Nondual Thinking
By David Loy

Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Vol. 13 (1986)
pp. 293-309

Copyright 1986 by Dialogue Publishing Company



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I never think - my thoughts think for me. (Lamartine [1])

Much of Asian philosophy constitutes a radical critique of thinking as it usually occurs. It is commonly claimed that the superimpositions of thought-projection (vikalpa and prapañca) obscure the actual nature of experience. Given the emphasis on meditation, during which one "lets go" of thoughts, one might conclude that thinking has solely the negative effect of an interference that distorts reality, and hence that we should strive to eliminate or minimize it. This inference would be an error: thought is not to be rejected, but its actual nature must be clarified. If thought-construction distorts perception, so perception might be said to interfere with thought. When the thought-forming activity of the mind is preoccupied with a system of representation and intention, then something fundamental about the nature of thoughts is obscured also. In Ch'an, the fifth of Kuo-an Shih-yuan's Ten Oxherding Pictures describes a stage of enlightenment in which thoughts too are not to be rejected: "Enlightenment brings the realization that thoughts are not unreal since even they arise from our True-nature. It is only because delusion still remains that they are imagined to be unreal". [2]

    The problem is not thoughts per se but more specifically a certain type of thinking, variously called "reasoning", "conceptualizing", "dualistic thinking", etc. But exactly what these terms refer to is not clear, especially if an alternative mode of thinking is supposed. What kind of thinking is left if we eliminate "reasoning"? If "conceptualizing" means "thinking that employs concepts", it is difficult to conceive of what thinking without concepts could be. Dualistic thinking is easier to understand: thinking which uses dualistic categories such as being and nonbeing, samsara and nirvana, pure and impure. The usual criticism of such thinking is that although



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distinctions are made in order to choose one half, the interdependence of the two terms means that to affirm one is also to maintain the other: in clinging to life I reveal my obsession with death, and my desire for success is equal to my fear of failure. But isn't all thinking dualistic in its alternation between assertion and negation? If such thinking is eliminated, what remains? What is "nondual thinking"? The concern of this paper is to characterize the difference between such problematic modes of thinking and whatever type is supposed to occur after enlightenment.


I.    Prajña

    Another nonduality, the nondifference of subject and object, is a crucial-perhaps the crucial-concept for several of those Eastern systems which criticize reasoning/conceptualizing-particularly Mahayana Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, and Taoism. This suggests that a fruitful approach to the question of the true nature of thinking might be to investigate whether thinking is (or can be) nondual in this second sense-that is, without a thinker distinct from the thoughts that he thinks. The concept of prajña as developed in Mahayana seems to be an instance of this: Prajña is often defined as that knowing in which there is no distinction between the knower, that which is known, and the act of knowing. D.T. Suzuki begins his paper on "Reason and Intuition in Buddhist Philosophy" by thus distinguishing prajña from vijñana:

    Prajna goes beyond vijnana. We make use of vijnana in our world of the senses and intellect, which is characterized by dualism in the sense that there is the one who sees and there is the other that is seen-the two standing in opposition. In prajna this differentiation does not take place: what is seen and the one who sees are identical; the seer is the seen and the seen is the seer. [3]

In his chart listing the various counterbalancing characteristics of prajña and vijñana, the former includes "Non-duality" in contrast to the latter's "duality". [4] The title of Suzuki's paper derives from his translation of the two Sanskrit terms: Vijñana he translates "reason or discursive under-



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standing", in contrast to prajña which is translated, perhaps unfortunately, as "intuition". The main philosophical meaning of intuition is "the immediate apprehension of an object by the mind without the intervention of any reasoning process" [5] -- as in Spinoza's scientia intuitiva, the third and highest form of knowledge, the perception of a thing "through its essence alone", which does not consist in being convinced by reasons but in an immediate union with the thing itself. Thus Suzuki's term is an appropriate one to describe nonduality. However, it may be unwise in that "intuition" more commonly suggests another faculty of mind apart from the intellect, whereas the function of "intuition" here is nothing other than the function of the intellect when it is experienced nondually. As Suzuki repeatedly emphasizes, prajña underlies vijñana:

