2008.10.04-serial.00198

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Good morning. This morning I'd like to start the second paragraph of page 37. Let me read this paragraph. We are always living out the reality of our own lives. Although we very often lose sight of this reality, getting caught up in fantasies of the past or in our relationships with others. We end up being dragged around by those fantasies and by our comparisons of ourselves with others.

[01:04]

Living like that, how can we not become filled with feelings of utter isolation and loneliness? overwhelmed by our jealousy and envy of those around us, or by some other great suffering. This paragraph is the conclusion of the dialogue, Uchiyama's conversation with this woman painter who asked Uchiyama a question about her situation. When she was young, her paintings were very well appreciated.

[02:08]

and he won many prizes but because her parents lost their property they couldn't support her to become a successful painter so he went back home to take care of his parents and stopped working as a painter in Tokyo. well-known, established painter. So, and yet, after he became 40, he wanted to become a painter again and went back to Tokyo, but he couldn't, she couldn't receive any appreciation at that time, so she was very unhappy. And what Uchamaru said was, her memory about in her twenties is just a fantasy.

[03:19]

The reality of her life at that moment was just as it is. So, instead of being drugged, around with her fantasy, but she needs to start at this current, present situation as a reality of life. That was what Uchiyama said to her. And finally, he said, as a painter, painting is the most important thing. whether the painting is appreciated by other people or not is a second importance. So even if no one appreciates her paintings and she couldn't sell the paintings, but if she can enjoy the painting, she should be happy about that. This doesn't, only for the sake of practice, not to be respected by other people as a Zen master.

[04:32]

So just doing it, for the sake of doing it, is samadhi. That was Uchiyama Roshi's advice to this woman. And in this paragraph he says, we are always living out the reality of our own lives. So even though we lose sight of the reality of life and we are dragged around by the memory or a fantasy about her past, when she was in her twenties, Still, the person was living out the reality. So, we can never get out the reality of life. But, although we very often lose sight of this reality, we are living out that reality, but we often lose sight of that reality.

[05:36]

and getting caught up in fantasies of the past, or in our relationship with others. I think this is kind of a Uchamaru applies Dogen's teaching in Genjo Koan, in this person's situation. That means, in the section 8 of Genjoku 1, he discusses about time, life and death, using the analogy of firewood and ash. And he said that this present moment, firewood is a firewood, And as a firewood, this has a past and this has a future. And the past might be a lively living tree.

[06:41]

And when the tree is cut off and dried, it becomes firewood. And when firewood is burned, it becomes ash. And Dogen said there is before and after. And yet the boundary is cut off. Or before and after is cut off. That means true reality is only this moment. The past as a living tree is already gone. And the future has not yet come. So, this is the only moment we can live as a reality of life. Of course, to be a firewood, there is a history as a living tree, uncut off and dried. But that history is included within this

[07:45]

moment as a history or as a memory. But the actual living tree is already gone. It's not there. But we, you know, for example, if this living tree was cut off by another person, and it could be used as a material to make a Buddha statue. Then, you know, this piece of wood can be a Buddha statue and it can be worshipped by people. So, it might be possible, you know, fire would envy another piece of wood to be Buddha statue. But, you know, that is not reality. The reality is just being firewood.

[08:46]

It's not a matter of firewood is, you know, is less important than the Buddha statue. In our kind of human evaluation, Maybe to be a Buddha statue and put on the altar and worshipped by people might be better than being fired and being burned and become ash. But at this present moment, if it is fired, You know, to think another way, and this might be better, is just a fantasy. So at the moment of fire, just be fired. And this is a starting point, you know, we can work with our own life. If we think, you know, this is best, and second best might be this one,

[09:52]

But we usually think this is the worst. But, you know, of course there are other worse scenarios. But we often don't think about worse scenarios as it is. So we always think this is the worst. You know, often. For example, this woman painter could you know, be killed by a car accident, even before he became 40, she became 40, or became sick and couldn't, you know, continue to painting. So there are worse scenarios, but usually we think this is the worst. And we, you know, for example, if she had a friend, in her twenties and that friend could continue to work as a painter and now that friend can be a very successful painter.

[10:59]

Then for this person, for this woman painter to be jealous and envy that friend is a very natural thing. or a younger painter for her. The painter's painting is not so good from her point of view. And yet people much appreciate the younger painter's paintings. So those kind of things are happening always within our life. But if we miss this reality of life of this person at this moment, you know, we are overwhelmed by those fantasies and comparison with others. Then we lose the sight of the reality of ourselves and we cannot really appreciate

[12:04]

to be grateful to the gift we are given. We think there must be better things and I'm deserved to that thing, but no one gives that thing to me, so I'm not happy. That kind of negative thinking is often coming to us. So what Fatou-chan Roshi is saying is, those are all fantasies. So we should cut off or let go of those fantasies and just focus on right now, right here. Then we find, you know, so many things are already given to us. You know, she had a chance to receive the education as a painter when she was young. So that's why even when she has 40, she can paint.

[13:16]

That was a gift. And she is healthy, so she can work in the daytime and paint in the night. That was also a gift. But it's very kind of difficult to appreciate that we already have. And we are sad about something better is not given. and our life becomes samsara. I think that is what Ucham Roshi is saying in this paragraph. We are always living out the reality of our own lives. We are always living moment by moment in the reality. we very often lose sight of that reality and getting caught up in fantasies of the past or in our relationships with others. We end up being dragged around by those fantasies and by our comparison of ourselves with others.

