(1) When all dharmas are [seen as] the Buddha-Dharma, then there is delu-sion and realization, there is practice, there is life and there is death, there are buddhas and there are ordinary bbeings.
(When the whole Universe is thought on the basis of idealistic Buddhism, it separates always into the best situation and the worst worst situation)
(The four Philosophies) The beginning of Genjo-koan is just the explanation of the four philosophies. The theory of four philosophies are explained by Gautama Buddha for the first time in his first lecture, but the meaning of the theory is too difficult, and so the true meaning of them haven't been understood for thousands of years.
Even though Master Dogen has understood the true meaning of them at the beginning of the 13th Century in Japan, usual people at that time are also so difficult to understand the meaningofShobogenzo, and so the true meaning of the four philosophies have been difficult to be understood, and just in the 20th Century relying upon our efforts the true meaning of Shobogenzo has been understood in its ture meaning for the first time.
Therefore if we want to know the true meaning of Shobogenzou, it is necessary for us to know the true meaning of Shobogenzou utilizing the meaning of western philosophies, because even though Master Dogen hasn't studied the western philosophy at all, but his sharp mind recognized the very profound philosophy, which the ancient Indian Buddhist philosophers have grasped already.
However when we want to understand the true meaning of the four philosophies in the 21st Century, it is very convenient method for us to understand them relying upon the western philosophy. Because nowadays we can think that the Euro-American civilization might be the most developed civilization in the world, and so even in the case of studying Buddhist philosophy, it might be the best way for us to think about the true meaning of buddhism on the basis of Euro-American philosophy.
(Solution of contradiction between idealism and materialism) We, human beings, have been keeping the two kinds of excellent philosophies for thousands of years since the ancient Greco-Roman Age, that is, idealism and materialism.
And both idealism and materialism are so excellent philosophies, that the humanistic civilization in Europe has been maintained by the those two fundametal philosophies for thousands of years, and relying upon those two kinds of excellent philosophies, human civilization has developed so much. But at the same time, however, idealism and materialism are completely opposite philosophies with each other, and so Euro-American Civilization has been bothered so much because of the wobbling between the two criteria of value between idealism and materialism.
At the same time, however, in the ancient time India has also suffered by the similar situations of contradictory opposition between idealism and materialism. About in 12 or 13 Centuries B.C., in India a very spiritual religion called Brahmanism has occurred, and it has been powerful for many centuries. But, at the same time, a few centuries before Gautam Buddha's birth, several kinds of very materialistic philosophies occurred, and they are called six non-Buddhist thinkers. And so the old spiritual religion Brahmanism and the new materialistic thinkers called Six non-Buddhist thinkers have been fighting enormously, and such a situation seems to be very similar to the enormously furious contradictory situation between idealism and materialism in human societies even in the 21st Century too.
In such a situation Gautama Buddha has been born. And it might be very possible that he has also worried so much about the absolutely opposit cotradiction between idealism and materialism in the ancient Idia. I guess that Gautama Buddha has decided for him to sacrifice his whole life to solve the contradition between idealism and materialism at that time. And then after his so enormous efforts he has found so excellent and so powerful solution of the problem, which is relying upon just the theory of four philosophies. And in such situations we can suppose that even though the dates of ancient India and the modern age of 20 or 21 Centuries are so distant, the problem between Brahmanism and Six Non-Buddhist Thinkers and the problem between the modern idealism and the modern materialism in 20th or 21th Centuries might be very similar, because
the main cause of their fightings are perfectly the same as idealism versus materialism.
And in such a situation it is impossible for me to deny the posiblity of solution in the contradictoy situations between the modern idealism versus the modern materialism to be also solved relying upon the old method, which Gautama Buddha has established in the ancient India.
(Concrete contents of the four philosophies) The concrete contents of the four philosophies are idealism, materialism, philosophy of action, and Reality itself. The original words in Sanskrit are Duhkha-satya, Samudaya-satya, Nirodha-satya, and Marga-satya.
