Zen And Taoism Common And Uncommon Grounds of Discourse

Kenneth Inada

Journal of Chinese Philosophy

Vol.15 1988


Copyright @ 1988 by Dialogue Publishing Company, Honolulu,

Hawaii, U.S.A.

. P.51 This ambitious paper should be taken as merely preliminary and exploratory in nature. I cannot obviously do justice to such a multi- faceted subject in a single essay. I should therefore like to present in basic outline a framework in which Zen and Taoism can be seen under a better light so as to foster proper perspectives on each and thereby their ultimate relationship. Though scholars in the field recognize basic differences in the two systems, still, in discussing either one or both, the analysis invariably concludes with certain common elements that give rise to a false impression that the two are identical or nearly so. On the surface, both layman and expert may not see any differences at all. But beneath it there are certain differences that must be perceived and acknowledged, i.e., the format of the systems in terms of the quest for reality may manifest an illusion of sameness. We must always be on guard against being misled by the unique forms that adduce similar contents of experience.(1) D. T. Suzuki tells us that there are eight chief characteristics of satori or enlightenment: irrationality, intuitive insight, authoritarianism, affirmation, sense of the beyond, impersonal tone, feeling of exaltation and momentariness.(2) The Taoist would be very much at home with all of them, each amplifying in great detail the Taoist experience without stirring up any controversy between the two systems. Yet the differences are there for both the Taoist and the Zennist, although not in clearly definable and analyzable terms. Still, there are common grounds of discourse that point at "something universal," the "finality of existence, " a "suprarelative or transcendental aspect, " the "infinite expansion of the individual" and "a new vista of existence."(3) Our initial mission then is to seek a common focus, a common ground upon which we may treat the two systems. I will employ Suzuki s P.52 eighth characteristic, momentariness, to show us the way. In both systems, the momentary nature of our experience is taken to be the basis of all existential modes as well as of valuation. It is the fountainhead of everything human and humanly possible; to ignore it and to regard experience as static is not only naive but to indulge in a falsehood and abstraction that veers away from reality itself. The great non-Asiatic metaphysician Alfred N. Whitehead, in one of his rare insightful moments concerning religion, stated that "that-religion will conquer which can render clear to popular understanding some eternal greatness incarnate in the passage of temporal fact."(4) Both Zen and Taoism have already con- quered the minds of Asians (and many non-Asians, too, for that matter) by simply rendering clear "some eternal greatness incarnate in the passage of temporal fact." Had Whitehead fully known the message of both Zen and Taoism, he most certainly would have attached a footnote to that statement. We today can stand witness to his propriety, albeit from a purely Western point of view. In Buddhism, Zen being a crystallized version of Buddhist thought, the point of departure in understanding the nature of the experiencing self is its impermanent character (anitya). Thus understood, the self no longer assumes an abstract static nature but, paradoxically enough, the non-substantive, non-self (anaatman) nature. The foregoing statement, to be sure, is extremely difficult for the layman to accept, much less grasp, because his understanding begins and ends within the self-created prison walls of alleged entities, such entities as the logical entities which have nothing to do with realities,as Wittgenstein has rightly stated(5) Not only does the layman live in a Certesian world but he also does not know that that world owes its very existence to the initial impulse to grasp or frame every- thing within the substantive nature of things. Dichotomies of all kinds abound, but they are non-existent in the real world; they are strictly manmade, as the Zennist and Taoist will aver. In this regard, we may even state further that, strictly speaking, the correspondence theory that we so heavily rely on in our daily activities is really impotent and non-existent as well. Reality or experiential reality, for in the strictest sense no reality is divorced from experience, is a moving, phenomenon. We have never- P.53 theless been distracted from this moving phenomenon by deliberately seeking and justifying a causal connection or relationship in the passage of events. The strict empiricist, David Hume, was not fooled by the feigned concept of causality working in our experience, but even he could not in the end hit upon its solution;being a child of the Western tradition, he had to solace himself in the end with the game of backgammon. A different picture is seen in Taoism, especially in Chuang Tzu's brilliant analysis. The ordinary person, according to Chuang Tzu, waits to observe the scales of the snake or the wings of the cicada but perceives only the molted snake or the demised cicada.