Q283. Sometimes you say that we should remove all illusions, but sometimes you say there is nothing that is not the true-self. How can this be?

A. It’s true that everything is the true-self and there is nothing that is not the true-self. However, it is also true that everything is an illusion and there is nothing that is not an illusion. To remove illusions doesn’t mean to detach illusions from the true-self and throw them away to a remote place. If you happen to think this way, you are going in the opposite direction away from your goal because you separate illusions from the true-self and make them two.

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As we have mentioned many times, the purpose of Zen meditation is to realise oneness or non-duality. Jesus also said, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male is not male nor the female female; then will you enter the kingdom.” To remove illusions means to realise the truth that all illusions are the true-self and both of them are one. Therefore, when we are not enlightened, that is, when we can’t see things as they are, everything is an illusion, but when we are enlightened, there is nothing that is not the true-self.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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