[14:30]

And living like that, how can we not become filled with feelings of utter isolation? So we feel we are isolated from all other rest of the society. No one appreciates what I'm doing. No one respects me. No one, you know, becomes a friend of mine. If all others are competitors, It's kind of natural that we are feeling we are isolated and all other people are competitors. So we feel loneliness. Overwhelmed by our jealousy and envy of those around us or by some other great suffering. So what we can do As a Zazen practitioner is let go of those fantasies and in our Zazen just sit on this ground of interconnectedness.

[15:42]

Then we can find, you know, connection. Even not many people appreciate her paintings, but still she has a connection with her parents and friends, and there must be some people who really like her paintings. Even that number of those people can be small, but she can enjoy within that small, you know, community. even if she cannot become a nationwide well-known painter. I think that is what Uchamaro is saying. And until this paragraph, he's talking about being free from our stories made in our mind as an individual. But the rest of this section he talks about, not individual, but as a group, or organization, or society, we also lose sight of the reality of life.

[16:56]

So I start to talk on the rest of this section. And as an introduction to discuss about that group fantasies, he introduced one of his experiences. Next section. Excuse me. One time, when I went to a place in the country, I could see from a distance a thick forest on the side of the mountain, and I was able to make out the roof of a large temple hidden among the trees.

[18:02]

It's not an unusual scenery in Japan. You know, big temples are often built in the foot of the mountain, or top of the mountain, or middle of the mountains, and surrounded by the forest. I asked a local preacher about it, and he told me that this temple used to be much larger But it burned down, and the present building was put up on a much smaller scale. Guided by the villager, I climbed up a long stone stairway. When I finally reached the top and had a look around, the temple, far from being small, was a magnificent structure that didn't seem to have been built at all recently, because the villager said to him that the temple was burned, and after that, the newly built temple building was much smaller scale than the old one.

[19:30]

So Uchiyama Roshi thought, you know, that happened maybe several years ago. But when he arrived at the temple, the temple was really huge. You know, probably in comparison with Antaishi. Antaishi was a tiny temple. And it was relatively new. So he was puzzled. So he asked, I began to wonder about what my guide had said, and I asked him just when the temple had burned down. He told me it had happened during the Kamakura period, in the 13th century. That was the time Dogen lived, so 800 years ago. I burst out laughing because his aggrieved tone of voice had implied that the temple had burned down recently, certainly during his lifetime.

[20:53]

These villagers handed down to each successful generation a sense of personal loss about something that had happened hundreds of years ago. So even though all the buildings were burned in the 13th century, the people in the village transmitted this story that this temple used to be much larger. So they are kind of sad, feeling that the temple became small. Living near this handsome, imposing temple, they didn't really enjoy it. because they were busy lamenting that it wasn't some other way.

[21:56]

That means those village people had been sad for 700, 700 or 800 years because it became small. Even though if they compare the temple to other temples, the temple must be much larger. So, within their memories, and stories, they couldn't really be happy to have such a beautiful, large temple, because of that memory input, you know, since their ancestors. That is another, according to Uchiyama, another kind of example of being dragged around by fantasies. or stories. In the case of this temple in the countryside, it's not so serious, but what he wants to say is much serious things are happening in the history of human beings because of the same kind of memories.

[23:14]

Next paragraph. On second thought, a thing that happened 700 years ago is undoubtedly a recent event for many people. Most religions encourage believers to remember. events written in their holy books, events that may have happened thousands of years ago, and to act as if these things had happened to them personally. On the basis of these memories, they wage wars and kill each other a mess. This is not limited to mythological and sectarian religions, either. It is exactly the same among all the many doctrines and ways of thought.

[24:24]

Instead of looking at the fresh and vivid reality of life with their own eyes, people end up stifling that reality in the name of justice or peace or some fixed dogma. This paragraph is kind of changed from the last version. This is done by Jisho Uwana. I mean, When this new latest version is made, that was I think from 2002 and 2003, maybe 2003, that time I was in the process of moving from California to Minneapolis and Minneapolis to Bloomington.

[25:37]

So, Jisho-wan asked me to write an introduction or a preface about my relation with Uchiyama Roshi. And I wrote about 20 pages and gave it to her and left San Francisco. And after that, until this version was published, I didn't have a chance to see the edited new version. So some part is kind of surprising to me. And I think there are some examples that are not so good. But I think in this part, it's OK. The heart changes, I think it's OK.

[26:39]

I mean, in the original, he discussed about one example of this kind of things, you know, kind of religious memory. And I don't think that is a good example. So let me read. I don't think it's a secret, so I can read it. And that is, if you have this older version, page 53, the second paragraph, Let me read the entire paragraph to make comparison. On second thought, a thing that happened 700 years ago is undoubtedly a recent event. Many Jewish people vividly remember the Temple Solomon, built several thousand years ago, as if

[27:51]

It was only yesterday. Actually, when we use the word remember, we should be talking about things we ourselves have experienced, or at least events that occurred in our own lifetime. However, here they are remembering what is written in books. or remembering what they heard their ancestors tell about. It would be one thing if these were simply memories, but the Jewish people are grumbling the fate of their entire people for the sake of these memories. and along with the Muslims and Christians, they are killing and being killed. This isn't at all a one-sided affair.

