Hubert Benoit
Zen and the Psychology of Transformation
The Supreme Doctrine

Chapter 21


Our reflections, in the light of Zen, have enabled us to understand that there cannot be recipes for the attainment of Realisation. No systematic manner of living can release the synthesis of all possible manners of living; no conscious activity can reintegrate us in the original Unconscious. No training, no discipline comprising a struggle can make us pass beyond the dualism in which such struggle takes place. And we arrive thus at the conclusion that understanding alone can dissipate our present illusion and obtain satori for us.

Besides, we understand that the explosion of satori supposes the accumulation in us of energy, which is not disintegrated and that this accumulation supposes, in its turn, not only theoretical understanding but the practical utilisation of this understanding in a very special activity of our attention. Thus we see that, if nothing else but understanding can obtain satori for us, this understanding should not be realised under the single aspect of a directing theory but also under the aspect of inner phenomena which actualise in a practical manner this theory. These phenomena could not be correctly produced without the understanding of which they are a simple practical prolongation—and this is why they do not constitute a recipe for realisation sufficient in itself—but they constitute nevertheless a certain practical inner task, in the course of life, distinct from the abstract vision obtained during moments of retreat within the ivory tower of the intellect.

We reach thus two certitudes that are apparently contradictory. On the one hand no intervention methodically imposed upon our way of living, on our phenomena external or internal, can be effective in obtaining satori; on the other hand obtaining satori necessarily implies a practical inner task in the course of our daily life. We have arrived at these two certitudes by different routes, but these routes have both left us with the impression of evidence which makes us believe that the idea is true.

Every contradiction of this kind is for us an occasion for a precious deepening of our understanding; it pushes us towards the discovery of a larger view of things, which conciliates the two preceding views and in which their apparent opposition is resolved.

In this particular case we have to understand the inner task in such a way that it is not an intervention methodically imposed on our way of living. This may be decomposed into two propositions: we have first of all to understand the inner task in such a way that it is not an intervention with regard to our life; thereafter we have to understand it in such a way that it does not comprise any methodical constraint. This second point is the one on which we will spread ourselves most fully since we have never dealt with it hitherto. But we will recall, first of all, on the subject of the first point, certain ideas already expressed.

The inner task in view of satori ought not to be an intervention in our life. The word 'intervention' indicates what happens when, among the elements on a certain plane, something comes between these elements, modifies the relations that they would otherwise have had, troubles the essential arrangement of the plane. Zen proclaims: 'Do not trouble the course of life'; and the master gives as an example to his disciple the torrent which flows without hindrance. There will be satori for us when we cease at last to place ourselves in opposition to the nature of things, to our own nature at the same time as to the nature of the cosmos in general. The inner task designed to obtain satori could not comprise an indiscreet and pretentious interference in the outlet of our phenomena. That is not to say that no change should occur in these phenomena as we approach chronologically the satori-occurrence; but that which alone can produce adequate changes is our Absolute Principle, the Unconscious in us, and not our pretentious consciousness. When there is intervention, that which comes between the elements of the plane is of the same kind as these elements; any intervention in my comportment consists in the action of a new comportment, but it is always a comportment; every intervention in my inner life, in my psychic mechanisms, consists in the action of a new mechanism, but it is still a mechanism. When there is intervention on a certain plane nothing comes into play which does not belong to that plane. But the harmonious synthesis of the being implies the simple action of the Conciliatory Principle which does not belong to the plane of phenomena, which is transcendent with regard to this plane; and the harmonising manifestation of the Principle on this plane should not in any way be understood as an intervention. Only the Principle can modify our phenomena, our life without troubling that life.

