Red Pine

‘None of the things that fill our lives is by itself false. It is only our conceptualization and attachment that make them false. Meanwhile, the perfection of wisdom transforms these obstacles into aids to enlightenment… Buddha likened his teachings to a raft, and told Subhuti to let go of all teachings, all dharmas as well as no dharmas. Just as the no dharma of emptiness must be put aside, the dharma of prajna must also be left behind, lest it become a new obstruction or attachment. Thus, such a teaching not only transcends the world of language, it also transcends itself. No other teaching is so self-effacing and yet so sure of itself. It is self-effacing because it asserts nothing. And it is sure of itself because it asserts nothing. It frees us of all assertions and opens the door to all knowledge. This is why it is called the “perfection of wisdom.”‘ (Commentary on the Diamond Sutra)

This is the crux of the teaching, beautifully articulated. Writing it out, I thought of the koan of the seamless monument. And yet, we have to take care, because of our human predilection for conceptual distinction, not to grasp the knowledge that the door opens us onto, and be trapped there.

3 thoughts on “Red Pine

  1. A very interesting passage. Let me see if my understanding is correct. The commentator states that ‘our conceptualization and attachment’ is what makes things false. In the spirit of the Buddha we are encouraged to seek the truth of such wisdom sayings yes. So do you mean to say that you have the power to make (2 + 2 = 4) false? Regardless of how you conceptualize this equation, or even if your attachment to these numbers are the only thing you think about when you wake in the morning, how can you make it false? Perhaps your ability to apply sophistry can lead some people into conceiving such math to be incorrect, but it’s unlikely that you will be very effective, especially if those individuals have to pay rent or buy food at a supermarket. So try me. How can your ‘conceptualization and attachment’ make this basic truth false?


    1. Hi Jason, Thank you for your comment. It gave me real pause (as all the best questions do). I noticed my initial response to it, which was a long way from addressing the point of your question, and since I was in and out all day, I did not have time to sit and develop a better one. If you don’t mind, I would like to draft a post as a response in the next day or so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, that would be wonderful. The passage can be read in different ways, which makes it interesting to tackle. Yet the author’s meaning is apparent, he’s not implying what I am suggesting, nevertheless we may draw additional insight by looking at it from different frames of reference.


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