratized, and that Socrates and his wisdom was a symptom of the kind of universe we’re living in in just the same way as I showed you that an apple is a symptom of a tree certain kind of tree tells us something about that tree what it functions how it produces things. So a world which produced Socrates, or a world which produced John Doe. Who was nobody in particular, and nobody ever remembered him or thought to write his biography.
Nevertheless for all his obscurity the whole universe to them from him and it depends equally on every fruit fly every gnat every vibration of every gnats wing, and it depends on every last electron, however brief its manifestation may be. So that, what this is saying is, that everything that there is implies everything else. And all those other things, collectively, in their totality, which we call the universe, in turn, imply. Each individual object event and so on. That’s the meaning of Indra’s net. So that, this is called in Zen, to take up a blade of grass and use it as a golden Buddha sixteen feet high. When you have a chain and you pick up a link, all the other links come up with it. Because it implies, if this is a link it is a link in a chain if it isn’t it’s just an oval piece of metal. But if it’s a link, up come all other links. So if you are an event, every event, no there’s no such thing as a single event the only possible single event is all events whatsoever. That could be regarded as the only possible atom. The only possible single thing is everything. But the things that we call things all imply each other, we know what we are only in relation to what we aren’t. We know of the sensation of oneself only in relation to a sensation of something other.
So the other goes with the self as the back goes with the front. And your life, however short, everything depends on it. If that did not happen, nothing would happened. So in this sense, the whole world there’s your signature. It would not be the same world if it weren’t for you. And you’ve heard, haven’t you, what is called the pathetic fallacy. This was a idea of the nineteenth century which said that it was false and wrong to project human feelings on the world. The wind in the pine trees is not sighing. It’s you who are sighing. The sun is not happy. Its you who are happy when the sun shines. So don’t mix up your happiness with the sun, the sun has no feeling the sun is not human the wind has no feeling and is not human. The poet says the moon doth with delight look round when the heavens up there, and the logician says no, the poet looks around with delight at the bare heavens. How awful. I mean if that’s what is the if that’s the point you see better not say any poetry, just have prose. But actually, the moon does look around with delight, when the poet looks around but delight plants. The world of which one symptom is the moon is the same world of which another symptom is the poet. They go together a world where there is a moon implies a world where there is a poet. A world where there is a poet, implies a world where there is a moon. So in this sense, the moon can be said to look around with delight, through the agency of the poet. Because you can’t separate poet and moon. Just as you can’t separate head and feet without destroying the unity of the body.
So in that sense then, this whole world is a human world, and we should not take this silly attitude, of Philosophy call the philosophy of the pathetic fallacy, which says outside our skins it’s all inhuman and dumb, and blind force, and only inside the skin is there the human world. All this world is human because it depends not only on the existence of humanity in general, but on the existence of Mary Smith in particular.
So the whole world is covered as it were, with your personal signature. But at that moment when you suddenly seem to be everything and to be Mr A, you know, you suddenly see the obverse of this, that your particular personality is nothing at all without everything else. That everybody else. I need in order to be Alan Watts I need every single other human being and the. Uncontrol, the uncontrollable otherness of all those other human beings that I can do anything about they are going to be themselves whatever I do. And yet at the same time, I depend on all their difference from me, and yet they all depend, likewise on me. So that I’m in a very funny position. The moment I would be egoless and say, I’m nothing without you, then suddenly I find I’m the kingpin they all depend on me then suddenly when when I get swelled headed about being the kingpin, I find I’m nothing at all without them. So everything keeps going bloop bloop bloop bloop in other words about how much you think you’ve got it in one state it transforms itself into the other. That’s the jijimuge.
Now in jijimuge. I’m again see. You got a vision of the world, in which everybody is boss and nobody is boss. There is no one boss who governs the whole thing it takes care of itself it’s a colossal democracy. But yet every man and every who agrees to and every snail is king. In this world. And at the same time is coming. And that’s how it works. And there is no great king. Although, in Hinduism, they have an idea a very strange one to us the call Ishvara, means the supreme personal god. The top being in the Deva world. And they, many Buddhists believe, that there is such a God there is a ruler of the universe but he is lower than the Buddha. Because in the course of the endless cycles Ishvara, will dissolve into nothing. All gods, all Angels, are within the round of being. It’s a very curious idea. Minds and therefore all the Buddhists believe in God In that sense. They don’t take it importantly there are no shrines in Buddhism to Ishvara.
So then, it is through jijimuge, this idea of the mutual interpenetration and interdependence of all things. That we have the philosophical basis for Zen as a practical non-intellectual way of life. Because of the realisation that the most ordinary event, the charcoal brazier, the mat. Soup for dinner. Sneezing. Washing your hands, going to the bathroom, everything, all these so-called events, separate events, imply the universe. So this is why Zen people will use the ordinary event to demonstrate the cosmic and the metaphysical. Only, they don’t rationalize it that way. To see infinity in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour is still and not rijimuge and not jijimuge. Jijimuge again, is when you offer somebody the grain of sand. For God’s sake, stop thinking about eternity. Here’s, that’s the grain of sand, there is no difference between the grain of sand and eternity.
So you don’t have to think about it and it has something implied by the. Of sand. The grain of sand is eternity. So in the same way exactly, our sitting here at this moment is not something different from Nirvana. We are nirvana, as sitting here exactly like this saying. So you don’t have to say any philosophical comment, on the grain of sand, or on our sitting here. That’s called legs on a snake or a beard on a eunuch. And you put legs on a snake, you see, and you embarrass the snake in its motion. And a eunuch doesn’t need a beard. We would say in our idiom, don’t gild the lily. Or Zen would say don’t put frost on top of snow.
So all, what you might call specifically religious activity is legs on a snake. Eventually this is going to be eliminated, just as eventually, we hope that government will be eliminated, and will become unnecessary, because every individual will be self-governing, and therefore relate properly to his brother. And the state will vanish. So too, at the same time, the church will vanish. And that’s why in the, in the Book of Revelation, in the New Testament, it is said that in Heaven there is no temple. Because the whole place is the temple. So in, when we achieve the fulfillment of Buddhism. There is no Buddha, no temple, no gong, no bell. Because the whole world is the sound of the bell. And the image of Buddha is everything you can look at. So as a Zen master was asked mountains and hills are they not all forms of the body of Buddha the master replied, ‘Yes they are, but it’s a pity to say so.’