[28:56]

It's also combined with the memories of the Muslims and Christians. Why do such things happen?" This is actually Uchiyama-shi wrote in Japanese. Uchiyama Roshi wrote about this Jewish people establishing Israel after World War II. Because around the time he wrote this book, a few years before he wrote this book, he had two visitors. at least two Jewish visitors. One is from Switzerland. And the person's family, the person himself, had experience of, you know, concentrated camp.

[30:02]

And he stayed there for three years. And during that time, after the war, he found all of his family were killed. And after the war he married and he had a wife and children but he suffered with a trauma from that experience. And he came to Antaiji and practiced with the monks He shaved his head and practiced Zen and even did takuhatsu with the monks. And he wanted to really study Zen, but actually he was one of the people who really wanted to study Zen seriously as his own spirituality.

[31:08]

But Uchiyama, because he couldn't speak English or other Western language, he had to communicate with that person through a translator. So he found their communication isn't so well. That was one of the reasons he thought he had to write this kind of book as a guideline. of Zazen practice. So he wanted to describe the meaning of Zazen practice for people in these modern times. You know, about the letting go of thoughts about personal, individual fantasy is kind of traditional in Buddhism and Zen. But, you know, this kind of, you know, not individual, but group, or institutional, or social, or political things.

[32:20]

At least, as far as I know, it's not so often discussed in the tradition of Buddhism. So, this kind of discussion, and to think the meaning of certain practice in terms of or in the context of social situation, is something very new. And I think it's really important. And Uche Morishi tried to understand by himself, for himself, and also share his understanding with people who want to practice with him. And that is why he wrote this section, I think, this section of opening the hand of thought. But his discussion is not so, I think, so deep and so clear. So, I think we need to continue his effort and to find out what is the meaning of Zazen practice in terms of our social life in this modern world.

[33:35]

Anyway, that is one of the Jewish person Uchamuroshi met. And around the same time he met another Jewish person. The person was much younger and he was from Kibbutz in Israel. And he was very nice person, nice young person. and very likeable person. And he also, this person also stayed at Antaichi for, he said, about three weeks. And he practiced with monks. But Uchamaru found this person was very kind of a stubborn. He didn't, he think, to think is important. to think is an ability given by God.

[34:41]

So, that God thought is not a good thing. So, he, you know, declared that, I'll think daringly. I met that kind of, you know, Jewish person by myself. The person didn't want to, you know, worship anything. So, he rejected to bow to the cushion and the room before and after the Zen. And I said, that's OK. But after maybe half a day, he left. And he said, I will try this again after I find what I could get from this. Anyway. That is a person who had a conversation about the situation of Israel that is in the 60s.

[35:47]

So Israel was still new. I think they had a 60th anniversary of establishing the country of Israel. So it was still about 20 years. So they are still, you know, struggling and had wars, regularly had wars with Arab countries. And probably Uchiyama-roshi's question was not a right question to that person, to the, you know, Jewish person from Israel. He said, you know, why do Jewish people want to have their own country in such a place? They have to fight to build a country. You know, they can buy a new land, in some way a much bigger land. They can, you know, create their own country without fighting with others.

[36:51]

And the person's answer is, that land is given by God, that it belongs to us, so we cannot, you know, find another place. And no matter how hard it is, and no matter how many people might be killed, we will establish our country there. Even though that person was a very nice person, but around that point, he had no doubt and he never, you know, think about that thing. And that is why, you know, Uchamaru-shi discussed about, you know, Jewish people are fighting because of the memory written in the, you know, Bible or the history. But I don't think that comment by Uchiyama is not also so fair. Anyway, but this kind of discussion

[38:08]

our discussion about the meaning of Zazen practice in this modern world, I think is really important. Our practice is not only for letting go of thoughts in our individual lives, like the example of this woman painter. And so I think we need to kind of a continued Uchamaroshi's effort. And we need to think and understand what is the meaning of Zazen practice in this world, in this, you know, stage of the history of human beings. This kind of concern of Uchamaroshi came from Sawakiroshi's teaching. Uchiyama-roshi picked up kind of Saki-roshi's teachings about this kind of matter.

[39:22]

This is Uchiyama Roshi's writings about Saki Roshi's sayings. And Saki Roshi made a very kind of a unique expression. That is, in Japanese, group bouquet. Bouquet. Group is an English word. G-R-O-U-P. So Sawakiroshi used English. And bouquet is kind of difficult. Japanese word to translate. And in this book, we translate this Saokiroshi's expression, group bouquet, as group paralysis.

[40:46]

I don't like this word, paralysis, for this word, bokeru, to boke. Anyway, I'd like to read this section of Uchiyama Roshi's, I mean Sawaki Roshi's saying and Uchiyama Roshi's comment on Sawaki Roshi's saying about this group boke or group paralysis. And that is The same thing which Amarose is talking in here, in this section of opening the hand of thought. That is, Sakyamuni Buddha's saying is as follows. When a person is alone, he is not so bad. When a group is formed, paralysis occurs. And people become so confused that they cannot judge what is right or wrong.

