The perennial dilemma for religion, science and culture is the resolution of this duality, our relationship of the finite—our view and actions in the relative material world and the result of these choices—to our all-inclusive infinite source in whom this all arises and participates.
Our emotional-spiritual growth and happiness, our ethical conduct, and indeed our very survival depends upon this path to the occasional, then more or less continuous recognition of the prior unity of the two truths—everyday personal relative and transpersonal ultimate—that is always this one great Reality, this “One Taste, the taste of liberation” (Shakyamuni Buddha). According to our great Wisdom Tradition, every problem, every dilemma is the result or effect of dualistic, self-centered view and conduct. A commitment to the path that trains the mind and the heart in the equanimity of this moment-to- moment recognition is the antidote to the “primary ignorance” of our presumption of, and clinging to a permanent separate self or soul, and to the “secondary ignorance” of grasping (desire) at the impermanent material “things” that appear through arising phenomenal reality. The lifeworld understanding of this primordial relationship (hetu/tendrel), the interdependent unity of objective and subjective knowledge is “discriminating wisdom” (prajna) And the lifeworld realization of the unity of the two truths is “the deep,” the subtle transcendent Primordial Awareness Wisdom (yeshe), beyond the self-full bias, judgment, concept and belief of our empirical relative-conditional worlds that are, paradoxically, “always already” embraced by Ultimate Spirit, our Supreme Identity. Therefore, in due course and by the master’s grace (jin lab), through the diligent practice of the path and a little bit of luck, this recognition of the two truths results in the instantaneous, continuous and stable heartmind self-realization that this Being (Interbeing) is, without changing anything, always just us! Spirit—emptiness, Tao, Brahman— here now lives us! And from this realization spontaneously flows the compassionate activity—for the benefit of all beings—that actualizes and stabilizes this great View in our everyday lifeworld.
Although Spirit already pervades everything, humanity is, in this world system, the “chosen people”—all individual persons—without a single exception. Thus informed, we may evaluate and act with impartial love-wisdom in the service of all beings, human and non-human, here in the midst of the natural, necessary chaos of this “normal neurotic” everyday world of relative-conventional reality. Keep this view and our ethical precepts keep themselves, effortlessly. Step-by-step, of course. “Keep the View,” unify the two truths, and be supremely happy!
When we forget ourselves, we actually are the true activity of reality itself. When we realize this fact there is no problem whatsoever in this world.
—Suzuki Roshi (1970)
In Chapters II through VI we will follow the Two Fundamental Truths, these “two minds”—all-embracing Big Mind, and egocentric small mind—through the View and Path of the primary traditions of our perennial Great Wisdom Tradition. Our goal will be a return to our “always already present” wisdom potential of the realization, then actualization in the world of the prior unity of these two. This is the radical view of our Great Tradition’s Middle Way between heavenly eternalism, and earthly nihilism (p. 55).