Yesterday afternoon, I gave you the four views of the world which are characteristic of the Kegon philosophy. And supply a sort of convenient summary of its general outlook. The world seen as simply things and events. That is from the point of view of multiplicity. That’s the first view. And that’s called Ji in Japanese. I’m giving the Japanese was because they’re easier to remember. And the second view of the world is seeing things seen from the standpoint of unity. That is to say, just as the mirror provides a unity, a base, that is to say for all the separate images in it. So you might say that the mind or space, and there is a way in which the two of the same provides the unity for all the manifold things and events that exist in it. Now, there seems of course to be a conflict between these two points of view. The one and the many. And the most ancient philosophical problems revolve around this whole dichotomy, how do you get the one out of the many? How do you get the many out of the one? And it, it seems that one and many are mutually exclusive. In other words, in practical affairs we are many and we all have conflicting interests. What formula are we going to find so that we can agree and act together? This is always the most difficult task. And it requires great brains or great insight or great something or other to find the point on which we can all agree. And so work together.
So there is always an apparent fight going on between the principle of unity and the principle of diversity, because after all the diverse people don’t want to be too united. You know, if we all had to wear exactly the same clothes and all had to do exactly the same sort of job that would be a revolution Say grr, stop interfering with my personality. Individual freedom is important in that and it certainly is. And what we’ve got to do you see them is to find a formula. Where there is the maximum of individual liberty. But all of it going on together harmoniously. And that’s what we as a political historical community as have as our theoretical foundation is not fascination. To see we been trying to work out. This impossible problem, and incidentally, the theories of American politics, the basic ideas are founded on esoteric Christian mysticism. The whole idea of democracy, as we understand it, in the modern world, goes back to German mysticism in the fourteenth century. That is to say, it goes back to people like Mesiter Eckhart and Tala. Angelus Silesius, you see the brothers of the free spirit, the Anabaptists. The Anabaptists [were] people who said that all living beings are naturally children of God and therefore baptism is not necessary to bring a person into salvation. Then there were people called the Levelers, and the Levelers…this movement migrated from Germany through the Dutch countries to England. And during the Great. Puritan uprisings against Charles the First. All these groups began to flourish in England. And the British aristocracy simply couldn’t stand them. Because they overthrew the whole order of hierarchy by saying everybody is equal and so they had to get out of England and come here.
Now you will see of course there is always the danger of a parity. That is to say, when everybody is equally a manifestation of the Godhead, which is the Quaker doctrine of the in a light that’s what it really comes. And that’s why the Quakers don’t recognise any sacraments, because everything is a sacrament. While the Quakers don’t have any ritual because sitting in together in silence This is a ritual. Anything is a ritual. The Quakers want to be make a complete fusion of everyday life and religion, so that you don’t notice any religion around. You just have the good life. And so the Quakers won’t remove their hats in court. They won’t take an oath because they say, you’ve got to trust me because everything I say will be true. But so easy is that the Quaker idea is the direct continuation of the tradition of Christian mysticism as it flowered in Germany particularly in the late Middle Ages. The unfortunate parity of all that is that everybody is equally inferior. That’s what you always have to watch out for. Everybody can be treated rudely by the police because you’re all equal. And the police and aren’t going to say so. To somebody because he happens to be the mayor. The mayor but because you are an important figure in. Business or something you’re all just Joe the city. And then that becomes everybody’s equally superior. But if you could imagine where everybody is considered equal or superior This is the foundation of what we call courtesy. Good manners. Where you salute people. And you reverence their right to a certain privacy asserting it. Separateness missy. And you have to learn this art. In a state of affairs where. People start crowding in on each other.
Now you see, in a country like Japan, space is the most expensive thing there is. And it’s becoming so here. Space used not to be expensive at all here there was just oodles of it. And everybody could afford to be equally rude. And now we can’t. We’re getting crowded into each other. And to create space, you have to create it by mountains. That is then respect to everybody. Because for example, in a Japanese house, there is no privacy such as we understand that you can hear every bell or rumble. Because the walls are just paper and all the rooms are tiny and very close in on each other. And then they for example, they all take baths together. And they all always see each other naked, but they don’t look. To begin with a so much steam that you can’t really see much. But they have a way of being courteous. Nobody takes liberties in the bathtub, unless somebody wants liberties to be taken but in that in the ordinary way it complete strangers will meet together in the public bar of a hotel and male or female that there are two bathrooms one says men and the other says women men means men and women and women means women. But the family bath is always the one labeled men. And everybody goes in there and nobody is embarrassed. Because manners are preserved. The sense of…you can you sort of keep psychological hands off another person with the notion that they’re to be respected you see that. You in Japanese culture everybody bows to everybody else and they have bowing contests they out by each other when you leave you know it goes on it interminably and as it where you’re more polite if you bomb are often than the other parts of the other salt sort of funny from our point of view but it’s still this point that.