Duhkha-satya: Duhkha means pain, therefore Duhkha-satya means literally philosophy of pain, and the reason why idealisic philosophy has been called philosophy of pain is that because idealism is a philosophy, which is always pursuing ideal, but ideal has always characteristic to represent perfection. Therefore idealism has originally common characteristics to pursue perfection, but the real world, where we are always living in it, is never perfect idealistically at all. So when we think everything on the basis of idealism, because of enormous difference between the real situations of this world and our idealistic perfection, idealists have to feel always so painful conditions worrying the gap between the perfect beauty of idea and not so perfect real situations.
Samudaya-satya:Samudaya means accumulation, and so what kind of accumulation the problem is. And in such a situation we can remember that even in the ancient India there has been the idea of atom, which has been described with Sanskrit word rajas. We can interpret that even in the ancient India there has been idea of atoms, and so we can understand that Samudaya-satya might be a view of the world, as if it were accumulation of atoms, which are always very small physical particles. In short it might be a very materialistic view of the world as the accumulation of physical atoms.
Nirodha-satya:Nirodha means self-regulation, and it suggests human action. Therefore I interpret that Niroda-satya means philosophy of action. In the Euro-American Civilization, only idealism and materialism are popular, but it is very difficult for us to find another independent philosophy other than idealism and materialism absolutely. However in the ancient India Gautama Buddha has clearly noticed that if our philosophical consideration has been maintain only inside the interectual thoughts, it might be completely impossible for human beings to get rid of the absolutely stronge intellectual boundary. Therefore Gautama Buddha after having experienced pracicing Zazen, he has got the perfect freedom to act at the present moment. Because by practicing Zazen everyday he has kept the balnce of the autonomic nervous system constantly, and so it is possible for him to break the net of intellectual hindrance at every moment.
Marga-satya:Gautama Buddha, having become perfectly free in his action to follow morals, he have got the perfect happiness in his daily life. Fame and profit are all similar to dust for him, and it is perfect happiness for him to follow motals without any efforts in his daily life. And such a kind of happiness das never belong only to him. Because if anyone practice Zazen everyday, he or she can maintain his or her autonomic nervous system balanced, and if he or she maintains the balance of the autonomic nervous system by practicing Zazen everyday, it is impossible for him or her to violate any kind of morals at all. Therefore his or her life is just continuing the practice of Zazen everyday, and he or her can enjoy every moment his or her own life. In the case of Gautama Buddha he can preach his lecture to others everyday, if they like to listen to his lecture, and it has been his own happiness for him to make the world a little better everyday.
(2) When the myriad dharmas are each not of the self, there is no delusion and no realization, no buddhas and no ordinary beings, no life and no death.
(When the whole Universe is seen on the materiaistic viewpoint, everything is just the difference of volume in physical energy)
Therefore there is no possibility for us to distiguish the difference between delusion and realization, between buddhas and ordinary beings, between life and death, and so forth.
(3) The Buddha's truth is originally transcendent over abundance and scarcity, and so there is life and death, there is delusion and realization, there are beings and buddhas.
(But the Buddhist world is just the real world, and so everything exists as it is transcending over abundance and scarcity)
However the Buddhist world is just the real world, and so life is just life, death is just death, delusion is just delusion, realization is just realization, ordinary oeople are just ordinary people, and Buddhas are just Buddhas.
(4) And though it is like this, it is only that flowers, while loved, fall; and weeds while hated, flourish.
(Reality, however, includes everything, and so Reality is sometimes unfavorable to us)
Therefore sometimes flowers fall down even though we hope them to be maintained, and sometimes weeds flourish too much even though we do not need them.
(5) Driving ourselves to practice and experience the myriad dharmas is delusion. When the myriad dharmas actively practice and experience our-selves, that is the state of realization.
(Our efforts to arrive at the enlightenment is our delision, but when our ANS is balnced, it is just the enlightenment)
Many people think that we should make our efforts to get the enlightenment, but this idea is wrong. Because if we sit in Zazen keeping the authentic Zazen posture, the balance of ANS is just the enlightenment itself. In other words the practice itself, in which we are just keeping the authentic posture is just enlightenment, and so we can think that it is just enlightenment to practice Zazen, itself. Therefore we can think that it is just enlightenment for us to sit in Zazen keeping the posture authentically.
(6) Those who greatly realize delusion are buddhas. Those who are greatly deluded about realization are ordinary beings.