[41:51]

Some people go into a group situation on purpose just to experience group paralysis, even pay a fee. Often people advertise in order to bring people together for some political or spiritual purpose, and only create group paralysis. Buddhist practitioners keep some distance from society, not to escape from it, but to avoid this paralysis. This is Sakyōshī's saying. And Uchiyamuro-shi's comment on this saying, please. In Buddhism, The problem of delusion is often mentioned. I don't like this translation, delusion. This is a translation of Japanese Buddhist term, bonno, often translated as delusion.

[42:58]

But this is not delusion itself, but this is more like an obstacle caused by delusion. so not delusion itself or the condition of our mind or our life based on delusion. Anyway, the importance of the various forms of delusion has differed from one period to another. In ancient India, the biggest delusion or hindrance or obstacle was thought to be sex, so Buddhist practitioners tried hard to replace their sexual desires. Dogen Zenji said, this is Uchiyama Roshi's comment, Dogen Zenji said, attachment to fame is worse than violating the precept.

[44:04]

This is what Dogen Zenji said in Zuimonki. and he regarded chasing after fame and wealth as the worst form of delusion, because in his day many Buddhist priests in Nara and on Mount Koya and Hiei competed with each other for fame and wealth. So that was Dogen Zenji's criticism against the so-called Buddhist establishment at his time. So Dogen Zenji said, you know, our desire for fame and profit is worse than breaking the precept. Then Uchamoroshi continues, Practitioners must be aware of the delusions of sexual desire and of chasing after fame and wealth.

[45:08]

This is a matter of course as a Buddhist. But, he said, but. But, by coining the term group paralysis or group boke, Sawaki Roshi has pointed out a major delusion of modern times. Major delusion of modern times. Today, men and women live their lives relying on groups and organizations and simply drift along in them without ever forming any real roots. Buddhism is the practice of waking up from all forms of delusion, of opening the clear eyes of the self. So, this is Uchiyama Roshi's comment on Saki Roshi's saying or expression about this group boke.

[46:18]

This is very kind of a unique expression. Before Sawakiroshi, they never used such an expression. But there must be some English expression like this. So if you have some, you know some expression, please let me know. This means when certain group or institution is formed, they have certain, how can I say, doctrine, or idea, or ideology that the members of that community cannot discuss anymore. And they follow that idea, or teaching, or doctrine, or ideology, and cannot become free from that.

[47:21]

That happened especially, not especially, but one of the good examples of this kind of thing is Japan before World War II. The Japanese government even created a new religion. called Shintoism. Of course, Shintoism was much older. It's there even from the beginningless beginning of Japanese nation. But in the Meiji, after 1968, the time of Meiji Restoration, The government created new religion based from using the Shintoism and they made emperor a god. I'm sorry, 1868. And it continued until 1945. you know, emperor became god.

[48:37]

And all Japanese people there are born in order to serve that god called emperor. And yet Emperor himself didn't have really real power, real authority. But the government, underneath Emperor's authority, had actual power. And especially after the, not Shino Japanese, but The war between Japan and Russia, after Japan won that war, you know, militarily. became, had real power within the government, not civilians. And the military people actually had the power in the government.

[49:41]

That means they had the power, authority, they could use the authority of the emperor. So they could do everything they wanted. And they, so they, you know, control the education. And all Japanese people were educated in that way. So entire Japanese nation was like a religious group. And they couldn't doubt, question about the teachings of that kind of religion made by government. Of course, there are some people who doubt it, who have questions. Of course, there are some people who are communists, socialists, and who are against the military government. But in order to do so, they need to be ready to go to jail, or even killed.

[50:46]

I thought the word that came up is that there's a phenomenon called groupthink. Groupthink. Groupthink is kind of like one word. But it's a phenomenon. I don't know if it's the same as what groupthink is. OK. Which sounds a little different. Yeah. It's not simply a thinking. Yeah. But this is something, lack of thinking. Yeah. Well, groupthink is an expression for a phenomenon that happens. Within a group, people stop thinking. Yeah, it's kind of paradox. Yeah. Yeah. Carl Edelman talks about groups where the collective unconscious manifests itself through powerful individuals and the society as a whole gathered around it.

[52:06]

Right. And, you know, because it's unconscious, they're not aware of it. They believe it is real and act it out. Yeah, that kind of thing. Please. I was reminded of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism. Yes. However, your example sounds like something that was imposed. And so people might have become fundamentalists, but this, like having something imposed by the government, is a little different from... Not necessarily government. By some authority, like religious leaders. And not only that, he... I mean, Sawaki Yoshida and Uchiyama discussed about this group Boke that is happening in the entire world even today. And one of them, they pointed out, is our belief in science and technology. That is also a part of... one of the symptoms of this group Boke.

[53:12]

People don't doubt it. So, that kind of things, you know, situation in Japan before World War II is a kind of extreme situation. And that same kind of things happened in some religious, you know, community. You know, about ten years ago, one new Japanese religious group killed many people. by, you know, with poison gas on the subway in Tokyo. That kind of things. Somehow the member of that cult couldn't doubt what was taught by the leader of that cult. That kind of things are really sick. Real sickness or craziness. And very extreme.

