My favorite quote at the moment comes by way of Red Pine (Bill Porter), the American translator of Chinese poetry and religious texts.
“Knowledge is delusion posing as truth.”
Red Pine presents this as a summation of Mahayana Buddhist teaching. I’m not sure whether it is his own or he culled it from one of the texts that he has worked on. Zen is within the Mahayana tradition, or lineage, and there was a time not so long ago that it would have struck me as one some crazy Zen saying that doesn’t actually mean what it says, but is intended to get you out of the rut of conventional thinking. But I understand it now as literally true.
Knowledge is what we take in through our senses and develop through reason, while truth is beyond the senses and rational thought. Truth is the Void, from which everything we perceive emerges. The world we sense is, as is often said in the Mahayana sutras, like an illusion. So, knowledge of the relative, sensual world, which is passed off as truth is a false pose.
It frustrates me to have to say this, but I am not a Buddhist. At the most fundamental level, there is no such thing as Buddhism. Buddhism is simply the lineage that has been passed on through the man they called the Buddha. Buddha means “the aware one.” Christ is a Buddha. Buddha is a Christ. These are simply titles assigned to two men who understood the true nature of reality. At that level, they are one and the same mind, without there being a particle of difference between the two. I know I’m going to have to answer to this in a future post. So be it.