Bill and JM,

Authority in one's statements can come either from direct knowledge or arrogance or even ignorance. In my opinion Bill often seems to speak from direct knowledge. Of course as JM, Bill and myself often point out it is very difficult to communicate direct experience in words via email. So one always has to try to go beyond the words and consider what the likely source of those words in the actual consciousness of the writer was.


On Sep 6, 2008, at 9:13 AM, Bill Smart wrote:

JMJM, My comments are imbedded below:

--- In, Jue Miao Jing Ming - 覺妙精明
> Dear Bill, I admire your commitment and passion. I have already
> that it is not my focus to discuss this subject. Since you are
> interested, let us continue.
> First of all, I always used the following words, "I suspect, I
could be
> limited in my scope, I am incomplete..." that Zen is incomplete.
> you insisted and defended that you are right. Once any of us begin
> defend a position, we become partial and incomplete. We are driven
by a
> singular vision - ego driven. The way you insisted illustrate the
> you are not THIS. :-)
You bring up an important point and I am happy to comment on it.
I've had others in the past tell me they think my posting is
egotistical or authoritarian-sounding.

All of my posts are my opinions. Sometimes I include that very
phrase as a caveat emptor, but sometimes I don't. Sometimes I
use 'IMNSHO' as a shorthand which means 'in my not-so-humble
opinion'. I like being positive when I state something, as opposed
to pussy-footing around about things, sounding unsure. In fact, I
SUSPECT that a lot of your understated style comes from a desire to
protect your ego. You don't want to state anything definitely
because you are afraid someone will think you're wrong or you might
have to change it someday because you are not really confident about
what you're saying. But whether I state it specifically or not, all
my posts are my opinions. My opinions are unlimited and complete
unless I specifically state otherwise. If I'm suspecting or guessing
or supposing, I'll state that. If I don't know something, I'll state
that also. If I post anything that is not my opinion I'll cite a

I think you are confusing my being direct and sure of what I am
posting (my opinions), with being egotistical. I don't think my
opinions are any more important than yours, but I also don't think my
opinions are any less important than Buddha's or anything written in
a Sutra. They're my opinions which have come from my experiences.
My opinions are also not sacrosanct and can be modified or even
completely discarded as I have new experiences. On most of the
fundamental areas we discuss here, however, I rarely have had
occasion to change my opinion, but often do find and adapt to better
ways of expressing my opinion.

> Second of all, everyone knows Chan was passed to Japan to become
Zen 700
> years later.
I know that. I also know Bodhidarma reportedly brought Chan to China
from India. So what? A lineage doesn't necessarily mean the older
or prior forms are somehow better or more pure than the newer forms
as you are insinuating. Actually, no one brought or transported zen
anywhere. What they did bring was a method to realize (re-realize,
really) only THIS.

> Third of all, what is maya? Everything in this world is Chan.
Chan is
> One. One is all including maya if there is such a thing.
This is an ingenious question and I think beneath your usual high-
level postings. Maya is worldly illusion, you know that as well as I
do. Chan is maya. Zen is maya. There is only THIS. I do however,
as you do, talk about zen and Chan and good and bad and hot and cold
and lot of other maya all the time. All this talking and posting is
not zen and certainly is not THIS. It is only talking about zen and
talking about THIS - no more.

> Fourth of all, Chan uses terms of Buddhism and Taoism for
> communication. That's all.
That's pretty much what I do and said in the paragraph above, except
sometimes I try to avoid using Buddhist terms so as not to add to the
confusion most people have that zen and Buddhism are inextricably
linked. They are not. (Or maybe I should say 'Golly gee, I could be
wrong, but I speculate sometimes, but am not really sure, that zen
and Buddhism may not be linked - but then again maybe they are.')

> Fifth of all, what is THIS? Can you explain? In Chan, THIS is the
> current flowing of life force, not form, not feelings good. It is
> LIFE FORCE that is everything.
No, I can't explain what THIS is, that's why I use the term THIS.
THIS is not the 'current flowing of life force' which I understand as
Tao, because that is maya. 'THIS' is just THIS. Nothing more. Some
have called it MU, or THREE POUNDS OF FLAX, or DRIED SHIT ON A
STICK. It's just THIS!

> Most importantly, no one is WRONG. Only our judgmental mind.
I agree with you that using the word 'wrong' with you (or anyone)
when talking about their opinions (as opposed to a misquote or
misstatement of historical facts) is not a helpful practice. When I
say you're 'wrong', what I mean is my opinion is different than your
opinion. I will re-state the main points in my original post as
- JMJM's opinion that zen (as compared with Chan) does not have a
spiritual component is the same as my opinion. I however think
that's a good quality since spirituality is maya (illusion).
- JMJM's opinion that zen is 'just a mind exercise' is not the
opinion I hold. My oh so humble opinion is that zen is not an
exercise of the mind, zen is realizing that mind and all its products
are maya (illusions), and that when all maya are eliminated, or at
least suspended, there is only THIS.

I think you're getting a little to hung up on words (wrong) here and
taking it a little too personal.

> In conclusion, you typify the fact Zen is incomplete because it
> the connection to the True Form or Final Form. :-)
Seventh of all...I am not a type, I am Bill! Zen is maya. You are
not a type (Chan practicioner and advocate), you are JMJM. True Form
is maya. Final Form is maya. Only THIS!

> Fun?
No, disappointing.


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