The Scripture of the Fo...

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The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Six: Doubts Clarified

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During the scriptural lecture period at a meditation hall, the Founding Master heard many disciples’ discussing the issue of the clarity of heaven and earth and said, “Would you say that heaven and earth are conscious, or not?” Yi Kongju replied, “I would say that heaven and earth are definitely conscious.” The Founding Master asked, “How do you know there is consciousness?” Kongju replied, “When people perform wholesome deeds, blessings inadvertently accrue to them; but when people perform unwholesome deeds, misfortunes inadvertently accrue. These responses are not even slightly in error, so if there were no consciousness, how would such distinctions between misfortunes and blessings exist?” The Founding Master said, “If this is the case, then offer some evidence that such distinctions occur and explain it in such a way so that everyone can understand.” Kongju replied, “This is just a conviction I have after regularly hearing many dharma instructions everyday. But to analyze that principle and demonstrate it with evidence would be difficult.”
The Founding Master said, “Arcane matters are difficult to fathom, and even when fathomed, difficult to demonstrate to the satisfaction of others. Now I will give you a piece of such evidence in simple language; starting from it, you should then go further and penetrate even that arcane matter that is difficult to prove.
“Generally, if we talk about earth, it is just silent, without language or activity, and so the people of this world presume it is an insentient substance. But in fact there is real and definite evidence of its being ever bright and numinous. In farming, when we sow seed, the earth perforce must help that seed grow. Furthermore, where red bean seeds are planted, the earth makes sure that red beans will sprout; where soybeans are planted, soybeans must sprout. Where much human labor was performed, there will be a large harvest; where little human labor was performed, there will only be a small harvest; and where human labor was performed incorrectly, losses will occur. Without the slightest confusion, doesn’t the earth respond by clearly distinguishing in accordance with the characteristics of each seed and the input of human labor? Hearing this explanation, one might say, ‘That is because the seeds themselves possess the essential elements of life and sprout thanks to the labor supplied by farmers; the earth is nothing more than the foundation.’ However, how can a seed sprout and grow on its own without receiving the response from earth, and what result would there be had one applied oneself to planting and cultivating in a place that did not receive that response from earth? And not only that, but there is not one of all the myriads of things that rely on earth that does not appear without receiving that response from earth. Therefore, there is not a single thing that the earth does not influence, nor is there any case where it does not exert its authority regarding arising and ceasing, progression and regression. This is not just the case with earth. Heaven and earth are nondual. The sun, the moon, and the stars, winds and clouds, rain and dew, and frost and snow are all a single energy and a single principle, so there are none of them that are not numinously efficacious. Thus, all the wholesome and unwholesome deeds that human beings perform will never deceive regardless of how secret they might have been, nor can we resist the resulting retribution and response. All this is the consciousness of heaven and earth and the awesome power of heaven and earth’s clarity. However, the consciousness of heaven and earth is not the same as human consciousness involving joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness. It is a consciousness that conducts itself in no-thought, a consciousness that manifests in signlessness, and a consciousness that is impartial and complete, without any selfish motives. Those who understand this principle will be awed by the clarity of heaven and earth, so that no matter what sensory condition one faces, one will not dare to deceive one’s own conscience and commit transgressions. Those who have gone a step further and modeled themselves wholeheartedly on the consciousness of heaven and earth will gain an infinitely pure consciousness and could even command at will the awesome power of heaven and earth.”