By Christmas Humphreys
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Additional resources for A Western Approach to Zen
We learn to see that all things, being children of the Unborn, are not only inter-related but inter-dependent. Verily 'we are members one of another', locked in an inseverablc embrace which changes every moment under the sway of Karma, and moves to the More and so to the Most in a series of working 'days' which are the units of rebinh. So now we are faced with the Beyond of duality, not as a far ideal still wrapped in fog but with understanding a little more advanced. With intellect strained to its limits we move towards the Unborn.
After the war the Nidanas were claimed as the cure-all for our ignorance, and then Meditation swept aside all doctrine in favour of just sitting, and hoping for the best. This, of course, is exaggeration but it shows a tendency. There has been a complementary attack on doctrines at the time unpopular, and a few years ago the doctrine of Karma, universal in the Orient, was suddenly scorned on the ground that no one cause could possibly produce a single effect, or progress would be impossible. But no Buddhist ever suggested that one cause produced one effect.
There was a jingle quoted largely when I was a child, written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Do the work that's nearest, though it's dull at whiles, Helping when you meet them lame dogs over stiles. The quality of the verse is humble but the sentiment is surely worthy of the Dhammapada. And ifwe do right the mind is by the act ennobled; wrong, we suffer, and learn our error from the just hand of Karma. Truly we are punished by our sins, not for them. The key to choosing between right and wrong seems to be non attachment, for such action does not bind.
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