Buddhism says that there is an origin capable of producing myriad phenomena, called the innate pure mind, the eighth consciousness, and so on, and it has many names. In your quest for understanding, you suddenly discover the core truth: not only is the external environment created by this entity, but the subject capable of thinking and recognizing the external environment, which you call “I,” is also created by the innate pure mind. After discovering these two points, you’ll be greatly shocked and moved, thinking, “Since that’s the case, why should I struggle to maintain this false ‘I’?”
Don’t think that I’m only using movies and novels to talk about this. Although the plots of movies and novels are fictional, the theories they are based on are consistent with reality. For example, you don’t directly see objects, which everyone should be able to confirm. More than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha explained that the process of cognition is divided into two stages: the inner six entrances and the outer six entrances. The outer six entrances are form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and phenomena, while the inner six entrances are the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. For example, when light hits the retina, it is called the form entrance. Then, from the retina, it is transmitted through nerves to the brain, where it forms something that allows your visual consciousness and mental consciousness to recognize, called the eye entrance. A few hundred years ago, Western philosophers also discovered this truth.
Buddhist scriptures also say that the reason we believe there is an “I” and form various paranoid personalities is actually the result of mistaking the false for the truth. Conversely, if you can discover the core truth, you can attain enlightenment. The way enlightened people view life and the world is completely different from ordinary people. As the “Diamond Sutra” says, “All conditioned phenomena are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, and shadows, like dewdrops and lightning. They should be contemplated in this way.” The “Song of Enlightenment” says, “In dreams, there are clearly six realms; after awakening, the vast universe is empty.”
Simply put, Chan enlightenment is the discovery of the core truth: both the “I” that can perceive the world and the world perceived by the “I” are images born from the eighth consciousness (the innate pure mind). Since both the “I” and what it perceives are born from the eighth consciousness, they blend together, forming what is called the “One True Dharma Realm.” In the One True Dharma Realm, there is no distinction between the “I” and what it perceives, and there is no suffering and sorrow. It is the innate pure Nirvana. This is the ultimate explanation that can be given using language and words. In reality, the liberated state in which enlightened people dwell is “beyond words and thoughts.” This can only be known through direct experience and cannot be described using language.