There is a possibility in other words, of a bit of a cultural form, that will stress and get away with, the prospect and that…Not the prospect, the proposition that everybody is equal or divine as distinct from the proposition that everybody is equally inferior. And that feeling and the manners that go with it is essential. In any community where we start to crowd. And we get a population explosion. So this is one thing we have to do to solve this huge question of swarming population. Especially in the United States, which is not used to the idea of courtesy not really, that we’ve got to make a propaganda. For great respect to everybody. Otherwise we won’t be able to to accommodate the crush at all. The funny thing about the Japanese incident is that. They’ve learned the manners of mutual respect, under certain circumstances. But new circumstances arise in which they haven’t learned it. And one of these is the subway. It is total pandemonium. They they pack everybody into the subway like sardines, and they have special officials whose duty it is to push people in and to see that they’re all jammed and they just shuffle the crowd then when they each official that the separate door has got it, he signals and the doors close. Although in the situation the Japanese although they are shoving and pushing and so on when you are absolutely tied up against Japanese man or woman they’re all right you know they’re not going to pick your pocket or something like that. Then do it but they they do they fight and struggle and shove. To get place. After that, they relax. But they are not used to the situation and therefore haven’t found out the proper amount of this for dealing with it.
So, this is then an example of solving a problem by seeing the one in the mini. Namely that, treat every Many is the one that is to say accord respect. Then the many will be able to get along together. And that is that in some other words underlies our simplest ideas of every individual as equal rights in the eyes of the law. Only, don’t invert it, meaning that every individual is equally nobody. This comes about of course, when we are in a hurry. When you’re in a hurry, you can’t be bothered to look at the details. And you simply wipe it out. So like naturally when you don’t provide for sufficient schoolteachers every school teacher is dealing with a mass of children and there’s an irony you can’t be bothered with the details and you don’t provide for enough judges. The courts are in a hurry and can’t be bothered with the details. So always, be sure to keep your eyes open. That is to say, we have lots of teachers. And pay them properly. Lots of judges and pay them properly so that they want to accept bribe. And invest in those aspects of the community which are vital we’re not doing that. In other words, the salary of a teacher. In any school is probably lower than that of the janitor. Which simply says. What it says. It just shows you what you what you value.
Well now, these for the use of the world, ended up of course with the fourth one which was called. The complete harmony of everything thing-event with every other thing-event. And I wanted to show you that this harmony exists anyhow. That, however wrong things may appear to go. There is a point of view from which you can see. A connection which is a harmonious rational connection. Just as if in your everyday life, you realize that, if you hadn’t lost a certain job, you would never have been in the situation where you met someone you love dearly. You see, and you can in retrospect you can see all this kind of connectedness going along and one of the fascinating things in human relations is to figure out the network. You know, there’s a saying, that there are only five hundred people. This is a certain kind of joke. But it has to do with the fact that you have a network of friends. Who are, you know, the sort of people you think really are people. And they’re all interlocked with each other in funny ways. It has been estimated that this should be a little larger figure, about fourteen thousand. That has something that that’s a different joke and it has to do with the fact that communication has become easier than it used to be with the telephone rates and all that. And the jet aircraft. But there is this wonderful feeling of a network of people who know people and you’ll get wonderful surprises because you meet someone and you find that they’re the dearest friends of your old friends and so on and so forth. Now, from one point of view then, there is already existing between every single event and thing that happens in harmony. But this harmony is not manifest in terms of human conduct. It is there, even in the worst human conduct, but it’s not manifest that is to say we do not have by any stretch of the imagination a really civilized society. And the Buddhists would say that you cannot have the really civilized society until you first realize that the harmony already exists. In other words, if you think you have to create the harmony socially. By some sort of moral violence. And impose it upon the world as it exists now you will only succeed in stirring up more trouble. That’s why reformers that tend to be extremely destructive people. People with a fanatical mission. It is necessary first to see that absolutely nothing needs to be done to improve the world. Then it can indeed be improved. And this is another way of talking about what Blofeld referred to in his little essay as renunciation. Or complete giving up of self. Now you cannot give up yourself, let go of your own self interests and suddenly say well from today. I am no longer going to press my own advantage against everybody else. You can’t do that by a voluntary decision. Because you will merely be using a new gimmick. To boost yourself. Look at me I am the most unselfish person how saintly I am. Only you may not say that to others that would be a little uncool you would say it to yourself though they look at me I’m I’m not really going to make this. There’s no way they are for you see