[54:12]

example of this kind of problems. But, please. Well, it seems like that's an extreme example, but even in a group like this, or in Buddhism, I don't see a reason why it doesn't happen there, too. Sure, it happens. We can't say that Buddhism is somehow different than Sufism. Yeah, that is a point. So, even according to Sakya Hiroshi or Auchiya Moroshi, even, you know, Buddhism as a religious organization, or even this kind of small group, can, same thing can be happened. You know, if we, how can I say, grasp or cling to, for example, this Southern practice, and it makes it a kind of a concept, and cling it. And if, for example, if we say, you know, people who practice Southern is only good people, other than that they are all bad. If we cling to such an idea, we are really in this symptom or sickness.

[55:23]

Ok, now I talk about this word. Vokeru, according to English, I mean, Japanese English dictionary, vokeru is an equivalent of English word, dot, D-O-T, or senile. So, our problem. Vokeru is, become senile. Be in one's dotage. become mentally ill. But this is not the right meaning, I don't think. I think. And another meaning of this vocabulary is absorb, absorb, or be engrossed, be engrossed in, decay or decline.

[56:38]

And this is not the meaning here. Another usage of this vokeru is, in Japanese we say, you know, jet lag. Jet lag is jissa boke. This literally means time difference. Because of time difference, when we, for example, when I go to Japan, you know, my mind doesn't function for a while. That kind of a condition. So I cannot really clearly see things and think things. Please. Brain dead. Brain? Brain dead. Dead. Yes. It means the brain isn't working. But still alive. But do you call it a brain dead?

[57:41]

I don't know. I use this expression. I don't know how many people use it, though. It's totally, utterly stupid. This is one example of this Bokeru. Another one is in, kind of, this is a dialect in Osaka, where I was born, is Yoku Boke. Yok is desire. So, we are being pulled by our desire to one direction. So, we cannot see things clearly. We lose the ability to make clear evaluation of things, clear understanding of things, because of this pulling by certain desire. For example, if we are pulled by a desire for making money, we don't make a clear judgment whether this is right or wrong.

[58:50]

If we can make money, that's fine. That way of thinking, or thinking pulled by one side. Another example of this word, bokeru, is pinboke. Pinboke is a kind of colloquial Japanese expression. Pin is an abbreviation of pinto. I don't think pinto is English, but pinto came from Dutch or something. But the English word for pinto is focus. So when focus is not right, then we take a picture. using camera, you know, the picture, the photo become blur. That is called pinboke, bokeru, so that our perception is distorted.

[59:58]

Yeah, not focused, not clear. Yeah, so focus is Lost. Unfocused. That is another thing. So this group bouquet is a condition that within a certain group, like more of a psychology, when we are in a big group of people, somehow we are being pulled by the movement of that entire group and lose the ability to think with our own view and way of thinking and make a clear judgment. Anyway, that is what group Boke means. So, not only that kind of extreme examples like military government in Japan, or the religious cult, but in Japanese,

[61:11]

original book of this Sawaki Oshi's sayings. If you read this English translation, it starts page 13, the section I read, Group Paralysis, until page 22. There are seven sections. that in Japanese originally entitled group bokeh, and there are subtitles. But in this translation, we didn't translate, put this group bokeh, but only put the subtitles. So next one is MOVE psychology. MOVE psychology is one of the symptoms of this group bokeh. And third in this translation is the Vogue, Vogue, V-O-G-U-E, or fashion.

[62:17]

It's not so harmful, but many people in modern society, in mass society, being influenced by mass media, like TV, or magazines, people somehow influenced by those informations and think something is really good. Even though after for a while people just, you know, become tired and forget about it. But somehow that kind of things happens, always happens. That is another kind of group boken according to Sawakiroshi and Uchiyama Roshi. And the third one is, the title is, The Hallucination Caused by Quantity. This is, you know, after World War II, in Japan, there are many so-called new religions.

[63:22]

And one of the examples the American people know is the Soka Gakkai. you know, they collect so many people and become, their institution becomes so big. Then, you know, Soka Gakkai in Japan even have a political party, political party, and that political party was part of the government now. Anyway, then, you know, the group become big. Because of that, you know, big quantity, you know, people start to think that might be something important or worthy. But, Saki Roshi said that is not true. And another, next thing Saki Roshi talks about, loyalty.

[64:31]

Loyalty. Loyalty. L-O-Y-A-L-T-Y. Loyalty. And this might be kind of interesting and important to understand Sawagyoshi himself. Uchiyama Roshi collected several sayings of Sawaki Roshi. He said, when Hojo's troops, this is about the history in Japan, attacked Masashige Kusunoki's Chihaya Castle, it was said that the fallen Warriors of the Hojo clan were praised by their friends as they met glorious death on the battlefield. A man lays down his life in vain for the sake of fame.

[65:35]

Why doesn't he give up clinging to life for the sake of the Dharma? Anyway, this is about the war, we should say civil war, that happened in the 14th and 15th century, 15th I think, Japan. This Hojo was a family which had power in Kamakura government. And other part, other side, was side of the emperor. So emperor and warrior government fought. And of course this is after mage, of course, that anyone who fought against or rebelled against emperor was bad. So this Hojo was so-called, what do you call, rebellious, or against, or not good.

