Man, after satori, is perfectly joyous to exist as long as he exists, up to the last moment at which the disappearance of the mental functions entails the disappearance of all human joy or human pain. Terence Gray, for his translation of my book; he has solved perfectly the very difficult task of giving a faithful rendering of my thoughts. In fact the famous narrow gate does not exist in the strict sense of the word, any more than the path onto which it might open; unless one might wish so to call the understanding that there is no path, that there is no gate, that there is nowhere to go because there is no need to go anywhere. It is this Reality alone which interests it, and it experiences no embarrassment in moving round this complex object in order to obtain every sort of information from which an informal synthesis may result in our mind. If, setting out the triangle of the Triad, we call the inferior angles 'Relative Yes' and 'Relative No', why, when we wish to name the superior angle, do we feel obliged to call it 'Absolute Yes' and not 'Absolute No'? When we consider the spatial and temporal totality of the cosmos we arrive at the conception of the Intemporal or Supreme, or Absolute Conciliatory Principle, which presides at the Unity of phenomenal multiplicity, the Intemporal Principle in which there does not yet exist any dualistic manifestation and for which the temporal conciliatory principle represents a sort of inferior delegate. If, for example, someone asks me to name any substantive, I feel uncomfortable, a confusion of which I am prisoner; I do not know what to say. A mother who has lost her child does not suffer, as she believes, because her child is dead; she suffers, in connexion with this death, because she believes herself to have been abandoned by her Principle, she suffers because the occurrence has released in her the profound impression of not 'being'.
I can say, still more accurately and speaking now in the negative mode, that, if my deep fear is fear of darkness and of immobility, my fear of immobility is greater than my fear of darkness; I encounter more strongly the terrifying impression of not 'being' in the absence of movement of my subjectal consciousness than in its character as black. If we suppose now that the man has discovered the inner conditions which, by establishing themselves and growing within him, are ultimately going to lay him open to the explosion of satori, this man has at the same time discovered that none of his five modes of thought constitutes by itself these necessary inner conditions. Human existence, the tragedy of eliminating death from our life, the question of sense in life, all this is seriously and most intelligently dealt with. Oriental thought, and Zen thought in particular, seeks to activate the true potential of men and women--to transform our lives, and thereby enable us to shed our problems and suffering. But egotistical man does not accept the relative reality of existence; his mentality, despising and rejecting existence, rushes towards the illusory egotistical affirmation of 'acting' as a distinct being, playing, in regard to this mirage which emanates from him, the role, usurped but flattering, of Principle. When the natural man sleeps without dreams, the Absolute Thought is as though awakened in him more precisely, is not asleep and this man is altogether like the man who has attained realisation; but this does not manifest at all in his consciousness because he has not at that time any consciousness; it is manifested only in the harmonious and re-creative operation of his vegetative life. The man who deceives himself thus, however, can think again and better.
Does it mean that the unconscious central crossroads has become conscious at the moment of satori? The mentality contains no images. Where the natural man is concerned the action required resolves itself dualistically, into conception and action, and it is to the action, to the execution of his conception that the man applies the word 'do'. The fundamental affective state of the natural man is therefore simple; this man loves his Self in opposition to the Not-Self, and he hates the NotSelf in opposition to his Self. This is a theoretical attitude radically opposed to that which Zen doctrine holds. In the same way the joy and the sadness of my egotistical affirmations and negations denote diminutions and augmentations of the menace with which the outside world constantly threatens the whole of my vegetative existence; they constitute, then, the becoming-conscious indirectly of this existence.
One day, comfortably installed, I am in process of reading a book which takes up my attention without in any way reminding me of the preoccupations of this period of my life; I do not identify myself with any of the heroes of my book and I follow their adventures as a completely detached spectator. My organism is a link in the immense chain of cosmic cause and effect, and I can only perceive its real sense by considering it in its real place, in its real connexion with all the rest, that is to say by considering it from the point of view of the Universe, in my capacity as universal man and not particular man, in so far as I am similar to all other men and not in so far as I am different. There indeed lies the heart of the concrete inner work aiming at our transformation. The Five Modes of Thought of the Natural Man -- Psychological Conditions of Satori -- 7. Notes on the Mechanism of Anxiety. But every day, besides these actions, I perform others which do not serve my vegetative life, which often even impede it, and whose aim is to make me appear different from every other man, that is to say to affirm me as distinct from every other man, as a particular man.