(6) He is unable to be in tune with the lives of the snake and the cicada, indeed with his own life process, for he spends countless hours catching up with thore entities which are already distanced from the reality of things. He seeks for certainty of perception and understanding, but they are not forthcoming for the simple reason that certainty can never be realized by following the entities or elements involved in them. He has, in short, done a disservice to himself by demanding a steady, one-dimensional perception of things. This is the great hoax or ontological fraud that man wantonly perpetuates. Both Taoism and Zen recognize the inanity of this pursuit and vehemently condemn it. In several passages in the Chuang-tzu(a) we find statements to the effect that experiential reality cannot be expressed at all except in terms of bits or pieces. For example, due to man's obsession with routine and mundane matters, he has only a few days in a month, if any, in which he may be able to have a good laugh at himself, the laugh being an expression of a genuine encounter with the reality of things, an instant perception of the incongruity between what is and what is not the truth of existence. A laugh is, of course, spontaneous, and lasts but for a split second; beyond that it turns into amusement, and then reality is no longer the central focus: The experience of reality is of the same dimension as the laugh. Or, put another way, experiential reality is seen "as quickly as the passing of a swift horse glimpsed through a crack in the wall."(7) Extending the metaphor further, it can be said that although the galloping horse is seen through the crack in many bits or fragments, the whole horse is actually seen. It is not truncated or left dangling through the crack. The upshot P.54 is that experiential reality, like the swift horse, is felt (seen) entirely, but the bit by bit perception seems to belie it --due mainly to our overriding epistemological emphasis and bias. As we can see, the moving phenomena of reality is nothing but the glimpses of the Whiteheadian "eternal greatness incarnate in the passage of temporal fact." To see it otherwise is simply to ignore the presence of reality in the making, a continuous stream that flows and carries along even our blunted consciousness in its wake. Furthermore as things are normally perceived in chunks, they quickly sediment into passive entities and become fodder for the manipulating mind. In this way, the moving phenomenon of reality are lost, or take a backseat,and hopelessly hang on. This fragmentary perception is precisely the movement expressed in the yin-yang(b) where the yin and the yang alternate and seem to exhibit themselves independently. In actuality, there is no separation between the two into clearly defined roles or realms. Both require each other for.their respective so-called substance (ti(c)) and function (yung)(d). Yet to describe the phenomena of yin-yang movement into substance and function, as done by Wang Pi and other later Taoists, is a blatant travesty of the reality of things, a deviation which merely serves our insatiable epistemic desires. This last statement is not to be taken as an outright rejection of epistemology as such but a critique of the wrongly or falsely contrived epistemic elements which go into the ruminating mill without due regard for (heir originating natures. Clearly then aspects of neither the yin nor the yang are epistemic elements, but are rather moving shades of the reality of things in inviolable mutuality. A shadow, afterall, does not wait for the body to move, though its prominence is only accentuated by the latter's movement. The whole second chapter of the Chuang-tzu (Ch'i-wu-lun(e), "On the Equality of Things") is an exercise in the grasp of the moving reality, and perhaps the most important but puzzling chapter in the entire work. It ends with the famous enigmatic dream of a butterfly by Chuang Tzu himself. There is clearly an epistemic distinction between dreamer, dream and dream-content. But no solution is forthcoming to the episode (i.e., whether it was Chuang Tzu dreaming of the butterfly or the butterfly dreaming of Chuang Tzu) if the analysis is limited to epistemic distinctions. Scholars are quite correct in rejecting the P.55 distinction between subject and object, between reality and unreality.