Diamond Sutra, chapter 27

“Subhuti, if a being could take the Universe and grind into powder and blow it away, would this powder have any individual existence?”

“Subhuti replied, “Yes, this powder might be said to have a relative existence, but the truth is that it has no existence. The words are used only as a figure of speech. Matter is not an independent and self existent thing.”

“Also, when you refer to the Universe, you are also simply using a figure of speech. The only reality of the Universe is a cosmic unity.”

The Buddha was happy with this reply and said:

“Subhuti, although ordinary people have always held onto arbitrary ideas about the Universe, the concept has no real basis; it is an illusion of the our minds. Even when it is referred to as ‘cosmic unity’ it is unthinkable and unknowable.”

There is a cosmic unity. Everything exists in connection to and relation to everything else. Even the Universe itself is fundamentally the sum of all of the things in it, no more and no less. The only reality is this cosmic unity. And even the cosmic unity isn’t really something we can describe.


About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg lives in Kansas City with two kids and two cats. He runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. Daniel has a BA in English from KU and he works for the federal government. Once a Novice Monk in the Rinzai Tradition, he dropped out of monk school to become a regular person. He has taken his inspiration mainly from Zen renegades and madmen like Ikkyu and Han Shan. Daniel has taken Bodhisattva Vows in both the Nagarjuna and Asanga lineages. He is a frequent guest teacher on Daily Dharma Gathering.

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