...if we think that there is a thing denoted as prajna and another denoted as vijnana and that they are forever separated and not to be brought to the state of unification, we shall be completely on the wrong track. [6]

vijnana cannot work without having prajna behind it; parts are parts of the whole; parts never exist by themselves, for if they did they would not be parts-they would even cease to exist. [7]

    The etymologies of vijñana and prajña are revealing. Both have the same root jña, "to know". The vi- prefix of vijñana (also in vi-kalpa and vi-tarka) signifies "separation or differentiation"; hence it refers to that type of knowing which functions by discriminating one thing from another--the most fundamental discrimination being that of the knower from the known. In contrast, the pra-prefix of prajña means "being born or springing up" [8] -- presumably by itself, evidently referring to a more spontaneous type of knowing in which the thought no longer seems to be the product of a subject, but is experienced as arising from a deeper nondual source. In such knowing the thought and that which is conscious of the thought are one. One important implication of this is that it is impossible to observe one's thoughts objectively. The Śiksāsamuccaya of Śantideva contains a meditation on thought which dwells on this point:



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...For thought, Kāśyapa, cannot be apprehended, inside or outside, or in between both. For thought is immaterial, invisible,, non-resisting, inconceivable, unsupported and homeless. Thought has never been seen by any of the Buddhas, nor do they see it, nor will they see it. . . . A thought is like the stream of a river, without any staying power; as soon as it is produced it breaks up and disappears. ... A thought is like lightning, it breaks up in a moment and does not stay on....

    Searching for thought all round, he does not see it within or without... Can then thought review thought? No, thought cannot review thought. As the blade of a sword cannot cut itself, as a finger-tip cannot touch itself, so a thought cannot see itself. [9]

But this seems contradicted by our experience. Surely thought can review itself; doesn't this happen often, whenever we ponder the logical implications of some thought as part of a sequence of reasoning? The point of the passage must be that the various thought-elements of such a sequence do not co-exist in the mind at the same time. At any moment there can be only one thought; a "review" of that thought, or any other thought that arises, is a completely new thought. The next section will explore the implications of this.


II.    "An Unsupported Thought"

It thinks, one ought to say. We become aware of certain representations which do not depend on us; others depend on us, or at least so we believe; where is the boundary? One should say, it thinks,just as one says, it rains.
- Lichtenberg [10]

    In the Western philosophical tradition, the denial of a thinker is even more radical than the denial of the subject as a perceiver or an agent. Modern philosophy begins with Descartes' postulation of the subject which functions autonomously as its own criterion of truth, and this subject is founded on the



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fact that the act of thinking requires a thinker, an "I" to be doing it.

What of thinking? I find here that thought is an attribute that belongs to me: it alone cannot be separated from me. I am, I exist, that is certain. But how often? Just when I think; for it might possibly be the case if I ceased entirely to think, that I should likewise cease to exist.. . . I am, however, a real thing and really exist; but what thing? I have answered: a thing which thinks. [11]

Descartes argues that it is self-contradictory to doubt my own existence. "For it is so evident of itself that it is I who doubts, who understands, and who desires, that there is no reason here to add anything to explain it". [12] As a proof, this begs the question: To assume that "I" am doubting my own existence is to go beyond what is empirically given. What is experienced is thoughts, some of which involve the concept "I", but from this it is illegitimate to infer a thinker distinct from the thought. No cogito can be derived from cogitans.

    In reaction, Hume's conception of the mind denies the existence of any identifiable self and emphasizes the "intentionality" of all consciousness, that consciousness is always consciousness of something:

I never catch myself at any time without a perception, and can never observe anything but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep, so long am I insensible to myself, and may truly be said not to exist. [13]

The intentionality of "dualistic" consciousness is essential to the nondualist, for this is implied by the claim that there is no self apart from its experience. John Levy has elaborated this concept into what is perhaps the classic argument against subject-object duality:

When I am conscious of an object, that is, of a notion or a precept, that object alone is present. When I am conscious of my perceiving, what alone presents itself to consciousness is the notion that I perceive the object: and therefore the notion of my



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being the perceiver also constitutes an object of consciousness. From this, a most important fact emerges: the so-called subject who thinks. and its apparent object, have no immediate relation.

