From Absence Realize Illusiveness

Yutang Lin

Whatever vividly sensed is recognized as solidly present.
Once some faculty impaired, sounds or sight may vanish.
If all sensual contents were lost but awareness remained,
One would awake to the illusive nature of all sensations.


Usually impressions of our senses are taken as real, and thereupon grasped as indication of a solid existence. Life being impermanent, once some faculty became impaired one could suddenly lose sensation of sounds, colors, etc. Imagine that all sensations of the six senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking, were suddenly lost and yet one's awareness remained vivid, then such a state would make it easier for one to realize that all six kinds of sense objects, forms, sounds, scents, flavors, feelings and thoughts, have illusive presence.

Another way to understand this would be: for example, sounds present as the result of many concurrent causal conditions, and as the conditions change sounds alter, and as the conditions are insufficient sounds vanish. Hence occurrences of sounds are illusive, although vivid and yet without self-nature. Similarly, it holds for the cases of forms, scents, flavors, feelings and thoughts.

Written in Chinese on September 9, 2004
Translated on September 18, 2004
El Cerrito, California

[Home][Back to list][Back to Chinese versions]