Introduction: "To attain supreme enlightenment one must be able to know spontaneously one’s own self-nature which is neither created nor can be annihilated."
Read Max Hauri's introduction letter to this article below.
All Up And Down his track on this planet, Man has been searching for the answers to his own existence. These answers have taken on an almost bewildering variety of expressions.
Advance! believes it is important for you to know this back-history of former freedom efforts.
After all, Man’s spiritual history is the most basic history of this planet. Man’s search for himself has been the mainspring of all progress, despite what materialists claim. But as they feel man is animal then they can only speak for the animal kingdom, not for us. So be it.
Thus, Advance! feels you should be familiar with the whole track historic background of the Advanced Courses. When one sees the millions of answers that man has selected as his destiny, one appreciates even more the incredible achievement of L. Ron Hubbard in selecting the one straight path, out of an infinity of errors, which leads to the accomplishment of the ultimate spiritual goals.
This path is more than a path: it is a shining wide bridge to total freedom across the chasm of oblivion and despair.
Man has had no real bridge before.
The greatest earlier freedom effort was begun by Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 B.C.), the Buddha. His work, known as the religion of Buddhism, was man’s first broadly successful civilizing mission. It was decisive not only to Asia, but also to the West. For example, the Christian message of love and the Renaissance scientific methodology can be historically traced to the work of Siddhartha Buddha.
In fact, so pervasive was his work that later historians may well regard the 2.500 year period from 550 B.C. to 1950 as essentially a Buddhist era of civilization.
By 1950 this era had gone bankrupt and the world lay directionless, poised on the brink of a new age of barbarism.
It was into this hiatus [Gap space that needs to be filled] that Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published by L Ron Hubbard, thus beginning a new era of world civilization based on Scientology.
The Splintering of Buddhism
As powerful as the Buddhist tradition was it failed to guarantee its own integrity and thus sowed the internal seeds of its own decay.
Within 200 years after the death of Buddha a firefight had already arisen amongst his spiritual heirs as to what he really meant.
Literally hundreds of sects and schools of Buddhism subsequently arose, each espousing in its own eyes essential Buddhism.
Within this kaleidoscope of religious interpretation the original lessons of Buddha became obscured and lost to a considerable degree (See Advance! 23 for an analysis of original Buddhism). Yet the inspiration of Buddha’s teaching continued to move men to express in their civilizations their highest hopes.
Amongst these hundreds of approaches to Buddhism can be seen major highlights each of which form an important chapter in man’s spiritual history. These highlights are expressed in the chart with this article and are summarized below.
Theravada Buddhism means the Teaching of the Elders and is based upon earliest extant Buddhist canon [Any recognized set of sacred books]. This fabulous collection of Buddha’s teachings was passed down verbally from his immediate disciples, and finally transcribed 400 years later in the first century B.C.
At that time (first century B.C.) new Buddhist texts began to be written which elaborated on or interpreted one or the other of Buddha’s teachings. These developments came to be known as Mahayana Buddhism (meaning the Great Vehicle), a “public relations” title originated by Mahayamsts to contrast their own approach with that of the Theravadans which they called the Hinayana (Little Vehicle).
From the roots of Mahayana Buddhism developed two other important schools Lamaism (see Advance! 24, “The Mystery of Lamaism”) and Ch’an Buddhism in China, or its Japanese equivalent – Zen Buddhism.
Zen Buddhism is of particular interest as it caused, for various reasons, somewhat of a sensation in the West in the first half of the 20th century.
For this reason some looked upon Zen as a recent development, but on the contrary it was known as Ch’an in 7th century China.
In fact, Zen is the Japanese way of saying Ch’an And Ch’an is the Chinese way of saying Dhyana, an Indian word of great antiquity meaning “knowingness”.
The transmitter of what became Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism was an almost legendary figure named Bodhi Dharma (meaning „One who is awakened into total truth“) who arrived in China from India in about AD 520.
Bodhi Dharma in Western eyes is sometimes seen as the founder of Ch’an or Zen Buddhism. This would be incorrect. He only saw himself as a transmitter, the 28th successor of Gautama Buddha himself.
The distinctive approach of Ch’an Buddhism is attributed to Bodhi Dharma.
When asked for the authority of his interpretation, Bodhi Dharma cited the following “sermon” by Buddha.
One day, it is said instead of discoursing on the Teaching, Buddha raised a lotus flower above his head All his disciples were puzzled save one who, by his slight smile indicated he got the point, prompting Buddha to designate him as his secret successor.
The flower sermon and Bodhi Dharma’s quatrain sum up the distinctive approach of Ch’an/Zen:
“A special transmission outside the Scriptures,
No dependence upon words and letters,
Direct pointing to the soul of man,
Seeing into one’s own nature.”
In actual fact, Ch’an or Zen Buddhism is Indian Buddhism seen through the eyes of Taoism, the great Chinese philosophical development.
The intuitive approach, the de-emphasis of scriptures, is all characteristically Taoist “The way that can be spoken of is not the Way.” The opening line of the Tao Teh King “The Book of The Way and Its Power” (See Advance! 18 for the article “The Meaning of The Way”, an analysis of Taoism)]
Instead of the scriptures, the Ch’an Buddhist turned to the example of Buddha’s act of achieving enlightenment under the fig tree near Gaya in Northeast India. It is this experience that Ch’an (Zen) seeks to emulate and thus attain enlightenment or Bodhi in the same direct way Buddha did.