(8) These scholars, however, do not go far enough in examining the final statement: "This is called the transformation of things (tu hua)(f)"(9) The statement taxes our imagination, to be sure, but it is quite consistent with the whole message of Chuang-tzu, i.e., that reality can only be grasped in the swift changes ("galloping horse") of things. In both Chuang Tzu dreaming of the butterfly and the butterfly dreaming of Chuang Tzu himself, the distinction of both phenomena pales into indistinction as one realizes the non-epistemic content of reality on the move. This is the transformation, the non-epistemic process, that inexorably goes on regardless of the dream or dreamless state we are in. The transformation is beckoning us to realize "something universal, " "final, " "suprarelative, " an "infinite expansion," a "new vista of existence," etc., but we are, for the most part, dulled into believing that we are awake are at all times not dreaming, not knowing that we wallow in the quicksands of epistemology.(10) And so Chuang Tzu is able to say cryptically: "After ten thousand generations, a great sage may appear who will know their meaning, and it will still be as though he appeared with astonishing speed."(11) On the Zen or Buddhist side, a different analysis on the glimpse of reality is found. Since Zen practice is usually characterized by minimal scriptural reliance, it gives rise to a false impression that scriptures are secondary or even unnecessary in the pursuit of enlightenment (as noted, for example, in the Zen master's seemingly idolatrous cries of "Burn the Sutras! Kill the Buddha!"). But these cries must be interpreted within the context of the disciple's ready and ripe state of being for the eventual satori or wu(g), and not to be interpreted in isolation or within the context of mere pedagogy. Furthermore, there must be a clear understanding between the use and study of the scriptures, including listening to lectures, and the understanding and concretization of the ideas thus gained. The disciple naturally is expected to accomplish both and to prepare himself diligently, pliably and holistically, for the climatic hint that might come at any moment to open his mind. The crucial hint may come in several forms: the koan, the shout, the kick, the slap, silence, etc., of which Zen literature is replete. P.56 But let us return to the fundamental concepts of Buddhism since Zen history unmistakably records the understanding of these concepts in training and nourishment. Belonging to the Mahayana tradition, Zen utilizes many scriptures within that tradition, such as, the Diamond Suutra, La^nkaavataara Suutra, Madhyamaka 'Saastra, Trim'sikaa, Mahaayaa- na'sraddhotpaada 'Saastra, etc., but any Buddhist would quickly remind us that these works have, as their basis, the early teachings of the Buddha. In this sense, there is a continuity in the whole Buddhist tradition and some scholars have even stated that Zen is a rightful return to the early Buddhist practice of seeking enlightenment as exemplified by the historical Buddha. Be that as it may, it behooves the devotee to learn and understand what is in store for him in the training for enlightenment, such training entailing a complete mastery of the psychological foundations of man. I will not go into the nature of man in any exhaustive way, but present it in the broadest of outlines. The psychological nature of man is comprised of the basic aggregates of being and the five skandhas (ruupa, vedanaa, samjnnaa, samskaara, vijnnaana). In brief, these skandhas,as the term itself reveals, are 'aggregating' pheonomena, i.e., they are 'groupings' or 'heapings' that spell out what we call individuality (pudgala) but, more specifically, are more like individualizing phenomenon. Or, looked at from the other side, the enlightened side, the non-aggregating, non-grouping, non-grasping nature reveal a totally different dimension to a 'being' where there is no hint of individua- lity, hence the non-self(anaatman) . Ordinary life is characterized always in terms of the aggregating pheomena due to the inherent grasping and clinging to the elements of being. The nature of being, as we normally know it, is essentially involved in the establishment of something permanent and, coupled with this, there is the inability to ride out the impermanent rhythm of life. The five skandhas completely describe man from his corporeal (ruupa) to the highly complex conscious (viijjanan) realm of existence. The description is even analyzed into realms of being (12 aayatanas) which specify the nature of contact between the inner ('subjective') and outer ('objective') realsm of man and, still further, into the finer complexes of consciousness (18 dhaatus) whereby each contact of inner and outer realms P.57 produces what we normally refer to as awareness or consciousness which becomes the basis of a full blown account of ordinary cognitive and intel- lectual activity. Thus, just to understand the psychological aspect of man in the total sense is an extremely difficult task that intimidates all, but a task which cannot be glossed over or neglected. The relatively short Diamond Suutra, for example, expands on the five skandhas, 12 aayatanas and 18 dhaatus but, alas, few scholars take heart in them, ignoring or glossing over their discussion as being inconsequential. We must remind ourselves that the 6th patriach, Hui-neng, was enlightened by reading this Sutra. Even the formidable La^nkaavataara Suutra and the Madhyamaka 'Saastra of Naagaarjuna treat these psychological foundations of man, reminding us of their import and continuous presence in Buddhism. But what has all this to do with our quest for experiential reality? The answer is, very much! The purpose of demonstrating the psychological phenomena, in a word, is to counter-demonstrate that something is lacking, something is peculiar or irregular in the whole affair, that a cul-de-sac will be reached if people go on as they do. When the irregularity is sensed, for example, it will show that there is more than the psychological factors involved in ordinary experience, although this is not so obvious at the beginning, due to our overdependence on the conventionally empirical orientation taken for our perceptions. The effect of counter-demonstration will show up ?lements of being that only hamper, restrict, and defile the experiential process (such as, the rise of and adherence to certain biases which block the development of a truly free and easy nature of the being in question). Such a being becomes a proper candidate for the realization of the real nature of things (tattvam, yathaabhuutam, literally, "truth of existence," "thatness of being..). These conceptions are, to be sure, quite esoteric to the non-Buddhist, but Buddhism is here, once again, exploring yet another rendition of "some eternal greatness incarnate in the passage of temporal fact." But Buddhism,this time, goes further with its own unique doctrine for that "passage of temporal fact," the so-called dependent or relational origination (yuan-ch'i(h) , pratiitya-samutpaada. I have written elsewhere(12) that the doctrine of relational origination issues forth in two strains, one with an empirical nature and the other P.58 without. In the former, the empirical, ordinary conventional language and conceptualization function as usual and we are at home with them except that, unfortunately, they are in the realm of the unenlightened because of the insatiable, though unconscious, grasping of and adherence to the elements of being (an activity which I have referred to as the ontological imperative). In the latter,that without epirical nature, there is no action prompted by the ontological imperative and thus no empirical elements at play to implicate a vision of reality based on those element. Again, the former or empirical realm is referred to by the Buddhists as belonging to the sammsaaric realm, whereas the latter or non-empirical, is nirvaannic. Now, the Zennist knows all about this dual nature in the experiential process, but he is still in a bind in that he does not know how to extricate himself from it. He has been told, ad nauseam, of the dictum: "Everyday-mindedness is the Way" (attributed to Pai-chang and also to Matsu), but there is something paradoxical about it. That is, participation in everyday activities comes naturally for all of us, fast and easy, and yet there is no end to the so-called self-feeding discriminative process, the perpetual turning of the sammsaaric wheel due to the ontological imperative. How can the Zennist solve the paradox? The Zennist must, first of all, acknowledge the fact that the experiential process in the nature of relational origination is all that he has got and that he must seriously address himself to its understanding. To ignore it is to remain in the samsaaric realm. He must thus concentrate on the rise of experiential events in terms of perceiving the nature of experiential events in terms of perceiving the nature of dependency (yuan(i), pratyaya) and relationality (yin-yuan(j) , yuan-ch'i(h) , pratiitya-samutpaada, pratiitya-samutpanna) of those events and attendant elements in the total context of being. This is where meditation enters to pacify or calm down the grasping nature of the mind (chih-cho(k), upaadaana, abhinive'sa). This grasping nature belongs to the unsettled mind which has not as yet captured the middle ground (way) of existence by hovering between substantive