[66:44]

But some people at least belongs to this Hojo, thought this person who was killed or who died for Hojo's family was a lawyer. So, it means it's kind of a relative. So, that is Sawakiroshi's first thing. And second is With the Sino-Japanese War that happened 1894-5 and the Russo-Japanese War 1904-5, we enlarged Japanese territory and annexed Korea. We believed that it really happened. But when we lost World War II, we lost everything and truly understood that we had only incurred the enmity of other countries.

[68:00]

You know, Sawakiroshi was sometimes criticized as he supported the war done by the military government. And he himself, when he was 20, he was drafted, and as I said yesterday, or the day before yesterday, he was a soldier for seven years, and he went to this Russo-Japanese War, and he was a kind of a hero during this war. And he supported the war. And after the war, this is kind of a Sawaki Roshi's reflection of what Japanese government and people did against the other Asian countries. But during the war, I think Sawakiroshi never doubted that the war was for protecting Japanese country and nation from European powers.

[69:18]

I mean, in the beginning of Meiji, Japanese people saw the condition or situation of other Asian countries, including China, India, and other South Asian countries, all of them, most of them, except Thailand. was the colony of, you know, European countries. And Japanese people thought unless we become strong military power and economic power, we will lose the country and become the same with other Asian countries. That's why they focused, the Japanese people were kind of obsessed with that idea. So, I have to say, we focused on making Japan a strong and prosperous country.

[70:25]

That was only the goal for all Japanese people until 1945. And Japanese Buddhists were not exceptions. And, especially in the case of Japanese Buddhists, because of the, you know, Meiji government made Shintoism as a national religion, Buddhism was, in the beginning, Buddhism was kind of repressed. So, Buddhists, Japanese Buddhists had to make effort to survive in that situation. And to do so, they had to kind of, how can I say, support the government. That was a problem Japanese Buddhism, or Buddhists, had before World War II. So, I think Sawakiroshi, and not only Sawakiroshi, but almost all Japanese Buddhists, of course there are some exceptions, supported war.

[71:36]

And this is a kind of a reflection by Sawakiroshi, what he did during the war. And that means, what he did, what he said during the war was a kind of, you know, group boke. And next thing of Sawakiroshi, People often talk about loyalty, but I wonder if they know the direction of their loyalty and their actions. I myself was a soldier during the Russo-Japanese War and fought hard on the battlefield. But since we lost what we had gained, after World War II, I can see that what we did was useless.

[72:41]

There is absolutely no need to wage war. And Uchiyama Roshi's comment on these things by Sawaki Roshi. Because Sawaki Roshi fought in the Russo-Japanese War, His words are not only for others, but also for himself, as self-reflection. We who were educated before World War II were taught, so including Yamaroshi himself, were taught in school that Japan was the greatest country in the world. and absolutely righteous in all its actions, and that we would obtain personal immortality if we were faithful to it.

[73:46]

So, die for the country, or die for the emperor, is to live eternally. That kind of, you know, idea. That kind of idea, I think, is still alive. We really believed it. After the war, most Japanese could see that it was not true. And some of them reacted against nationalism. And he continued, when we reflect upon our past and think about our future, we should question not only loyalty to Japan, but loyalty to any nation. Whichever country you are devoted to, eventually it will only be a page in the book of history.

[74:51]

If the troops win, their side is called loyal. If the troops lose, their side is called rebel. The important thing is to have a clear-eyed view of the self and to behave sanely. So this sanely... To be sane is the opposition of bogeru. To be sober or sane is oppositional to be intoxicated. That might be a good word. So, group intoxication might work. Trans. Memorized. Or hypnotized. Yeah, something like that. And finally, Uchiyama Roshi quotes another Sākirō Roshi's saying.

[76:05]

Fat is the true self. That means fat is a sane, not insane, but sane condition of the self. Fat is the true self. It is brilliantly transparent, like a deep blue sky. And there is no gap between the true self and all sentient beings. So, if we put some kind of a boundary between us and all sentient, all living beings, like Japan, or before Japan we may say, this, our group, or our company, or our religion, our nation, or our philosophy or black religion, whatever. If we put that thing, that becomes kind of a larger ego.

[77:06]

And to sacrifice small ego as an individual, for the sake of this larger ego, becomes the purpose of life. That is a is a result of this group bokeh. We lose sight of our self and connection with all beings. We make a boundary between my group and other group and they are enemy or they are strangers. and we become self-centered. And so often, or sometimes, you know, to kill them, to eliminate them is a purpose of our life, or a mission of our life. That kind of mentality, or condition of our mental condition. And in, as a Buddhist term, that kind of condition is called a realm of asura, or fighting spirit.

[78:13]

Anyway, let's see. Finally, Uchiyama Roshi quote a few more sayings of Sawakiroshi. And this is more like, more general in modern world. He says, after, Sawakiroshi said, after all their efforts, racking their brains, racking their brains as intensely as possible, People today have come to a deadlock. Deadlock? Human beings are idiots. This is Sawaki Hoshi. We set ourselves up as wise men and subsequently do foolish things. Because of this, you know, group bokeh. In spite of... Next one. In spite of scientific advancement, Human beings haven't come to greatness.