The central experience of Ch’an-Zen Buddhism is of course the central experience of original Buddhism the experience of one’s own spiritual nature as different from the flesh or the physical universe.
“To attain supreme enlightenment one must be able to know spontaneously one’s own self-nature which is neither created nor can be annihilated.”
For example, Hui-Neng, the most renowned Ch’an master (638-713), states, “To attain supreme enlightenment one must be able to know spontaneously one’s own self nature which is neither created nor can it be annihilated.”
The Japanese word for enlightenment is “Satori.” Unfortunately, to some degree the simplicity of this basic goal became burdened by various significances and interpretations. For example the Zen-student was later told that he would realize that he was everything “You are me, I am you, I am that automobile, etc.” Thus is a condition known as being “buttered all over the universe.”
There is a much higher level “harmonic” of this condition where a being can be anything or everything at will whilst retaining his own beingness that Hui-neng speaks of. Regardless of misinterpretations it was the upper level condition that the original masters envisioned.
Now, of course, not everyone had the Buddha’s ability to reach Buddhahood or Bodhi.
In fact, at the height of Ch’an Buddhism under Hui-neng we find the following postscript (by an immediate disciple) to his celebrated autobiography:
“For thirty-seven years he preached to the benefit of all sentient beings. Forty-three of his disciples reached Bodhi, while those who attained a measure of enlightenment and thereby got out of the rut of the ordinary life were too many to be numbered.”
Later Ch’an Buddhism attempted to develop various methods to improve this result, but since Hui-neng’s tune no statistics have been released!
Ch’an-Zen tech can be summed up in three words – Zazen, Koan, Mondo.
Actually, Ch’an Zen technology never went beyond what Scientologists would recognize as a rudimentary form of Training Drill Zero [Training Drill Zero (TR 0): A beginning Scientologist drill wherein two students gain the ability to be there comfortably and confront] which in its highly developed form is a beginning drill of Scientology.
Although seldom achieved, or achieved after arduous and long work, “being there” was the highest level of recognizable technical expertise in Ch’an Zen. This could describe the goal of Zazen, a Zen meditation exercise.
The Kung-an (Chinese) – or Koan (Japanese) was a conundrum designed to overcome excessive attempts to solve things with thinkingness instead of being there. For example, the Koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping” can not be answered by thinking about it at all. It was an attempt instead to provoke a new insight by the Ch’an-Zen student.
As Alan Watts, a famous Western Zen interpreter states, “when the disciple is brought to an intellectual and emotional impasse (contemplating the Koan) it (the Koan) bridges the gap between second-hand conceptual contact with reality and first-hand experience.”
The other key Buddhist “technology” was called mondo, an inchoate [in an early stage incomplete undeveloped] form of Training Drill Zero Bullbait [Training Drill 0 Bullbait: (TR 0 Bullbait). A step beyond TR 0 The term Bullbait derives from the action of baiting a bull which then reacts. In TR 0 Bullbait a student gains the ability to be there comfortably and confront despite any distractions by another student.] where the master would attempt to “throw” or distract the student through sudden unexpected actions, physical violence, nonsensical replies, etc.
Thus, the Ch’an-Zen “ideal” figure was an enlightened individual who could “be,” who could fully appreciate “now” (i.e. present time) and who, like the Judo specialist couldn’t be thrown or overwhelmed by life.
Ch’an was introduced lock, stock and barrel into Japan as Zen in the 11th or 12th century where it became a way of life Japanese culture became “Zen-Buddhafied”.
The Japanese tea drinking custom was not simply a social ritual but a religious act deliberately created by Zenists. This and Japanese gardening, flower arranging, architecture,art, poetry and even the martial arts were considered expressions of Zen enlightenment in daily life.
For example Zen archery was a very highly evolved procedure whereby the archer sought to train himself to be fully aware of all the actions involved – and, at the exact climatic point of the release of the arrow, to achieve a spiritual release.
Ch’an Buddhism began to wane in China after the great age of Chinese Buddhism in the 10th century. And now its export to Japan, Zen, is also dying coincident with the westernization of Japan.
So here we are nearly at the end of this article and you ask, “But what was the secret of the flower sermon?!” There wasn’t one.
Ch’an and Zen were an effort to bypass the almost overwhelming number of Buddhist scriptures that had accumulated by the 5th century and get back to what its adherents considered basic Buddhism.
In the silence of the “flower sermon” was couched, for them, the answer Beingness is senior to “thinking about”. Direct experience is senior to second-hand knowledge.
But Buddha said this – and far more – and held nothing back from what he knew despite the fact that what he said was imperfectly transmitted and altered.
Ch’an or Zen Buddhism were milestones on Man’s spiritual track which inspired an unparalleled expression of Chinese-Japanese culture and art.
The ancient Ch’an-Zen masters failed to achieve the results they desired because of an insufficiency of technology with which to handle the mind and create human ability.
This chasm (lack of technology) has been the barrier to all of man’s past freedom efforts. Now at last with Scientology, its Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, has thrown a bridge across the chasm so the ancient goals of spiritual freedom can be universally achieved.
Scientology linguistically is the Western word for Zen-Ch’an-Dhyana. Thus an unbroken tradition existed in the East which has been brought to a point of total success in the West in the second half of the 20th century.
L. Ron Hubbard
Here is the article "The way to knowing", originally published in Advance! 25.
Here are two important excerpts:
"To attain supreme enlightenment one must be able to know spontaneously one’s own self-nature which is neither created nor can be annihilated."
"Direct experience is senior to second-hand knowledge."
I wish you an excellent reading. Much love,