The Knower, The God of Buddhism
The Gateway Talks
Who is the one who sees, hears and smells? Who is the doer? Who is the one who knows?
The God of Buddhism is the god of wisdom. In Buddhism, the Buddha means one who knows, the knower. One who knows one’s own wisdom is Buddha.
Our eyes, which have the faculty of seeing; our ears, which have the faculty of hearing; our other senses - smell, taste, touch - are all manifestations of the power of knowing. So our sense organs are the eyes of Buddha. Every one of us is Buddha. However, Mr. So-and-so is not Buddha, but our ‘persons’ are Buddha.
… The Buddhist believes in a pantheistic god. This personal, pantheistic god is god-nature in me, in you, in all sentient beings - in everything… There is no such word in the Orient as ‘individual’! The Buddhist believes that souls are not created by God, one by one, but that each is a drop of water in the ocean of soul. The ocean of soul is existence; it is Being existing from the beginningless beginning to the endless end. So there is no creation of the universe and no destruction of the universe. Each wave of the ocean has its own character, its own shape, its own power, and its own velocity, yet all waves are nothing but the body of water that is the sea. Each individual has his or her own keynote and characteristics, yet all individuals are nothing but waves in the ocean of soul.
The Zen Eye: A collection of Zen talks by Sokei-an; ed. Mary Farkas pub. Weatherhill 1993
In this talk:
• The etymology of consciousness. Is consciousness possible without ‘I’?
• Sense consciousness & awareness. To whom does consciousness really belong?
• Immanence and transcendence - What is the difference between monotheism, polytheism and pantheism?
• Emptiness and dependent origination, the awareness of being in relationship with everything and the principle of reciprocity.
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