We have spoken several times of this gesture of inner decontraction which is not an intervention since it results in the suspension of the mental film—and not in its modification—without causing any particular image to intervene. We have said that this gesture is produced on a plane that is superior to that of our habitual inner phenomena, as the cerebral plane which decontracts our muscles is superior to the medullary plane which contracts them. The 'doing' of this gesture corresponds with a 'not doing' of our habitual phenomena. If this gesture of decontraction tended to result directly in the suspension of the imaginative film by using a particular image—such as the image of this suspension itself—there would be indiscreet intervention which, besides, would not result in the suspension of the film but in the fixed idea of this suspension (an exercise of concentration resulting in a sort of autohypnosis, or of catalepsy, or syncope). The gesture of decontraction correctly executed only indirectly results in decontraction, it does not aim at it directly, it does not utilise the evocation of the mental image of decontraction. It consists, on the contrary, in an authorisation, total, impartial, unconditional, given to our mental consciousness, to all its powers perceptive and active. In this gesture which is momentary cessation of any particular direction given to my life, everything happens as though I were trying to open myself to my very existence, immutable under my vital movements. But I do not even evoke the image of 'existence'. It is like a look which, cast on the full centre of my inner world, transpierces the plane of this world towards that which is unknown to me. This look, because it does not prefer any object, because it is sent, without preconception, towards no matter what, meets nothing and so results, without my having wished it, in the suspension of my imaginative film. It is a total interrogation without particular formal expression, which remains without answer since it does not carry any. It is a challenge which neither aims at nor meets anybody; it is an attention to everything, which has no object. The suspension of my imaginative film, thus obtained without having been sought, is instantaneous; it is without duration, an intemporal flash of lightning in the heart of time; it in no way resembles the states into which, on the contrary, exercises of concentration can put me. On account of this absence of duration, this gesture of looking into my own nature does not result in the vision of the 'third eye', it only prepares it. These gestures are repeated set-backs—which should be condensed into an ultimate set-back—which some day will bring about the disappearance of the illusion in which I am living at present of not being in the state of satori.

If the gesture of instantaneous decontraction prepares the satori-occurrence, that is because the instantaneous suspension which it obtains in the unfolding of the imaginary film breaks on each occasion the vicious circle which exists between our images and our emotions. This vicious circle that we have called 'imaginative-emotive rumination', which corresponds also with what we have described as the 'emotive state', or 'inner spasm', or as 'gearing of the affectivity with the intellect', is an inner automatism animated by a great force of inertia. Our imaginative rumination does not function continuously with the same effective power, but in each stage of our evolution it has a certain possibility of power. This possibility is used, mined little by little by the instants of decontraction. This progressive diminution of the solidity of the vicious circle of images and emotions is revealed by a progressive modification of our inner life, of our vision of things in general. Not that we are able, before satori, to have the least little atom of 'vision of things as they are'; but our present vision of things-as-they-are-not loses its clarity, its relief, its colours.

In order to make clear the modifications that the inner work obtains indirectly in our vision of things we will make use of an illustration. We will compare our imaginative film with the projection of a cinematographic film comprising a projector, a screen, and the luminous cone which connects them. When the projection is well focussed on the screen I see clear images thereon, in which the blacks and whites are well-contrasted. If, without changing anything in the projector, I progressively bring the screen nearer to it, the images will gradually lose their clearness and their contrasts. A moment will come when I recognise them with difficulty and when the blacks become grey. Then there are nothing but pale and vague shadows accompanied by an increase in the general luminosity of the screen. Finally, when I am in contact with the projector, the screen is completely white and sparkling.

The projector here symbolises the original Unconscious or No Mind, source of our consciousness; the luminous beam symbolises the subconscious; the screen the consciousness. The screen of our consciousness is set, by our personal egotistical determinism, at the distance at which the images are in focus. It is there that our claim-to-be-distinct fixes our attention. That corresponds with the partial inner attitudes by which I oppose with a clear contrast that which I like and that which I do not like. The images, in this bright contrast of light and shade, stir up strong emotions which release new images, and the clear unfolding of the film represents my imaginative-emotive rumination.

In the instant of decontraction, of attention without an object, the screen is in contact with the projector, bathed in pure light without images. I do not perceive this light as pure because this happens in an instant without duration and because, all perception being memory, I can perceive nothing except in duration. But, as a result of this instant without images, the force of the vicious circle which kept the screen far from the projector is reduced; the screen is brought nearer. If the gesture of decontraction is repeated with enough perseverance the screen is brought nearer and nearer. The shadows and the lights of the imaginative film lose their clearness; the formal contours which separate them become less precise and the blacks become grey. This does not mean that my thought loses its precision, but that my evaluations, my opinions, my beliefs, have less rigidity and compelling force. The increase in the total luminosity on the screen represents a diminution of my fundamental distress, a relief in the ensemble of my affective condition.