nature and non-substantive (the extremes of which are self- destruction and nihilism). But the middle ground of existence is captured only when one perceives rightly the rise and fall of experiential events, or, more precisely, when one is not attached to the elements of the process P.59 of relational origination. Naagaarjuna and Prajnnaapaaramita thinkers have introduced the concept of emptiness (k'ung(l), 'Suunyataa) to check the grasping nature, the ontological force, and thereby reveal at once the nongrasping nature that opens up a new vista of existence. So that when the enlightened person (bodhisavttva) perceives things under the aegis of emptiness, his perception is characterized by an initial epistemic control, i.e., prevention of the rise of ontological entities, which then discloses the wondrous realm of the thatness of being (chen-ju(m), yathaabhuutam). However tempting it may be, the concept of emptiness must never be lifted to a metaphysical level or reduced to an ontology. In the statement, "perception under the aegis of emptiness,"there is no metaphysicizing nor ontologizing for the aim is toward the sameness or equality of the nature of things (p'ing teng(n), samataa).(13) Hui-neng captured this undifferentiable realm when, in his famous poem, he referred to the "non-ex- istence of things from the beginning"(pen-lai-wu-i-wu(o)) and set the stage for the rapid growth and dissemination of Zen thought in China. In the Yogaacaara-vij~naanavaada tradition, the concept of emptiness is applied uniquely to the Eight Consciousness (vij~naana) theory. This theory is yet another development in understanding the psychological foundations of man, carrying over much from the early Buddhist knowledge of the psychological elements (skandhas, aayatanas, dhaatus) discussed earlier,but going further into the subtle nature of the discriminative faculty (manas the 7th consciousness) and the all-containing receptacle of the mind (aalaya-vij~naana, the 8th consciousness). The Zennist, again, must be familiar with all of this but, as in the case of early Buddhist psychology he acknowledges the samsaaric nature which now refers to all activities relative to the eight consciousnesses and seeks a way out of it. This system premises three aspects of man's nature of being, i.e., the imagined nature (parikalpita-svabhaava), the dependent nature (paratantra-sabhava) and the pure nature (parinisspanna-svabhaava), the first two being samsaric and the last nirvaanic.(14) The samsaaric nature goes on because the first two natures are characterized by a perpetuation of the clinging to unrealities (i.e., things, objects, elements, etc.) which forces the turbulent irning of the mind function (prav.rtti). But the trubulence will stop by the removal of all dichotomies, such as, the basic division into outer and inner realsm P.60 of existence, the removal of which will happen with the right understanding of the psychological play of all consciousnesses aided by emptiness ('suunyataa) to block any entrance or acceptance of those unrealities. This is why, rather than mere correction of conceptualization, the very foundation of conceptualization is turned upside down, so to speak, to make one realize the pure realm. This process is known as the ultimate turning over (paraav.rtti) of the turbulence (prav.rtti) ; the result of turning over is referred to as consciousness-only (wei shih(P) , vij~naptimaatra), which is another way of describing perception under the aegis of emptiness. This is then the basis upon which the Zennist will speak of the mind-only (wei hsin(q), citta-maatra) doctrine. As we can now see, the consciousness-only or mind-only doctrine lodges in the natural everyday function of our senses, including the mind,but the whole experiential process has been cleansed by meditative discipline (yogaacaara). In this connection, it ought to be mentioned that it was Naagaarjuna who best captured the Buddh's spirit of the existential parity of samsaara and nirvaanna which gave the Mahaayaana tradition the necessary ingredient for its eventual development and spread, although the Praj~naapaaramitaa literature that preceded Naagaarjuna who first laid the foundation of the parity concept in his formulation of the Four-fold Noble Truth which starts with suffering (duhkha) and ends with non-suffering within the selfsame ground of existence. Put in a more metaphorical sense, the realization of the rise of suffering, its cause, is at once the realization of the roots of its ultimate cessation. All other elements or conceptions toward the enlightened realm are nothing but footnotes to this great insight of the total parity of existence. Based on this insight, where nothing extraneous exists, I have always referred to Buddhism