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October 15, 1973, Monday evening

121.1 On Beyond Dualities

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua

 

Master: Who else is going to speak? [Editorís note: Silence ensues.]  Thereís a ghost who wants to speak but doesnít dare.

Young Man (Guo I): I donít understand, but I try hard to see what I donít understand, and just give myself a big headache trying to figure out what I donít understand. So I guess Iíll just stop trying to figure out what I donít understand.

Master: If you donít investigate what you donít understand, do you want to investigate what you do understand?

Young Man: Yes.

Master: Either way will give you a headache. If you donít want headaches then you shouldnít want to understand or not want to understand. Not to understand is ďbadĒ and understanding is ďgoodĒ. You should apply yourself to not thinking of good and not thinking of bad, and then your head wonít ache.

Master: That little interchange just now was a case of asking what was not answered, and answering what was not asked. I asked whether or not people understood the four lines of verse, but this young man answered concerning a four-line stanza of his own, which is different from the stanza in the sutra. Therefore, the question didnít match the answer, nor did the answer match the question.

 

Timely Teachings Ch. 1, page 303, following paragraph 2