THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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THE DHARMA DISCOURSES OF CARDINAL MASTER CHŎNGSAN(CHŎNGSAN CHONGSA PŎBŎ)

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Six: Exposition of Scriptures

51

51. To a student’s question about the three realms of existence, the Master replied: “The world of sentient beings, which is made manifest as the three realms of existence, is a response to the mental world of sentient beings’ attachments. The sensual realm is the mental realm of sentient beings where, because of their attachment to sensual desires such as food, sex, and wealth, they are bent on seeking their own blessings with no sense of shame or respect for propriety, and thus create all sorts of unwholesome karma and keep on struggling thoughtlessly. The realm of subtle materiality is the mental realm of sentient beings where, because of attachment to names and signs, they may perform various types of good deeds and tasks but do so enticed by desires for fame and reputation. Hence, they are liable to become jealous of those who are superior to themselves and to look down on those who are inferior, and thus remain subject to much ratiocination and mental calculation. The immaterial realm is the mental realm of sentient beings where they think that they are not enticed by names and signs and are free from ratiocination and mental calculation, but since they are attached precisely to such thought—namely, the signs of dharmas—they despise those who are attached to fame and profit or who engage in ratiocination and mental calculation. Only when even this state of mind is extinguished will one transcend the three realms of existence.”