The 'Great Doubting' which precedes satori corresponds with the ultimate stage of this evolution. The screen is then very close to the projector. The inner conscious state is very luminous, without distress; the fundamental negativity of our affectivity is almost entirely neutralised; distress is no longer there, although positive existential felicity is not yet conscious. The mental forms, the samskaras, have disappeared, and so the subject says that he is then 'like an idiot, like an imbecile'. The disappearance of shadows is indicated by the impression that the world is transparent, like a crystal palace; 'the mountains are no longer mountains and the waters are no longer waters'. One degree further and the attention, already so near the source of the Unconscious, is installed there definitively; it is the 'asylum of rest'. During an instant all distinction is abolished between the screen, the projector and the beam of light. Then all that exists afresh but it now functions in a simple manner, perfectly harmonious, unimaginable to us today.

This illustration allows us to understand how the metabolism of vital energy is modified in us in the course of the inner work. The nearer the screen approaches the projector, the less the luminous energy is disintegrated in black and white forms. At the limit, at the point at which the light-beam leaves its source, it is only whiteness, pure light. We have said that our energy wells up, still informal, from the source where it is unmanifested; we have then affirmed the existence of an energy at once manifested and informal. This seems to be a metaphysical absurdity, since manifestation cannot be conceived without form. But this absurdity only comes from words which appear to immobilise the movement of the birth of energy; in speaking of energy at once manifested and informal, we would, by these disputable words, evoke the instant without duration in which the energy leaves its source. We would point it out on the frontier that we suppose to lie between non-manifestation and manifestation, in the instant at which, envisaged with regard to the source, it is already manifested, and at which, envisaged with regard to the manifestation, it is still informal. And the accumulation of informal energy of which we have spoken should be understood as a possibility, unceasingly increased, of sparing the energy of the imaginative-emotive vicious circle.

After this reminder of the inner task understood as a 'letting go', as an instantaneous and total decontraction of our conscious being, we reach the essential point of this study; when is it desirable that we execute this not 'doing', this letting-go? A trap is set for us here: if I incorrectly conceive satori as an accomplishment of myself-as-a-distinct-being, in the illusory perspective of a 'superman', I shall covet satori, desire it positively, I shall wish for it in the usual sense of this phrase. If I thus demand satori, and if on the other hand I have understood the efficacity of a letting-go in view of satori, it is going to be necessary for me to carry out this letting-go. A compulsion of my primordial spasm, the logical result of my claim to be-as-a-distinct-being, forces me to impose on my organism, whether it likes it or not, the gesture of decontraction. It is very clear that no real decontraction is possible thus and that what will be achieved will only be the contracted mental evocation of the image of decontraction.

This is not to say that there is no discipline in the inner task correctly carried out; but it must be clearly understood. In all inner discipline 'something' directs the functioning of my psychosomatic machine; but what should this something be, in order that the inner task may be correctly carried out?

To reply to this question we will first of all show what this something should not be, and analyse to that end the usual notions of 'self-control', of 'self-mastery' and 'will'.

We will neglect, to begin with, the examination of this famous and illusory 'Will-power', and we will use this word in its usual sense in studying 'self-control'. The control of self can be control of the outer behaviour— 'good' deeds or 'good' abstentions (asceticism); or control of the inner behaviour—'good' sentiments or 'good' thoughts or mental exercises to achieve a 'good' manner of making the mind function (concentration, meditation, mental void, etc.). If one analyses deeply what happens in the course of such efforts, one always finds, as an initial mechanism, the voluntary mental evocation of an image or of a system of images. That is evident when it is a question of meditation (even if the mental image evoked is that of the absence of images); and it is the same if it is a question of external action since the decision governing all action is controlled by the conception of its mental image. All self-control consists therefore essentially in a voluntary mental evocation, an imaginative manipulation in the course of which there is actualised my partiality for one image to the detriment of all other possible images. This partiality for such and such a form of my manifestation, and consequently against the opposite forms, prevents the control-of-self from working towards a synthesis of all my manifestation; I can only 'do' thus by refusing what I do not do; no unification of my being is then possible. The preferred images are samskaras as much as the refused images. This method cannot modify the imaginative-emotive process as a whole; the forms fabricated by the process alone are modified. The preferred samskaras are reinforced; they tend to become encysted; imaginative habits are acquired. I can thus train myself to feel sentiments of love for the whole Universe at the expense of my aggressiveness. A form has been modified but there can be no passing beyond form, no transformation.