    ... the notion, I am reading, does not occur while we are thus absorbed in reading a book: it occurs only when our attention wavers. . . .a little reflection will show that even when we are not thus absorbed for any appreciable lapse of time, the subject who afterwards lays claim to the action was not present to consciousness when the action was taking place. The idea of our being the agent occurs to us as a separate thought, which is to say that it forms an entirely fresh object of consciousness'. And since, at the time of the occurrence, we were present as neither the thinker, the agent, the percipient, nor the enjoyer, no subsequent claim on our part could alter the position...

    If the notions of subject and object are both the separate objects of consciousness, neither term has any real significance. An object, in the absence of a subject, cannot be what is normally called an object; and the subject, in the absence of an object, cannot be what is normally called the subject. It is in memory that the two notions seem to combine to form an entirely new notion, I am the perceiver or the thinker. [14]

From this, Levy later concludes: "Memory and the consciousness of individual existence are therefore synonymous". [15] If this argument is valid, then originally there is no distinction between "internal" (mental) and "external" (physical), which implies just what Ch'an Masters Hsueh-Feng and Dogen claimed: trees and rocks and clouds, if they are not juxtaposed in memory with the "I" concept, are as much "my mind " as thoughts and feelings. Levy develops a point much stressed in Advaita: the Self is that which cannot be known, for to know it would be to make it into an object. What is usually overlooked about this point is that our usual sense-of-self is the result of exactly such an objectification. Levy's emphasis on memory as the source of duality is consistent with Sankara's reference to it in his famous definition of adhyasa, which may be restated as: Superimposition is the apprehension



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of something in the present as different than it actually is, due to the interference of memory-traces. [16] (There is also a parallel in the Lankavatara Sutra: "When the triple world is surveyed by the Bodhisattva, he perceives that its existence is due to memory [literally, 'perfuming'] that has been accumulated since the beginningless past, but wrongly interpreted"). [17] The usual function of memory as superimposition is to interpret the perception so that it is seen as... -- in this case, as a self-existing object. This process involves relating together perceptions and other mental events, including memory-traces and the notion of "I" (the subject). But what if memory were not relating together the distinct notions of precept and subject? Or-it amounts to the same thing-if the memory were experienced as it is, not superimposed but "an entirely fresh object of consciousness" quite distinct from the other thoughts and precepts which it relates together? The significance of the Śiksāsamuccaya passage, quoted at the end of Section I, becomes evident: If memory "wrongly interpreted" is "synonymous" with individual existence because it is a case of "thought reviewing thought", then the experience of each thought as autonomous will eliminate that sense of individual existence--that is, the sense of subject-object duality.

    Nietzsche came to such a conclusion as a result of developing the implications of other reflections on causality:

    "Causality" eludes us; to suppose a direct causal link between thoughts, as logic does-that is the consequence of the crudest and clumsiest observation...

    "Thinking", as epistemologists conceive it, simply does not occur: 'it is quite an arbitrary fiction, arrived at by selecting one element from the process and eliminating all the rest, an artificial arrangement for the purpose of intelligibility-

    The "spirit", something that thinks: ... this conception is a second derivative of that false introspection which believes in "thinking": first an act is imagined which simply does not occur, "thinking", and secondly a subject substratum in which every act of thinking, and nothing else, has its origin: that is to say, both the deed and doer are fictions. [18]



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    We believe that thoughts as they succeed one another in our minds stand in some kind of causal relation: the logician especially, who actually speaks of nothing but instances which never occur in reality, has grown accustomed to the prejudice that thoughts cause thoughts-...

    In summa: everything of which we become conscious is a terminal phenomenon, an end-and causes nothing; every successive phenomenon in consciousness is completely atomistic... [19]

Nietzsche relates the denial of a thinker to a denial of the process of thinking. Why; after all, do we believe that there is an act of thinking? Because that act is what the thinker does: stringing thoughts together by creating new thoughts on the basis of the old thoughts. If there is no such thinker, then there need be no such act. That leaves only thoughts, but one at a time, although the succession may be rapid.

