Everything is formed from the "one." The
"many" are formed from the accumulation of many "ones." Earlier
I mentioned that the zero is beyond numbers, "beyond the Three
Realms and outside of the five elements." The Three Realms are
the realm of desire, the realm of form, and the formless realm.
The five elements are metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
All people are included within the scope
of the five elements. Our features are characterized by the five
elements. For example, tall people with thin faces are
predominantly of the wood element. Those with pointed heads and
wide chins belong to the fire element. People with squarish
faces and yellow complexion are earthy; those with whitish or
pale complexions are metal, and those with plump and
dark-complexioned faces are of the water element.
Some people are a combination of wood,
fire, and earth; others may be wood, fire, and metal. People who
are a combination of the mutually destructive elements of metal
and wood often fight with themselves. If water-type people are
put together with fire-type people, or wood-type people meet
earth-type people, many quarrels and arguments may ensue.
However, the zero transcends all these kinds of fate.
Most people think that destiny is fixed.
There is a saying, "If something is fated to be eight feet, it's
hard to ask for ten feet." This is true, but only for ordinary
people. Genuine cultivators aren't bound by fate. Cultivators
don't need to consult The Book of Changes; that's for ordinary
people. Cultivators are able to end birth and death; how much
the more can they alter other aspects of their fate. Thus, we
should transcend fate and not pay attention to it.
We have discussed the five elements to
understand their principles, but in fact, if we earnestly
cultivate, we will spontaneously understand all principles. The
zero is essential. If we work on it and investigate it, we will
certainly find a way. The zero transcends all numbers. The
numbers begin with one, but the zero is beyond even the one.
When there are many "ones," it becomes a
multitude. The "many" are formed from "one." As it is said,
One root spreads into ten thousand
branches, Yet the ten thousand branches return to the one root.
The one is limitless; the limitless are one.
How can there be the limitless? Because
of the one. How can the one exist? Because of the limitless.
Once the "one" comes into being, there are many troubles. From
the one comes two, three, four, ... eight, nine, ten, and all
the numbers up to infinity. Without the "one," the other numbers
cannot exist either. When all dust motes are gone, then not even
one dust mote exists.
dharmas (phenomena) have no intrinsic substance, nothing to
depend on. They arise expediently through a false process of
people say that everything in the universe is invisibly
controlled by a Lord. Most religions say that there is a Creator
who creates the myriad things, and that everything in the world
is created by him. In reality, no one can be the lord of the
myriad things. There is no creator and nothing that is created.
we explain things, then? We can explain everything in terms of
becoming deluded, committing offenses, and undergoing
retribution. Where does karma come from? It comes from deluded
thinking. Initially there is non-enlightenment, or ignorance.
Ignorance gives rise to confusion. Without ignorance, confusion
would not arise. When there is confusion, we engage in deluded
thinking, and then create all kinds of karma. If we create good
karma, we receive a pleasant retribution. With evil karma, we
undergo an unpleasant retribution. If the karma is neither good
nor evil, the retribution will also be neutral.
Everything that happens to us is a result of the karma we
created ourselves; we are not controlled or created by anyone
else. We go round and round on the wheel of rebirth, receiving
retributions according to our karma, never managing to escape
from birth and death. This is also our own doing. How do we
know? There is no other logical explanation of the matter.
religions say that everything in this world is controlled by
God. If that were true, it wouldn't matter whether we did good
or evil. But the reality is that, when the time comes, we
ourselves have to undergo the retribution for our own deeds and
God cannot help us. Therefore it's not sensible to say that God
controls everything. Rather, we bring the reward or retribution
upon ourselves through what we do. "As you sow, so shall you
person tells another to commit murder, the first person is also
guilty. By the same principle, if we are controlled by God, then
it is only reasonable that God share half of our karmic
retribution. We simply did what God told us to do, so we
shouldn't have to suffer the consequences alone--it wouldn't be
Actually, the offenses we commit have nothing to do with anyone
else. If we do good deeds, we receive good results; evil deeds
reap bad results. This principle of cause and effect is very
reasonable. We are not controlled by any person or any god in
what we do. If we were ruled by a god, he should keep us from
doing evil and cause us to do good. Gods and spirits like to see
people do good and refrain from evil. But since they don't have
the power to control us, we must still take the retribution for
our evil deeds. For them to take the credit for our meritorious
acts, while we bear the consequences for our evil deeds, is