Form And Void
I find it makes no sense to write off one of these two – either the Centre or the Periphery – as real and the other as unreal: or else as somewhat less real and fundamental, less truly ME, than the other. I don’t know on what grounds this judgment could be made, or how it could be verified, or what it could mean.
And I find it makes little sense, either, to say that one of them depends on the other. That my non-physical consciousness here has that physical world for basis. Or, vice versa, that that world is an accident – a casual and unnecessary sport or projection – of this Consciousness that lies here at the heart of it. They are of a piece, presented together and not served up separately. I don’t so much understand or believe this as see it. For instance I SEE, right now, that this Emptiness here is – rather than contains – these shapes and these colours, this page and these hands.
In other words, as Zen insists, form is void and the void is form, Nirvana is none other than Samsara, the Lotus of Enlightenment is one with the Swamp of Delusion which is its habitat. Whenever I exalt one of the pair at the expense of the other I’m in trouble, and my enemy Death has got hold of me – God is as null without his world as it is null without Him. But when I perceive – when I consciously live – their absolute unity I embrace Death as my friend. Even for God – specially for God – there is, as the saying goes, always something. The solemn but cheering truth is that He can’t spare a single thing. (Douglas Harding. The Little Book of Life and Death
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