[79:22]

So, scientific development doesn't make human beings great beings, doesn't allow human beings to grow in a healthy way. Another saying by Sawaki Roshi, since the dawn of history, beginning of the history, Human beings have constantly fought with each other. No matter how big or how small a war is, the root cause is our minds, which have a tendency to make us growl at each other. Next one. you should not forget that modern scientific culture has developed on the level of our lowest consciousness." And Uchamaru discusses what this lowest consciousness is.

[80:29]

Another saying by Sawaki Roshi. Civilization is always the talk of the world. But civilization and culture are nothing but the collective elaboration of illusory desires. No matter how many wrinkles of illusory desire you have on your brain, from the point of view of Buddhism, they will never bring about meaningful advancement or development. For human beings, advancement is the talk of the world. But what direction are we going in? We think, you know, development of science and technology is, you know, positive. So we are going to a better direction.

[81:34]

But it's almost... like a belief for most of human beings, at least until 1960s. You know, these sayings by Sawaki Roshi and Uchiyama Roshi were done in the 60s and 70s. So after that, now, I think many people, you know, realize, understand, you know, their question. But around when Sawaki Roshi said this thing and Uchiyama Roshi wrote this thing, this comment, Not many of them agreed with them. They simply thought, if we continue to go on this track of improvement of science and technology, we'll create the paradise. Paradise of materialism. Their sayings is not, today their sayings is not something new, but it's almost outdated.

[82:45]

So we need to, how can I say, update what can we say about this question from Sawakiro-san and Uchiyama-roshi. In this situation we are living in the 21st century. Anyway, Uchiyama-roshi's comment on those Sākirōshi sayings is as follows. People today are dazzled by advances in science and technology and take human advancement to be identical with the advances of science. Because the advances of science are significant primarily within the context of scientific disciplines, we must clearly distinguish them from human advancement, the growth of human beings.

[83:53]

Arnold Twimby, the famous historian in the 20th century, Arnold Twimby said, our modern scientific culture has increased the speed of Adam's original sin with explosive energy. That is all. And we have never released ourselves from original sin. Real human advancement would release us from the mind of the lowest consciousness, which says, I hope to make easy gain. I want to gain everything I want without hard work. In order to do so, in order to do that, I must struggle against others. He said, Uchiyama said, this is the lowest consciousness within ourselves, our thing.

[85:05]

So, in order to make me happy, I fight against others, or I compete with others. That is the lowest, according to Uchiyama's lowest consciousness. And the entire human civilization, is built on that lowest consciousness of human beings. If we agree on this thing, then how can we make change? The direction of human civilization is really a big problem to us. Anyway, I think that is what he is saying, what Uchamara is saying in this final section of Opening the Hand of Thought. So I don't think I need to make an explanation. But I just want to simply read the rest of this section.

[86:09]

And from tomorrow I start to talk on Part 3. I think I read until the second paragraph of page 38. So, one, two, two more paragraphs. All these memories and myths are produced by human life, so we cannot say they are meaningless. However, all these ideas and beliefs have only a conceptual existence that is fixed within our thoughts. They are not raw life experience that is alive right now. It's something dried within our mind. We tend to plunge our heads too far into memories and fantasies, not as an individual, but also as human beings or humankind, into religious dogma and rigid doctrines.

[87:26]

When we admire them and believe in them blindly, becoming frenzied and fanatical, we become imprisoned by this fixed and conceptual existence. So we became a slave of that conceptual thing, or doctrine, or dogma. We would be much better off if our past existence and wisdom were made to live within the raw life experience of the self, here and now. Instead, we think That kind of conceptual existence is our real life of the present, and we end up being dragged around by our thoughts.

[88:31]

We do things that only strife raw life. stifle, I'm sorry, stifle raw life. So we kill the life. This is happening all the time. When an individual is like this, he can be admitted to a mental institution as a schizophrenic. But when huge masses of people begin to act like that, there is no hospital big enough. It's like, you know, Japan in World War II or things happened in Germany around the same time. Most fortunately, such groups of fanatics eventually shape I'm sorry, most unfortunately, such groups of fanatics eventually shape the very history of the human race.

[89:45]

If we think about it, there is no doubt that everyone is always living out the reality of life. But so often we live blindly. so caught up in our thoughts that we think that alone, ah, that is real and complete. This is a kind of insane reality. This insane reality is the same as, you know, group boke. This is what a true spiritual practice is about. Not spirit or mind separated from the body and the world, but a true way of life. This is what Zazen is, a practice of living out the fresh reality of life.

[90:47]

I think I already talked about what Uchamaru-shi meant when I talked with these teachings from Sawakiroshi's sayings and Uchamaru-shi's comment. So I don't think I need to make another explanation. But if you have questions or doubts or comments, please give me. We have about 20 more minutes. So, as Kanzo-san said, we Buddhists are not exceptions. As you know, Sawakiroshi was one of the examples when he was in wartime. Please. It's just sort of a reflection. I'm kind of puzzled. You know, sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where it seems like we're faced with sort of a

[91:57]

Yeah, you know, a situation like Japan or Germany before World War II, or at least during World War II. It's very difficult. People need to risk their lives against the entire movement of the nation. So it's really difficult. And it's really easy to go along with that movement. When we stop thinking, then we can move with other people towards the same direction. So it's a really difficult thing.