of. Being unselfish of renouncing clinging on purpose. It can be done only in the realization, when you actually come down to it you see that you cannot cling to anything at all. And there is nothing to cling to when there is no one to cling. And this is the realisation of what the Buddhists call voidness. The simplest manifestation of voidness is the fact that everything is in a state of flux. Everything is falling apart. I mean there is it to me on this ferry boat because we are literally falling apart the hollows rusting underneath those dry rot in the wood. And it’ll last a certain time and while it lasts we’ll stay there but really it would be a fantastic project to preserve the whole thing and the money if such money were available or better be spent some other way but there is a sense when you live in the moving tides and watch all this junk out here growing and rotting and everything that there is and this is the Floating World. And that there’s no nothing is permanent at all people create around themselves the illusions of permanence by building houses out of concrete and steel and granite and so on. And then when they get inside there they feel now that is put in order. But actually it’s only a focus of your attention because the moment you solve a permanent ties a problem on one level say you make a lot of money and you build yourself a very solid house and you start worrying about your health. Because that’s something you really can’t control it’s very fluid very volatile. Because it has to do with all your veins and intestines and and all these goofy things that don’t stay put there you are about that is where you focus your attention but so if you become aware of what’s happening in really in this world you see a basic proposition that everything is completely falling apart. And you think well then the obvious thing for a sensible person to do. Is to make an effort to secure it for as long as possible. And this is what we call the fitness Time Square practical attitude. This is the bush, well position you see. Make the best of the job. Do the work that’s nearest though it’s dull it whiles helping when you meet them name dogs over stiles. As the sort of thing you see on a plate, as a souvenir in someplace for tourists. Yeah, hold it together as long as you can. And there’s something about that that we all laugh out. And why we did.
But that’s not a very heroic attitude. It’s not a very interesting attitude as the something else. That is the synthesis of despair and courage. In other words, that total courage arises out of seeing that there is really nothing can be done. Holding things together for as long as you can hold them together is a sort of illusion because you know time’s going to run out and within one hundred years nothing will matter you’ll be dead anyway. One reaction to that is of course why bother. But the other reaction is good lord if that’s the truth but fun we can have now. You see if if the thing really is an illusion and it’s simply falling to pieces and in every way there is nothing to grab is the in any direction now get this now you see. No no don’t say oh well I’ll wait till tomorrow to face that. There is absolutely no possibility of anybody in this room being able. To stop dissolution. You can start all kinds of new evolution of dissolution by say having children or promoting a society which is going to go on beyond your death and whatever but. If you really get with the thing that there’s nothing you can grab. That this is a total disintegration. And don’t even try to hold on to something like God. Change and decay, all around I see, O thou will change it’s not abide with me. Get rid of that, you see, because that that that doesn’t allow the process to happen that I’m talking about when you don’t hold even on to God There is nothing nothing whatsoever. It is just at that moment. That you acquire the curious vitality that we call Buddha nature. And that is essential energy, essential courage, and essential compassion. And remember, this can’t fully be explained. You can say, that I see no logical connection. Between the act of renunciation. In other words, I’ve stopped thinking altogether not because I ought to, because I find out there’s nothing else to do. Right now what’s the logical connection between that. And the courage and compassion. It’s not very easy to point that out because in order to find out you have to go through the experience. It’s like there’s and the parallel problem historically about the Calvinists. Calvinists believed in predestination. That there’s absolutely nothing that the individual could do. To control whether he would be damned or saved for ever and ever because God had decided in the beginning of all time which individuals he would damn and which he would save. So you would naturally suppose that Calvinist who believed that would be rather dissolute and lazy people because they would say we’re making a difference and nothing we can do about it but on the contrary Calvinist we’re not Calvinist the very earnest people. Rather to learn is one my pillars of conventional probity, are prudence, morality and so on. Because they had to prove that they were predestined to be saved you see. So there is a difference between a theory and what you would think would be the application of that theory. The same theory in terms of experience and what will be the consequences of that experience. So here we are discussing because we are using words. A theory of the total ungraspability of the world. And that sounds as if it would lead to despair. Especially if there is no God to hang on to. Nothing at all to hang on to see. Then he would say, ‘Oh well it’s all nothing.’ But actually, if you get on with that nothing, you discover what is fundamentally worthwhile, what it’s all about. And that’s why they say Buddhists are atheists. Because when you really become one with God, Obviously you don’t go around worshiping God. Or asking God for things and making prayers. There’s no point in that anymore. Should God pray to himself?
