The Surangama, with its religious overtones, has a molten core that forces one to continue, regardless. There are enormous lists of sense data and a laborious process of refuting their existence, 100 pages of it. Love is also dismantled, but subliminally. It has to be read with the understanding that it comes from the Hindu culture of 2,500 years ago, with no concept of evolution, astronomy, particle physics… It assumes that a particle of dust, when split to its smallest possibility, is void, therefore it doesn’t exist!
It reveals the changing nature of reality, and what remains constant, by using the example of a seer looking at an object. The object changes, the act of seeing continues, whatever the object. It’s a symbolic representation of meditation. It doesn’t stop there. It claims that phenomenon are a product of delusional thought, created by our senses. The framework of meditation is superimposed over the world of form, an attempt to create a unified theory of everything.
Why demote the One to a mind that has delusional thoughts? If it were an emanation, a wavelength, a pulse through the Higgs field… but this couldn’t be considered a thought. The notion of wrong thought is quite far from the One Mind state, it has no duality, more the work of sentient life attempting to comprehend its origin. But the Higgs field theory has some wisdom. Everything moves, rotates, shakes, resonates, beats, chirps, leaps, vibrates, rattles to pieces, burns, expires, reforms, coagulates, builds, explodes, drips from the ceiling, rolls, tumbles, quakes, fiddles, falls apart, every piece of it radioactive, blasting particles back into the maw of the void, the flow and exchange of energy!
“Sustained confrontation of subjective awareness with objective dim voidness produced vibration and movement… awareness so shaken by the void, was benumbed by it and hardened into metal… the friction between wind and metal flashed fire… fire sprang up and melted metal into water… the meeting of rising fire with falling water formed wet oceans and dry continents.”
This piece has a lot of powerful forces at work, as if written by the Dark Lord himself. For this reason, it gets a pass. Elements appearing from awareness, lack of awareness – no effect, no problem.
If phenomenon are a defilement of the One Mind, should it remain in some quiescent state? There would be no suffering, no tumult of life and death, no endless striving. But the universe is vast. How can we decide its fate, based on our dissatisfaction?
The Buddha seeks to return to an original “purity.” Does this mean the end of existence? If you follow through the text, the highest realm of heaven is the point of evaporating into space.
The highest of the five heavens from which there is no return:
“The utmost subtlety of form leads to its extreme limits where starts boundless space in this ultimate heaven of finest form, called Akanistha.”
There’s an immediacy to Zen that does away with intellectual concepts of form and emptiness, though these elements have their place: the philosophy allows the mind to move freely so that it can establish itself with a correct bearing, an organic process long to establish, long to propagate. Rather than grow wild into numberless aberrations, it holds to the way. Otherwise the text is only useful to those already in the Akanistha realm, so that they can read about their spaciousness and feel more substantial.
What could be more substantial than a fetus? How do they appear? You guessed it:
“As a result of inversion caused by subjective sensual minds, both subject and object sustain each other and combine to produce favorable conditions for 84,000 rising and sinking confused thoughts, which become fetuses.”
Inversion — 84,000 confused thoughts, fetus. The science is sound. All women know this.