[92:59]

It's also really easy to judge the people that were in those circumstances at that time. Because we didn't want to live out the reality of that. Yeah, after the World War II it's easy to criticize people during the war. But criticism doesn't really work. It's another kind of concept. In Japan, our generation was against our parents' generation because our parents' generation supported war. So when we are in our 20s, we are against everything that happened before World War II. But that idea was also kind of a concept. You have to say something. Well, I have a couple of things.

[94:03]

One was when I said intoxication, I was thinking not so much of the individual. I was thinking of, well, I happen to be in the Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area, from But, my friends, most of them nearly ten years younger than me, so I was not really part of it. I was on the edge. In fact, one young man asked me, things that we laugh about now, they took seriously. For example, you cannot trust anybody over the age of 30. I think we were the same when we were students. So what I'm trying to say is that I was part of it, but I wasn't part of it because I was older.

[95:15]

They were free to experiment with LSD. It was cheap. I was afraid of it. I knew about alcohol. I can do alcohol. But I had lots of chances to get it and all this stuff. I was too old. Anyway, I was in that situation and one thing that I I had a strong feeling of, for the whole, everything was intoxication. It wasn't just smoking dope. There was the music, and the coffee houses, and it was just, it was just, they were always not, and nobody wanted to be clear thinking. So, did you think they are insane? Well, they were insane, but it was intoxicated. So I was thinking, and it was like the whole world was, you know, lots of fantasy of talk and people would stop me back to anybody, stop me, they told me, hey, there's going to be a coffee shop, and they were in the mountain for, you know, 20 days, it was whatever, in those days it was just grass and stuff.

[96:30]

And then he would spin out this whole elaborate, complicated thing about how life worked, you know. And that was all around, and everybody was, you know, it was wonderful, and blah, [...] blah. And of course it started to break down, you know, sadness and stuff. So when I was thinking of a group thing, I was thinking of a group intoxication. And then the other thing is that I had friends who used to study it, and our anthropologist's name, Gregory Basin. Gregory Bates. He was Margaret Mead's husband, if you ever heard of Margaret Mead. And he made up a phrase, or he coined, sort of technically, and he called it schizophrenogenic. Genetic means makes. So basically he's talking about our culture as crazy making.

[97:32]

Human beings are especially the lower. Not only the hippies. Right. But all human beings. We're pushing ourselves into what he described. He made up the word. He made it between schizophrenia and genesis. But the translations, crazy-making, and he said, we're all getting pushed into crazy-making situations. Work harder, relax, you know, double messages everywhere. And that's really, I mean, you see it all around the United States. So that was just part of supporting that crazy-making. So, anyway, according to Chamoroshi, to be awakened from that kind of group toxication, is Awaza-Zen. But Awaza-Zen could become intoxication again, depending upon our attitude.

[98:38]

If we cling to Awaza-Zen practice, then Zazen, even Zazen, becomes intoxication. So we must be really careful. I was just kind of thinking on the comment you made about that a Zen practitioner tends to remain a little bit sheltered from society. That is what Sawakiroshi said. On the other hand, there is the notion of the Bodhisattva, who sort of becomes immersed in society. Yeah, that is a kind of important point in Buddhism. When the first Buddhist monastery was built by, of course, Shakyamuni Buddha, when King Bimbisara donated property, Buddha decided the best location for the monastery is outside of town.

[99:50]

but not too far. The distance, you know, people in the town can come without so much difficulties, but quiet enough for monks to focus on studying and practicing. And Uchiyama Roshi also said, you know, Dharma wheel, like a water wheel. Water wheel? If the waterwheel is above the stream, it doesn't turn. But if it's below the surface, it doesn't turn. So there must be some best position for this to turn in the best way. Each moment, actually, we have to find where is the best position for this dharma wheel to turn.

[100:55]

If we are too much, how can I say, part of the society, then dharma wheel doesn't turn. But we become isolated from the society, the wheel doesn't turn again. So, what is the best position, what turns in the best way, is the point. And this position is not fixed, depending upon the condition or situation of the society. So, we have to be awake in each condition or situation. fixed upon the individual either, you know, because there's times when you might know that you need to practice more, so that you can be more effective. Anyway, because you just get swept away with the bootleg. These are, I think, two ways any religion loses a kind of a genuine spirit, you know, becomes too much worldly, like Buddhism in Japan or some, you know, probably Christianity in this country.

[102:17]

And if we isolate ourselves from the society, because we don't like this world, this noisy, busy, material society, then we live in deep mountains, then we lose the connection with the world. It may continue 10 years or 20 years. or one generation or two generations, but it will sooner or later die away, die out. So, in the history of Buddhism, people start to, and not start to, but have been thinking what is the best position to turn the Dharma wheel. And, of course, many different people think different ways. And some people lived in the deep mountains like Dogon. And some people lived in the town or city and became teachers of the government or emperors or government officers to give some influence of Dharma to those leaders of the world.

[103:29]

So, this position is not only one position, but there are many. In certain situations, certain positions work better than others. So, I think this is not a fixed teaching, but this is what Uchiyama Roshi thought in the 1970s. So, somehow we have to continue to work on the same point. First of all, we need to be, you know, free from intoxication. Sometimes we try being free from intoxication, become a kind of intoxication. So, we must be really careful, moment by moment.

[104:27]