as the most thorought going naturalistic system. Zen or the Zennist surely exemplifies the crystallized version of this naturalism. In sum, then, Naagaarjuna's genius permitts us to see clearly that, shorn of fragmentation by the imposition of substantive natures or elements (savbhaava), the realm of reality is before our very eyes! The relational origination is always the ground of suffering as well as the selfsame ground of non-suffering or liberation, the connection of the two can only be 'experienced' by the introduction of the concept of emptiness to hold P.61 all elements in check and simultaneously permit the new ground to rear itself. If emptiness is to exhibit the dependent nature or mutual reference of elements at play (praj~napti upaadaaya), then it is also the concept to exhibit the limits of this dependency or mutuality. Being ever faithful to the teachings of the Buddha, Naagaarjuna concludes that relational origination, as seen under the aegis of emptiness, is also the middle way.(15) We have thus made a full circle, as Naagaarjuna has succinctly stated- but, ironically, the circle of existence, i.e., roots of the mannddala, has been present all along. The middle way which avoids the extremes must be nascently present in our everyday ways (activities) of existence; to say otherwise would not only complicate matters abstractly but would introduce alien elements into our very existence. Buddhist reality, then, functions in a total sense regardless of the sammsaaric or nirvaannic realm. It can only be realized by a highly disciplined training which consummates in enlightenment, the uprooting of suffering from its very basis. Nothing short will suffice or succeed. Suffering, in other words, is a total ontologized phenomenon in the sense that the basis of a single element of suffering is related to the whole being and that, when the uprooting occurs, the result will be a total phenomenon. In this way, we may say with all Buddhists that ignorance (wu-ming(r), avidyaa) and enlightenment(wu(g),bodhi) are two poles of the selfsame phenomenon, one of-which is bound and the other unbound, ontologically speaking. As experiential reality is taking place within the context of impermanence,the grasp of it must necessarily come about drastically and abruptly. The Zen method of enlightenment carries these drastic and abrupt means which dare the devotee to act and respond in uncommon ways, all the while keeping his senses, including the mind, wide open, resilient, total and full. He is unruffled by the paradoxical nature of sa.msaara and nirvaa.na, and encouraged and motivated to explore its depth by avoiding entanglement with things logical and conceptual. The Japanese Zen master, Dogen (1200-53), gave a graphic description of the sammsaaric bound life as katto(s) (vines), a life depicted as wisteria vines entwining among themselves in which the condition gets worse and worse.(l6) So beneath all the simplicity and artless antics of the devotee, the ground is prepared for the ultimate event. The method is gradual in the sense that P.62 step by step analysis, understanding and concretion of the facts of existence are brought together, but the final enlightenment must come abruptly or suddenly.(17) In contrast to the Zen abrupt method of enlightenment,there is the Taoist quietistic method. But these two methods are not really contradictory since Zen, for example, incorporates the quietistic nature in its meditative process. There is actually no difference in the Taoist "forgetting himself" and the Zennist concept of losing his self. Any devotee, eiher Taoist or Zennist, may spend hours "honing up" for the final grasp of reality, but he must not waste his time in futile "brick grinding" to produce a mirror, or in squeamish rituals upholding Confucian virtues. The leading philosophic doctrine in Taoist quietism is action-in-nonaction (wei wu-wei(t)). Many interpretations have been offered on this important doctrine, from laissez-faire to do-nothing, but its significance will be missed if there is no focus on the glimpses of reality as discussed earlier. Action (wei) does not take place in a vacuum but requires a 'filler' to function properly. That 'filler' is provided by the concept of non-being (wu(u)), which is part and parcel of non-action (wu-wei) or vice versa, and which is also the reality glimpsed in the manner of the galloping horse. It(wu) is like the interstices of a net and yet more, since it also inludes the warp and woof of the net itself - the whole reality. Thus, wu or the Tao are primitives,the uncarved block (su p'o(v)), which presences itself in the actions taken by man but does not force its manifestation. Through action the nature of non-action is known, but non-action is always