So this then is a possibility here. When people see that, and are living let-go lives, that they could come into harmony with each other. In a social sense, political sense. And the question here now in practical politics is this. Is there any way of advocating a certain style of practical politics in everyday life, which persuades without preaching. See, one thing that is quite evident from the whole history of religion is that preaching doesn’t work I. Mean this is the great lesson of religion. When somebody says, you should do so and so because if you don’t like what awful things are going to happen, nobody pays any attention. Because, they never really make the awful things that are going to happen convincing those else somewhere when you’re dead or the consequences of not really amounting to being a nice person you know. What will everybody else think of you well who cares? You can always find a society a community where someone may think well of you. So you know if you are an outcast in one group in a civilization like ours you simply join another. Cause we’re so diversified. And we make friends very quickly and nobody knows who you are what your background is, but they just take you in. In the old world, that’s rather difficult. But in we have to find a way in other words of dealing with our great. Conflicts based on a kind of cold logic. Of seeing, of thinking a whole process through. Like that’s take the Chinese. The Chinese are being stupid. The cause they’ve got the wrong propaganda man. They are squeaking. That they’re calling out foul. And saying you record Western barbarians exploited us long enough. You’re capitalists, you’re imperialist, you’re this that and the other had it. And we are going to. Overthrow you and we’re going to overthrow our own landlords and so on and they’re taking this line. Now that and that line is not going to work. It’s just going to start hostility.
And exactly the same way in our own backyard here the negroes are taking the wrong line. Black Nationalism means we are just the kind of people the whites always said we were. Aggressive. Uncooperative, alienated. And if they take that line. Let’s look at this is see as a matter of simply practical politics if they take that line of black nationalism they are going to be wiped out mercilessly because who has the nap on. It is that is that. And looking at it from the other side, our white notion that Negroes are somehow inferior people doesn’t pay off, because it just creates exactly that trouble. It creates that sort of saw in the body politic. It doesn’t make any sense. Well suited sensate likewise to the China. Yes look. What you ought to do is instead of saying. With the put Chinese you say get up down your feet and say that so happens that we are the most ancient existing civilization on Earth, and we have cultivated reasonable as for centuries and you think Sweden is a reasonable country with a wonderful social democracy you just wait and see what we’re going to do. We are going to be the most reasonable people you ever saw. And everybody will be astonished and will want to go to China and will there they’ll walk over the whole of Asia. And the reason about all this that I’m trying to say… I’m not, I’ll always try to emphasize the position that any doctrine of this kind is not preaching. It is not moralistic. It is simply pointing out the nature of the facts. That not that you ought to be unselfish and you ought not to cling to possessions to identity or to role to status the point is you can. And as you realize you can’t you don’t. Or so with other matters of practical politics when you realize what can’t be done you won’t do it. Or try to twist it. It’s only so long as you are under illusions and think that certain things can be done which can’t be done that then then these conflicts arise and. So, it is it seems to me along these lines, which I will call the lines of cosmologically. That there is perhaps some sort of possibility billeted, of brining about a practical realization of what the Buddhists call the Dharma Datu, or the state of affairs in which all individual things and events are in a harmonious relationship. Now let me though underline this point which is absolutely essential to grasp. That realization in social and ethical terms cannot possibly happen. Unless those involved in the project have understood that there is no necessity for it to happen. That, in other words, there is a point of view from which it has happened already. Because so long as it must happen, it won’t. In other words when you say oh gee we’ve got to get this done this is urgent. Come on now everybody get in and pitch and so on with that we’re going to make this happen it won’t. That your life it won’t. Cause people acting under the sense of necessity and constraint are not free. So this is why the. The Buddhist lays so much emphasis on the importance of what you might call the let-go personality. Person who it doesn’t care. Doesn’t give a damn to use our own sort of colloquialisms. If I live OK, if I don’t, so what? It doesn’t matter. And that which looks from our standpoint that sound so negative. That the what they’ve discovered this is us that is the brightest most positive glowing gorgeous point of view.