    The significance of Nietzsche's remarks for us is that we find the same claim in the Asian nondual philosophies, particularly in Ch'an Buddhism. In The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, Hui Neng explains what prajña is:

    To know our mind is to obtain liberation. To attain liberation is to experience the Samadhi of Prajna, which is ''thoughtlessness". What is "thoughtlessness"? Thoughtlessness is to see and know all Dharmas (things) with a mind free from attachment. When in use it pervades everywhere, and yet it sticks nowhere....When our mind works freely without any hindrance and is at liberty to "come" or to "go", we attain Samadhi of Prajna, or liberation. Such a state is called the function of "thoughtlessness". But to refrain from thinking of anything, so that all thoughts are suppressed, is to be Dharma-ridden, and this is an erroneous view. [20]

The term "thoughtlessness" would seem to recommend a mind free from any thoughts, but Hui Neng denies this: rather, "thoughtlessness" is the function



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of a mind free from any attachment. The implication is that for someone who is liberated thoughts still arise, but there is no clinging to them when they do. Why the term "thoughtlessness" can be used to characterize such a state of mind will become clear in a moment. But the question that arises first is in what way one can ever be attached to thoughts if, as the Śiksāsamuccaya says, a thought has no staying power, that like lightning it breaks up in a moment and disappears. Hui Neng answers this later in the Platform Sutra when he says more about "how to think":

In the exercise of our thinking faculty, let the past be dead. If we allow our thoughts, past, present and future, to link up in a series, we put ourselves under restraint. On the other hand, if we never let our mind attach to anything, we shall gain liberation.
(my emphasis [21])

One clings to a thought by allowing the thoughts to link up in a series, which means having one's next thought "caused", as it were, by the previous thoughts, rather than letting each thought arise spontaneously and nondually.

    According to the autobiographical first part of the Platform Sutra, Hui Neng became deeply enlightened and realized that all things in the universe are his self-nature, upon hearing a line from the Diamond Sutra: "Let your thought arise without fixing it anywhere". [22] The passage just prior to this one-which Hui Neng must also have heard-puts this in context. Edward Conze translates it as follows:

    Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhisattva should produce an unsupported thought, a thought which is nowhere supported, which is not supported (apratisthiti) by forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or objects of mind. [23]

A thought is "Unsupported" because it does not arise in dependence upon anything else, not "caused" by another thought ("mind-objects") and of course not "produced" by a thinker, which the Bodhisattva realizes does, not exist. Such an "unsupported thought", then, is prajña, arising by itself nondually.



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    Hui Neng's grandson in the Dharma, Ma-tsu, reinforces Hui Neng and the Diamond Sutra: "So with former thoughts, later thoughts, and thoughts in between: the thoughts follow one another without being linked together. Each one is absolutely tranquil". [24] That each such "unsupported thought" is absolutely tranquil is a new point, although probably implied by Hui Neng's term "thoughtlessness". So when one loses sense of self and completely becomes an unsupported thought, there is the Taoist paradox of wei-wu-wei, in which action and passivity are combined: there is the movement of nondual thought, but at the same time there is awareness of that which does not change. That is why such an experience can just as well be described as "thoughtlessness". The later Ch'an master Kuei-shan Ling-yu referred to this as "thoughtless thought": "Through concentration a devotee may gain thoughtless thought. Thereby he is suddenly enlightened and realizes his original nature". [25] "Thoughtless thought" is not a mind empty of any thought: "one thought is thoughtless thought."

    An important parallel to this is found in the writings of a modern Advaitin, Ramana Maharshi:

The ego in its purity is experienced in the interval between two states or between two thoughts. The ego is like the worm which leaves one hold only after it catches another. Its true nature is known when it is out of contact with objects or thoughts. You should realize this interval as the abiding, unchangeable Reality, your true Being... [26]

The image of the ego as a worm which leaves one hold only after catching another might well have been used by Hui Neng and Ma-tsu to describe the way in which thoughts are apparently linked up in a series. The difference is that Mahayana Buddhism encourages the arising of "an unsupported thought", whereas Ramana Maharshi understands unchangeable Reality as that which is realized only when it is out of contact with all objects and thoughts. This is consistent with the general relation between Mahayana and Advaita: Nirguṇa Brahman is so emptied of any attribute ("neti, neti,...") that it becomes impossible to differentiate from Śūnyatā. "It is difficult indeed to distinguish between pure being and pure non-being as a category". (S. Dasgupta). [27] But there is still a difference in emphasis.