the foundation of action. There is a parity of process involved here but not identical with the Buddhist kind, though similar strains run through both. Chapter 42 of the Tao Te Ching exhibits how the Tao, One,Two, Three and Ten Thousand Things implicate one another. It is an affirmation of the cosmological, atemporal analysis of the phenomena of existence. Chapter 1 of the same work, a capsule presentation of Taoism, also spells out the nature of parity in subtle ways, where non-being is in the realm of heaven and earth, and being in the realm of all things. In sum, both being and non-being are the cosmological twins - always co-existent and co-functioning. Our discussion of certain common grounds of discourse has also P.63 touched on certain uncommon grounds, but the parity of existence demands the common and uncommon grounds be treated within the selfsame reality in the quest for the dynamic truth of existence. Metaphysically and cosmologically, similiar grounds are covered in both systems and they seem to collapse at some points; however, real and alledged identities must be sifted and never pushed too far. It was no accident, historically, that those Chinese who took up Buddhism seriously, like Hui-yuan and Seng-chao, were former Taoists. It is impossible to find out how much of Taoism was abandoned and how much of Buddhism was incorporated in to their final philosophies. It is enough for all of us today to embark on the road in search of "the true man of no-rank." STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO NOTES 1. It is easy to speak in terms of the form and content of experience, but we must not lose sight of the fact that these are merely abstract terms. They describe certain aspects of experience but never experience-as-such, with which both Zen and Taoism are profoundly concerned. As 'subsequent discussion will attempt to show, both systems are interested in the grasp of the true reality of experience and not its peripheral indirect elements which are only beclouding and disparaging. 2. William Barrett, ed., Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D.T. Suzuki. New York: Doubleday& Company, Inc., 1956. pp. 103-108. 3. Ibid. 4. Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas. New York: MacMillan Company, 1933. p.41. 5. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1949. He saw the mission of philosophy to be analysis of thought and not about reality as such. The real world, so-called, is left to the sciences. 6. Burton Watson, tr., The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968. p. 49. P64 7. Ibid.;p.330. 8. Wing-tsit Chan, tr. & compiled, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, Princton: Princeton University Press, 1963. pp. 190-91, especially his comments. Also, A.C. Graham, "Chuang-tzu's Essay on Seeing Things as Equal," in Hist -ory of of Religions, Vol. 9. Nos. 2 & 5. p. 149. 9. The Complete Works of Chuang Tru,p.49. 10. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. p.189. See also The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. p. 47. 11. The Comp Works of Chuang Tzu. p. 48. Italics mine as mine. 12. "Two Strains in Buddhist Causality, " Journal of Chinese Philosophy; Vol. 12, 1 (March 1985), 49-56. 13. The obvious question here is, how close is the Buddhist concept of sameness (samataa, p'ing-teng(n) ) to the Taoist equality of things (ch'i-wu(e))? This is surely a point of contact between the two systems. The Buddhist concept refers to the ultimate nature of reality, i.e., the enlightened state where everything is seen without a discriminating eye. In this sense, it is relative to the Buddhas' and Bodhisattvas' way,of having regard for all creatures, hence the wisdom of sameness (smataaj~naana). In Taoism, the monkeys being fed 3 or 4 nuts in the morning and 4 or 3 nuts in the afternoon certainly show a difference in the feedings but the nuts in combination add up to the same numerical figure, seven. Still, the numerical figure must be transcended in order to arrive at the ch'i-wu conception of things. It is more cosmological than temporal. 14. Vasubandhu, Tri.m'slkaa, Verses 20-23; see also Source Book in Chinese Philosophy,pp 374-395. 15. Naagaarjuna, Muulamadhyamakakaarikaa, XXIV, 18. 16. Doogen Zenji,Shooboogenzoo,Chapter 38,Kattoo. 17. For example, it would be difficult to speak of a person becoming gradually good or gradually evil for that matter, although on the surface such descriptions of human traits are always quite attractive, welcomed, and easily believed in. Goodness and evilness, however, are more apparent than real, and there are no shades in either one. P.65 CHINESE GLOSSARY a 莊子 b 陰陽 c 體 d 用 e 齊物論 f 獨化 g 悟 h 緣起 i 緣 j 因緣 k 執著 l 空 m 真如 n 平等 o 本來無一物 p 唯識 q 唯心 r 無明 s 葛藤 t 為無為 u 無 v 素樸