If I study all this in its bearing on my psychological consciousness it seems at first that existing comprises an unconscious part, my vegetative phenomena, and a conscious part, the actions of which serve my vegetative life. Man in his inner unconciliated dualistic state, with a separated reason and affectivity, is absolutely unable to adhere affectively to the existence of the Not-Self by which he feels himself repudiated. Behind everything that man experiences there is debated within him the illusory question of his being or his nullity, Man's attention is fascinated by the fluctuations of this dispute, and these appear to him unceasingly important and new; and he is unconscious of the dispute itself and of its constant monotony. At this moment appears conscious fear of death, of the danger which the Not-Self represents for the Self. But, at the moment at which the Independent Intelligence appears, all the powerful affective mechanisms of the subject are already engaged in an entirely partial view of his situation in the universe. I am a christian who is seeking eastern infusions.
This way of looking at the series of modes of thought, as a hierarchy successively graded down from the first mode to the fifth, would be the only and indisputable way if man had only to be regarded from the point of view of the moment. My in-formal sensation of existing varies quantitatively, from annihilation to exaltation, but without a special effort I do not pay attention to that, though it is nevertheless that which is in question for me in my actual egotistical-dualistic condition. That is the great secret, and at the same time the great indication, that the Zen masters reveal to us. In the pages which follow, Dr. Of the two seconds during which you were silent the latter does not interest us for you were using it in order to put into a form of expression your perception of your total state-of-mind; you had then already slipped away from the inner presence which interests us. Nevertheless the more this man advances in the knowledge of himself, the more these kinds of love lose value in his eyes and lose their compensatory effectiveness. Anguish is then a phenomenon in two periods, and it is of capital importance to examine these two periods into which it can be resolved.
Since my state of existence does not vary in its impermeability to outside influences, my instantaneous states are identical, they are not in opposition. This allows us to understand that fear of death, a fear which dwells in the natural man and constitutes the centre of all his psychology, is related to the absurd contempt with which this man regards his existence. And what is true of these two forces in this minor phenomenon is equally true at all stages of universal creation. As long as man is in the impossibility of succeeding fully in his attempts to satisfy his desire to exist, he cannot go beyond this desire. Liberty as 'Total Determinism' 8.
On the Idea of 'Discipline' 22. The vegetative nervous system controls the harmonious functioning of the viscera on which depend, as we have seen, the maintenance of the motor muscles. All the determining, enslaving reality which man attributed to this or that 'temporal' enterprise is crystallised now on the enterprise of 'salvation', and this enterprise becomes the most determining, the most enslaving that can be imagined. The path to liberation consists of moving the screen ever closer to the projector until finally there is no difference between the two. Such a grave error of understanding necessarily entails anxiety, inner agitation, a feeling of unworthiness, an egotistical crispation on oneself-as-a-distinct-being, that is to say, it prevents inner pacification, reconciliation with oneself, disinterestedness towards oneself-as-a-distinct-being, the diminution of emotion—in short all the inner atmosphere of relaxation which governs the release of satori.
My reader should realise that no synthetic understanding is deemed to pass from my mind to his by means of this text which might attempt to embody it; this synthesis should occur in his mind, by a means proper to himself, as it occurs in my mind by a means proper to me; no one on Earth can do this work for us. But the primacy of meditative thought only applies to this preparatory phase of the acquisition of theoretical understanding. Emotions are like the movement of the caterpillar; it is not flying but it resembles it and, with imagination, one succeeds in mistaking it for that. And my perception of existing-more-or-less consists in perceiving instantaneously the position of this bottle-imp in relation to that which it occupied a moment before. Because the perfeect existenntial Felicity y is not aw wakened in the cen ntre of thiis man evverything happens aas if this ceentre weree occupieed by a primordiaal distresss. So the 'deliverance', so-called, which is the disappearance of the illusion of being in servitude, succeeds chronologically an inner operation but is not in reality caused by it.