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Mahāyāna emphasizes realizing the emptiness of all phenomena, whereas Advaita distinguishes between empty Reality and phenomena, with the effect of devaluing the latter into mere māyā.

    The image of a worm hesitant to leave its hold was used in a personal conversation I had in 1981 with a Theravada monk from Thailand, a meditation master named Phra Khemananda. This was before I discovered the passage from Ramana Maharshi; what Khemananda said was not prompted by any remark of mine, but was taught to him by his own teacher in Thailand. He began by drawing the following diagram:

jc26559-1.jpg (5220 bytes)

Each oval represents a thought, he said; normally, we leave one thought only when we have another one to go to (as the arrows indicate), but to think in this way constitutes ignorance. Instead, we should realize that thinking is actually like this:

jc26559-2.jpg (5595 bytes)

Then we will understand the true nature of thoughts: that thoughts do not arise from each other but by themselves.

    This understanding of thoughts-not-linking-up-in-a-series but springing up nondually is consistent with D. T. Suzuki's conception of prajña:

    It is important to note here that prajna wants to see its diction "quickly" apprehended, giving us no intervening moment for reflection or analysis or interpretation. Prajna for this reason is frequently likened to a flash of lightning or to a spark from two



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striking pieces of flint. "Quickness" does not refer to progress of time; it means immediacy, absence of deliberation, no allowance for an intervening proposition, no passing from premises to conclusion. [28]

This gives insight into the many Ch'an dialogues in which students are criticized for their hesitation or praised for their apparently nonsensical but immediate replies. That the reply is immediate is not itself sufficient; what is important is that each response be experienced as a nondual "presentation of the whole". Hesitation reveals lack of prajña because it indicates either some logical train of thought or the self-conscious paralysis of all thought. That many approved replies are non-sequitur reveals one aspect of the enlightened mind, that its thoughts are free from reasoning and any methodology.

    Even more important, this also explains how meditation functions, since the "letting-go" of thoughts breaks up the otherwise habitual linking together in a series. Huang Po: "... Why do they [Ch'an students] not copy me by letting each thought go as though it were nothing, or as though it were a piece of rotten wood, a stone, or the cold ashes of a dead fire"? [29]


III.    Conclusion

We are now in a position to answer the problem posed at the beginning of this paper: How to characterize the difference between reasoning/conceptualizing/dualistic thinking and the type of thinking that occurs after realization: nondual thinking. The problem with reasoning/conceptualizing is that it involves thinking as a logical process leading to a conclusion--that is, as a series of linked thoughts. The distinct thoughts of such thinking never stand "unsupported" by themselves but depend upon and refer back to the  previous thoughts, because apparently "caused" by them. The experience of prajña seems to be that, instead of my laboriously extracting the logical implications of one thought for another (for which process a self is assumed to be necessary), thoughts spring up full-grown, like Minerva from the forehead of Zeus.

    There are two objections which spontaneously arises in reaction to this conception of nondual thinking: "Without the direction of a thinker



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to organize one's thoughts and relate them in a series, thoughts would arise randomly and chaotically, and we could not function in any meaningful way". This objection gains its force from our experience of the free-association that occurs during daydreaming, when the conscious controls which normally direct (or seem to direct) our thinking are relaxed. However, we should not equate concentration-of-mind with a thinker; the former-"one-pointed mind"-is much recommended in Ch'an for example, even as the self is denied (Wu-hsin) [a]. Prajña is an instance of the first because there is not the self-conscious "reviewing" of the second. A manifestation of this occurs in the dharma-combat which advanced Ch'an monks were expected to engage in with masters and other monks as a way of testing and "polishing" their own realization. When a monk was challenged with a "Ch'an question", his answer needed to be both immediate and appropriate to situation. The point here is that, contrary to our usual understanding, the mediation of reasoning is not necessary to choose the most appropriate response from among various alternatives, but what arises spontaneously in "prajña-intuition" will be appropriate if self-hesitation does not interfere This is no special process of "intuiting", but the natural function of mind for someone without the delusion of duality. There is certainly pattern in "my" mental life, but it is not something that "I" have imposed upon it, there has never been a thinker creating and linking thoughts.