Now, in the kind of culture and cosmology and view of the world out of which this philosophy arose historically, the general prevailing view is, that within a few thousand years, the world’s going to blow up. You know Hindu cosmology works on the presupposition that in the course of time everything gets worse. And that only after it has got so bad that it dissolves. It’s time renewed. And when the cycle starts again everything is as good as possible it’s brand new. You know it’s like a new house new car. New baby. And everything’s great. And then as it gets older it deteriorates and finally falls apart. So there is, you see, about Asian politics. There’s certain fundamental pessimism in that respect. That in the course of time, everything is going to get worse and there will come the destruction. Now, then what is the logic? What is the possible sense in talking about this case on philosophy? Well, they really seriously think that there might be the possibility of. In the harmonious world. The answer is this: That to get it you’ve got to get into a gift different kind of time. In the kind of time we are now living in everything is going to get worse. That’s the nature of the time structure. But you don’t have to live in this kind of time. You can live in another time structure all together. You realize this? You can. You can get out of this time. But only when you are disillusioned with it. When you see that it’s not going anywhere. For example, you’re all educated to believe that the future holds something for you. And you have a graded system of education where you’ve got step by step by step, always with a come on, saying now when you get this thing it’s going to be great. And then when you get there are in your direction of the company. Chairman of the Department, senior surgeon in the hospital or whatever it is or you’ve married the guy. You suddenly realize that you don’t have a future, because you’ve arrived. But then an insurance salesman comes around, and he tells you that if you buy this retirement policy there’s going to be a great thing you had of you call retirement. And when you get that then you really got there you know then what they’re going to do then is put you in a morgue as a senior citizen. Because you’ve got prostate trouble, bad teeth allows it ingestion has falling out and you haven’t got the energy left to enjoy yourself as you thought you would have but if you don’t resist growing old and you understand how to grow old this is no problem. But the point is the constant illusion of that time will achieve what you are really after. If everybody brought up in this way is therefore living in of time. Now get out of that kind of time and see that by seeing that it doesn’t lead anywhere. And I’m saying in another way the same thing as I was saying a moment ago that you can’t stop things changing. And so there’s nothing to hang onto. And there’s no one to hang onto it either. This is like an illusory hand trying to hold firmly to apostle of smoke. So in these two ways seeing in and out of was that we’re living in a false time and in this kind of time everything is going to get worse so forget it. It isn’t profitable time. And you will be able to see that you can look at the the Everett what you would now call the everyday world see this is this this actual existence you can look at it in an entirely different perspective and live in a different kind of time. This other kind of time is vertical to ordinary clock time. It has a switch of emphasis in other words where the eternal now becomes what is supreme important. As the as we have time at the moment you see, there is no now. There’s the past, and there’s the future and there’s a headline that which one becomes the other and on our watches you see I have a little funny watch that I open the hairlines are so fine that I have to put on my glasses to see them at all. And even then. They’ve really got them down to the most analytical little tiny lines would. You see what that means this is a symbol of having no present. Because the present has been abolished and made into the abstract hairline. The split second. There is no present in our kind of time. We are therefore presentless people. We have a past, we have a future that’s all, but no present.
So then that’s why it all of Huxley wrote a book called Time must have a stop. Now have to get rid of that time in the present is totally unimportant. What did you do it is important what will you do that is terribly important. That where are you who are you what are you now why are we not there. So then, it is only as people renounce the future and the past that they get a present. Now you the future hasn’t come. Not here in the past is all together gone you can’t get that. When you have no future and you have no past there is no nothing else you have but a person. And with this fundamental adjustment of human consciousness. You see the everyday world in an entirely different state, you are living in a new kind of time. And, you see other people living in that kind of time which is of course going along this way. And you’re sorry for them, because they are an illusion. But, it’s a free country. And you can dig that illusion if you want to.