By Christmas Humphreys
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As a Bhikkhu has recently written, 'the Buddhist way of life starts with renunciation', but this reminds one of the saying in Talbot Mundy's Om, 'There is no such thing as sacrifice; there is only opportunity to serve'. Why do we tread the Path, or try to ? -they are not the same. Are we concerned with self-improve ment or self-suicide, with the salvation of myself or the salvation of mankind ? It is written in the Tao Te Ching, 'the sage has no self; he makes the self of the people his self'.
The Third Noble Truth is a matter of logic, that to remove the condition we remove the cause. But if the root-cause is the ego-self, with its misdirected desire born of i\1usion, can one let go of it, drop it, starve it of life? Yes, but further facts must be faced, one of them that there arc at least two selves to be considered, whatever the Theravadins say today. For even the Pali Canon is filled with references to the higher and lower aspects of self, the higher, which Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism know as the Atman, and the lower, which the higher must either drop, disentangle itself from, or best of all see to c � A W E S T E R N A P P R O A C H TO Z E N be complete illusion.
In equanimity, even mindedness, we refuse to be pulled or pushed to extreme opinion, like or dislike, point of view. We can begin to raise consciousness to see the pairs, not merely in metaphysical theory but in daily life, as equally forms of the one indivisible Life-force of the Absolute Unborn in manifestation. We are thus approaching the moment when we shall see them before the bifurcation, the forking into dualiry, took place. If we can See the two sides of the penny we are less concerned whether the side be heads or tails.