    But (this is a second objection) "how then do you explain away the sense of effort that we experience when we 'try to think'? You have denied not just the thinker, but the very act of thinking, which leaves only thoughts, whose nondual nature is, it has been claimed, to spring up spontaneously. If that is true, why is thinking ever effortful"?

    To answer this, we must distinguish between types of "effort" in thinking. One type is that involved in rigorous logical thinking, but I suggest that much of the effort involved here is due to selecting and organizing into a rational pattern thoughts which naturally arise, which in themselves have no such pattern. The function of the "self' here is not creating thoughts but linking them into an acceptable logical sequence. As Nietzsche claimed in a passage quoted earlier, thinking as epistemologists conceive it is an arbitrary fiction, an artificial arrangement for the purpose of intelligibility in which certain thoughts are selected out and others ignored.

    But I think that this does not explain all the effort which is indubitably



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connected with thinking. The example of Zen dharma-combat, used in answering the previous objection, is also helpful here. Even for one who sometimes experiences nondual prajña-intuition, effort is necessary, but this effort is to keep a one-pointed mind by avoiding and cutting through the various interferences that still arise and tend to distract. Again, this effort is not to produce thoughts but to eliminate or bypass the other mental processes (emotions, desires, memory-traces, etc.) which otherwise transform the creativity of prajña into discrimination of vijñana by filtering prajña through various organizing mechanisms. Perhaps the "sense of self" is this habitual process of organizing thoughts and linking them in series; if so, the sense of self constitutes a barrier which can be overcome only with effort.

    This interpretation invites comparison with some philosophical views on telepathy. From his own researches, H.H. Price concluded:

It looks as if telepathically received impressions have some difficulty in crossing the threshold and manifesting themselves in consciousness. There seems to be some barrier or repressive mechanism which tends to shut them out from consciousness, a barrier which is rather difficult to pass, and they make use of all sorts of devices for overcoming it. .... It is a plausible guess that many of our everyday thoughts and emotions are telepathic or partly telepathic in origin, but are not recognized to be so because they ,are so much distorted and mixed with other mental contents in crossing the threshold of consciousness. [30]

This could serve as a description of how prajña is filtered and distorted into vijñana. It also raises the question whether psi phenomena such as telepathy and precognition are natural aspects of prajña-intuition (about whose function there is always something essentially mysterious) which has been freed from such distortions. Claims to psychic powers are traditional to all the nondual Asian traditions. For example, according to the Pali sutras the Buddha had such faculties as "heavenly ear", the ability to hear sounds very far away. Are mental powers such as telepathy perhaps the natural function of the mind when "interferences" are eliminated?

    But prajna-intuition, as described in this paper, may seem too mys-



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terious to be believable. Do we ever experience such nondual thinking? Of course: this is what is normally expressed by the term "creativity", which too is usually acknowledged to be essentially mysterious.

Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a clear idea of what poets of strong ages have called inspiration? . . . If one had the slightest residue of superstition left in one's system, one could hardly reject altogether the idea that one is merely incarnation, merely mouthpiece, merely a medium of overpowering forces.. .. One hears, one does not seek; one accepts, one does not ask who gives;like lightning, a thought flashes up, with necessity, without hesitating regarding its form-I never had any choice...

    Everything happens involuntarily in the highest degree but as in a gale of a feeling of freedom, of absoluteness, of power, of divinity.
(Nietzsche [31])

The concept of nondual thinking as developed in this paper also seems a fruitful approach to Heidegger's later work (after the Kehre), which distinguishes between vorstellendes and ursprungliches Denken and insists that thinking must be "claimed by Being" so that it is not just about Being but is itself "an event of Being". "We never come to thoughts. They come to us". [32] But to expand on these issues would go beyond the bounds of this paper. [33]




a 無心



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1. Quoted in Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation, London: Hutchinson, 1963, p. 150.