(People, who have realized what the delusion is, can be called Buddhas, and people, who are diligent to get the enlightenment out of Zazen, are called ordinary people)
People, who practice Zazen everyday, thinking that a person, who is sitting in the authetic posture, is keeping his or her own ANS balanced, and so they are just Buddhas themselves, are true.
But people, who are supposing the existence of enlightenment out of practicing Zazen, do not know the fact that people, who are practicing Zazen, are just Buddhas, and so they do not notice the real situation of Buddhas actually.
(7) When buddhas are really buddhas, they do not need to recognize themselves as buddhas. Nevertheless, they are buddhas in the state of expe-rience, and they go on experiencing the state of buddha.
(When people are just Buddhas, it is not necessary for them to notice to be Buddhas, but it is just being Buddhas, and experiencing Buddhas)
When people are keeping his or her ANS balanced, it is not necessary for them to proclaim such a fact, but the fact is just the fact at the present moment, and so he or she is keeping the balance of ANS, and such situations will cotinue further.
(8) When we use the whole body-and-mind to look at forms, and when we use the whole body-and-mind to listen to sounds, even though we are sens-ing them directly, it is not like a mirror's reflection of an image, and not like water and the moon. While we are experiencing one side, we are blind to the other side.
(But in the case of materialistic viewpoint our perception is not inclusive, but simply perceptive one by one)
When we look at forms, or listen to sounds, even though we look at forms, or listen to sounds, with our whole body and mind, our ability of sensuous perception are not so inclusive, and so forms and sounds can not be perceived together, but they are perceived separately.
(9) To learn the Buddha's truth is to learn ourselves.
(To learn Buddhism is just to leran ourselves, who are keeping the balance of ANS)
To learn Buddhism is just to practice Zazen for keeping ourselves balanced. And we, who are keeping the balanced ANS, are just true ourselves. Therefore we can say that to learn Buddhism is just to learn ourselves.
(10) To learn ourselves is to forget ourselves. To forget ourselves is to be experienced by the myriad dharmas.
(To learn ourselves is to have ourselves balanced, and when we are keeping the balanced state, it is not necessary for us to have our consciousness of ourselves. And when we have forgot ourselves, we can experience the whole Universe)
When we are keeping ourselves in the balanced state, we are just keeping ourselves as ourselves. And so it is not necessary for us to remember ourselves, then we can experience the wuole Universe as it is.
(11) To be experienced by the myriad dharmas is to let our own body-and-mind, and the body-and-mind of the external world, fall away.
(To experience the whole Universe is to throw away our consciousness of our whole body-and-mind and our consciousness of the whole Universe)
To throw away our own body-and mind is forgetting our consciousness of the whole body and mind, and to throw away our consciousness of the whole Universe is just to live in Reality directly.
(12) When people first seek the Dharma, we are far removed from the bor-ders of Dharma. [But] as soon as the Dharma is authentically transmitted to us, we are a human being in [our] original element.
(When we are looking for the Truth of the Universe, we are usually looking at the Universe from the outside of it. But when our ANS is balanced, we can live inside the Reality at once)
When we are looking for the Truth of the Universe, we are usually living out of Reality, losing the balance of ANS. But when we have got the balance by practicing Zazen, we are just sitting in the balanced Truth itself.
(13) If we become familiar with action and come back to this con-crete place, the truth is evident that the myriad dharmas are not self.
(But when we are so familiar with our own action itself, the principle, that the whole Universe is different from ourselves, has become clear so much)
When our action is not so clear in the separation from the Universe, there might be rather vague situations, but when we clearly notice the difference between our action and the Universe, the principle, that the whole Universe and ourselves are separate actually. Therefore even though our action and the Universe seem to be so much familiar, but at the same time we should think the separation between ourselves and the whole Universe too.
(14) Remember, firewood abides in the place of firewood in the Dharma. It has a past and it has a future. Although it has a past and a future, the past and the future are cut off.
(Firewood abides in the place of firewood at the present moment, and even though it has a past and a future, the past and the future are perfectly cut off from the present moment)
This theory is related with the instantaneousness of all things and phenomena. In Buddhism we have a fundamental principle of instantaneousness in all things and phenomena. We usually think that we are always living just at the present moment, and so all things and phenomena appear just at the present moment, and disappear just at the present moment. In other words the world, where we are living now, appears just at the present moment, and disappear just at the present moment, and so when we want to image the real situation of the present, we can use the real situation of movie films. In the case of movie films, it is separated into so many small frames. Therefore each frame is separate from the former frame and the latter frame, the Buddhist philosophy thinks that the present moment, which we pass in our daily life, has also the same structure.