2. Philip Kapleau, ed., The Three Pillars of Zen, Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1956, p. 306.

3. D.T. Suzuki, "Reason and Intuition in Buddhist Philosophy", in Charles A. Moore, ed., Essays in East-West Philosophy, University of Hawaii, 1951, p. 17.

4. Ibid., p. 35.

5. Oxford English Dictionary.

6. Suzuki, op. cit.; p. 34.

7. Ibid., p. 17.

8. See Monier-Williams' A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976.

9. Śiksasamuccya 233-4, in Edward Conze, ed., Buddhist Texts Through the Ages Oxford: Cassirer, 1954, p. 163.

10. Quoted in Koestler, op. cit.

11. Rene Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy", in The Philosophical Works of Descartes, trans. Haldane and Ross, Cambridge University Press, 1931, p. 152.

12. Ibid., p. 154.

13. David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature Book I, Part IV, Section VI, "Of personal Identity".

14. John Levy, The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956, pp. 66-7.

15. Ibid., p. 69.

16. From the preamble to Śankara's Brahma-Sutra-Bhasya.

17. Quoted in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, London: Chatto and Windus, 1974, p. 216.

18. F. Nietzsche, The Will to Power, No. 477, trans. Kaufmann and Hollingdale, New York: Vintage, 1968, p. 264.

19. Ibid., No. 478, pp. 264-5.

20. Sutra Spoken by the Sixth Patriarch on the High Seat of "The Treasure of the Law", trans. Wong Mou-lam, Hong Kong Buddhist Book Distributor, no date, p. 35.

21. Ibid., p. 49.

22. My translation of this line; see ibid., p. 19.

23. Edward Conze, ed., Selected Sayings from The Perfection of Wisdom, Boulder, Colorado: Prajna Press, 1978, p. 90.

24. Ku-tsun-hsu Yu-lu 1:4 (Kosonshuku Goroku) Recorded Sayings of Ancient Worthies, Sung Dynasty, Fu-hsueh Shu-chu, Shanghai, no date; quoted in Alan Watts, The Way of Zen, Penguin edition, p. 102 fn. Compare: "The True is thus the Bacchanalian revel in which no member,i.e., no thought, is not drunk; yet because each member collapses as soon as he drops out, the revel is just as much



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transparent and simple repose". (From the Preface to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, No. 37, trans. A.V. Miller.)

25. Chang Chung-yuan, Original Teachings of Ch'an Buddhism, New York: Vintage, 1971, p. 203. For more on wei-wu-wei, see "wei-wu-wei: nondual action", Philosophy East and West, Vol. 35, No. 1, January 1985.

26. Ramana Maharshi, Erase the Ego, Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1978, p.18.

27. Surendranath Dasgupta, History of Indian Philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975, Vol. I, p. 493.

28. Suzuki, op. cit.; p. 18.

29. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, trans. John Blofeld, London: The Buddhist Society, 1958, p. 54. Why do we link thoughts together, always needing to add one more? The answer, I think, is in the fact that the sense-of-self is not a thing but a process. In itself, the self is a nothing, and this is usually experienced as a lack; so the sense-of-self always tries to get ahead of itself by projecting the next thought, and the next... This constant thrust into the future is: the "self".

30. Quoted `in Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing Up, New York: Random House, 1978, p. 271.

31. F. Nietzsche, Ecce Home, trans. Walter Kaufmann, New York: Vintage, 1966, pp. 300-1.

32. See "Letter on Humanism", in David Farrell Krell, ed., Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 341.

33. That prajña-thoughts do not link-up-in-a-series does not deny that, from another perspective, previous thoughts "condition" later ones. But when one "forgets oneself" and becomes a nondual thought, then there is no longer any awareness that the thought is caused. This paradox--that the thought is both caused and unconditioned (see last Nietzsche quote)-is discussed in two other papers: "The Paradox of Causality in Madhyamika", International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No.1, March 1985, and "The Mahayana Deconstruction of Time", Philosophy East and West, Vol. 36, No. 1, January 1986.