In Buddhist thoughts we think that the present moment is very short time, which does not have almost any length at all, and at the same time it is cut off from the past moment, and it is cut off from the future moment. Therefore we should think that this world, where we are living now, appears just at the present moment, and at the same time it disappears just after the present moment. In our common sense we usually think that the world is continuing from the past to the present, and it is continuing from the present to the future, but such a interpretation of time is completely wrong from the viewpoint of Buddhism.
Acording to the Buddhist philosophy the real world exists only at the present moment, and Buddhism thinks that the past is just a memory, and the future is just supposition.
Therefore relying upon such a theory, Master Dogen says that even though firewoods have the past and the future living at the universal position, it has been perfectly cut from the past and the future inspite of having the past and the future.
(15) Ash exists in the place of ash in the Dharma. It has a past and it has a future. The firewood, after becoming ash, does not again become firewood. Similarly, human beings, after death, do not live again.
(Ash exists as ash in the Universe, and it has also a past and a future. But it is perfectly impossible for firewood, after having become ash, to become firewood again at all. And similarly
human beings can never live again after becoming dead)
Even though it is possible for ash to exist in the Universe having a past and a future, it is perfectly impossible for firewood, having become ash, to come back to firewood again at all. And in the case of human beings it is also completely impossible for them to be reborn again after their death. Of course there are so many kinds of religions on the earth, and so some of them believe in their survival, but according to Master Dogen's idea he does never believe in the survival of human beings after their death at all.
(16) At the same time, it is an established custom in the Buddha-Dharma not to say that life turns into death. This is why we speak of no appearance.
(At the same time we do not say that life turns into death. Because in Buddhism, both life and death are very simple facts at the present moment, and so we do not say anything on appearance)
In Buddhism we never say that life turns into death. Because life is a simple fact at the present moment, and death is also a simple fact at the present moment. Therefore it is impossible for us to say that life will become into death. And in such reason we usually say that there is no
appearance on the earth.
(17) And it is the Buddha's preaching established in [the turning of] the Dharma-wheel that death does not turn into life. This is why we speak of no disappearance.
(This is the reason, why we do not say that death does not turn into life in Buddhism. And for this reason, we do never say that there is disappearance on the earth)
Sometimes death exists at the present moment, and sometimes death does not exist at the present moment. Therefore in Buddhism we never say that death becomes into life, and so we usually say that there is no disappearance on the earth at all.
(18) Life is an instantaneous situation, and death is also an instantaneous situation.
(Life is a simple fact at the present moment, and death is also a simple fact at the present moment)
Therefore we can say that life is a simple fact at the present moment, and death is also a simple fact at the present moment, and so it is very stupid for us to worry about life and death. Even though we hate death, it will come inevitably without fail, and even though we love life so much, life will end inevitably without fail.
(19) A person getting realization is like the moon being reflected in water: the moon does not get wet, and the water is not broken.
(The realization is a state of situation like a image of the moon on the surface of the water. Therefore the image of the moon does not become wet, and the surface of the water is always flat)
When we think about the situations of enlightenment, it always occurs as the balanced state, and so we should never expect any kind of speciality in the enlightenment. The enlightenment is always balanced, and so it is always quiet and beautiful.
(20) Realization does not break the individual, just as the moon does not pierce the water.
(Realization does never break an individual personality, as the moon does not pierce the water)
Realization is just to come back to our own original situations, and so the realization does not have any kind of change in our own original charactor, but by realization we just come back to our own original situations.
(21) When the Dharma has not yet satisfied the body-and-mind we feel al-ready replete with Dharma. When the Dharma fills the body-and-mind we feel one side to be lacking.
(Our mental function is always subjective, and so when our situation hasn't been balanced yet, we usually have so strong confidence having balanced. But when we are actually balanced, we are just living in the real world, and so we have to feel that there might be something lacking)
When we are not balanced, or when we are subjective, we are prone to have consciousness that we have entered into the balanced state intellectually, because in such an intellectual situations we are usually able to consider our mental situations subjectively. But when we are actually balanced, we are just living in our real world, and so we can have an ability to doubt whether we are balanced, or not.
(22) In dust and out of the frame, [the myriad dharmas] encompass numerous situa-tions, but we see and understand only as far as our eyes of learning in prac-tice are able to reach. If we wish to hear how the myriad dharmas naturally are, we should remember that besides their appearance of squareness or roundness, the qualities of the oceans and qualities of the mountains are numerous and endless; and that there are worlds in the four directions.
(In secular civilization, or in Buddhist civilization, the whole Universe includes so miscellaneous things and phenomena, but we, human beings, can look at only as far as we can look at, and we can only learn as far as we can experience by practice. Therefore if we want to perceive the whole Universe, it is necessary for us to remember that besides their appearance of squareness or roundness, the qualities of the oceans and qualities of the mountains are numerous and endless. The world expands for four directions endlessly)
In the secular civilizations, or in the Buddhist civilizations, even though there are so miscellaneous difference, but when we, human beings, look at, or experience, we look at, or experience as far as what we can do. Therefore we should remember that the whole Universe might have so many other characteristics, and we should think that there might be such a kind of world
expands for four directions endlessly.
(23) This being so, a bird or fish that aimed to move through the water or the sky [only] after getting to the bot-tom of water or utterly penetrating the sky, could never find its way or find its place in the water or in the sky.
(But in the case of a bird or fish, if they think that they want to swim or fly after they have understood the water or the sky perfectly, it might be perfectly impossible for them to swim, or to fly)
But as you know well, fish and birds are not so intellectual like that. However, even in the case of human beings, we can never so intellectual like that. Even in the case of human beings, we have to also move first like a baby, and then our mental and physical ability will be trained. In other words relying upon our physical and mental motion we can find this place, where we can act.
(24) When we find this place, this action is in-evitably realized as the Universe. When we find this way, this action is in-evitably the realized Universe [itself].
(And when we have found this place, then we can act as the part of the Universe. Therefore we can say that when we actually do something we can realize the Universe)
Therefore we can say that "First action exists." I think that the words are a little different from the famous words in the Old Testament, and I think that it might be necessary for human beings to think about which words are true for the first time in 21st Century.
(25) When a human being is practicing and experiencing the Buddha's truth in this state, to get one dharma is to penetrate one dharma, and to meet one act is to perform one act.
(When a human being practice and experience Buddhist Truth, meeting one Truth is understanding one Truth, and meeting one Action is practicing one Action)
When we practice and experience Buddhist Truth, that is Zazen, by meeting one Truth actually, we can understand one Truth, and by meeting one Action we can practice one Action. In the area of Action, there is always one real Truth exists at the present moment, and we always meet one action, which we are acting at the present moment.
(26) In this state the place exists and the way is mastered, and therefore the area to be known is not conspicuous. The reason it is so is that this knowing and the perfect realization of the Buddha-Dharma appear together and are experienced together.
(In the balanced state the place really exists, and the way is mastered sufficiently. But the reason, why the recognition is not so clear, comes from that the recognition and the Buddhist realization occur at the same time and they are experienced similarly together in the same experience)
The place of action really exists and the methods of action are already clear, but the reason why the place of action and the meathod of action are not so clear come from that the recognition of the place and the method of action occur just at the same moment as the realization of the whole Universe, and the experience of the whole Universe, and so the recognition of the place and the method of action are combined together with the realization of the whole Universe, and the experience of the whole Universe into one.
(27) Do not as-sume that what is attained will inevitably become self-conscious and be rec-ognized by the intellect.
(We should not always recognize that what is attained will inevitably become self-conscious and be rec-ogized by the intellect)
Usually intellectual people are prone to think that what is attained will inevitably become self-conscious and be rec-ogized by the intellect, but it is not always true.
(28) The experience of the ultimate state is realized at once. At the same time, its mysterious existence is not necessarily a manifest realization. Realization is the state of ambiguity itself.
(It is true that the realization manifests itself at the present moment, but the misterious existence does not always manifests itself at every moment. Frankly speaking, Reality always seems to be something ineffable)
Reality always exist here and now. But sometimes it is concealed behind the background. It is strange that Reality is not always conspicuous.