We have already said that these kinds of training are not in themselves an obstacle to the obtaining of satori. The reinforcement of certain samskaras to the detriment of others should not be able to make man's inner situation worse with regard to an eventual transformation. That which does not work for satori is limited to not working for it; but nothing should be able to work against it. Ignorance has no active reality against the Intemporal nor against the eventual realisation of the Intemporal. It is merely time that is lost with regard to the satori-occurrence.

An objection offers itself: the correct inner gesture of letting-go is carried out under a general authorisation given to no matter what image; it is no longer a question, therefore, of evoking a preferred image; there is no longer partiality in face of my inner world. That is true, but if I wish to make myself perform the gesture of letting-go in a systematic manner because I covet satori, if I wish to do it each time that I think of it, without taking into account my actual inner condition, I will be obliged to evoke the preferred mental image of the authorisation given to no matter what image; and I will fall back again thus into the same absurdity.

We meet for the first time the capital notion of taking into account my actual inner condition. That which places the usual conception of discipline in opposition to the correct conception that we are trying to define, is precisely that fact that the usual discipline does not comprise the idea that one should take account of the actual inner condition.

Let us analyse exactly what happens in the course of 'self-control'. Every effort of self-control is a struggle between two tendencies. One man will fast in order to slim, for aesthetic reasons; there is a struggle between the tendency to satisfy the appetite and the tendency to be less fat, more beautiful. Another man fasts in order to progress 'spiritually'; this case does not differ, basically, from the former; the desire to progress 'spiritually' is evidently personal; it is then, like the desire to eat, a tendency to affirm oneself as-a-distinct-being. In the two cases we see the struggle between two tendencies of the same nature. It is like two men hauling on the two ends of the same rope, or pushing hath ends of the same pole.

One must clearly distinguish this struggle, this opposition, from the composition of tendencies which represents their normal working. Every kind of behaviour that I may have, without effort imposed on myself, does not express a unique tendency. To each of my perceptions multiple tendencies react in me; the simple unique manifestation, which is then realised by my effortless behaviour, results from the subconscious composition of my tendencies, and represents the resultant of a parallelogram of forces. Whence come then these differences in the ways in which my tendencies can operate? Why do they compose themselves sometimes without my even realising it, while at other times they fight with one another, tearing me to pieces?

It is here that partiality intervenes. There is struggle in me when I am partial to one tendency against the opposite tendency. The affective preference that I feel for the working of such and such a tendency conditions, in my mind acting passively, an intellectual partiality, a judgment of value. This amounts to 'believing' that this tendency 'is', and so should exist, and that the contrary tendency 'is not', and so should not exist. Thus is produced identification with the preferred tendency (transfer of my 'being' onto the tendency that I see as 'being').

Here as elsewhere the mistake does not lie in the identification with such a tendency but in the exclusive character of this identification, in the disavowal of the opposing tendency. We may remark that this inadequacy of identification in my microcosm is in relation to the inadequacy of my identification in the macrocosm. As soon as I am identified with the Self while excluding the Not-Self, I cannot be identified with the whole of Self; my microcosm is divided in its turn into Self and Not-Self, for example, in tendencies that I make my own and in tendencies that I regard as foreign. One can break up indefinitely the loadstone; each fragment will always have two poles. Every dualism engenders unlimited dualisms.

This identification with a tendency, with disavowal of the opposite tendency, is revealed by the fact that the subject has the impression of himself struggling against the disavowed tendency. The subconscious composition of forces has given place to their conscious opposition. The complementary character of the dualism has disappeared, there only remains the antagonism. The two forces can no longer operate as belonging to a harmonious whole; partiality makes them work as though they belonged to two different wholes. 'As soon as you have Good and Evil, confusion results and the spirit is lost.'

The illusory notion of a 'will', such as man habitually understands it, 'will' representing a special inner power, distinct from the tendencies and capable of exercising a kind of police supervision over them, results fatally from the identification with a preferred tendency. Let us take up again our example of the man who fasts in order to slim. He identifies himself with his aesthetic tendency, and so he ceases to become conscious of this tendency. If he has failed to stick to his diet he does not say 'My greed was stronger than my wish to be beautiful'; he says 'My greed was stronger than I was.' In the opposite case he will say 'I have triumphed over my greed.' As the tendency which has triumphed has then ceased to exist for this man, and as he feels clearly nevertheless that a force has conquered his greed, he calls this force his 'will'. Sometimes one observes a more complex case which in the end comes back to the same thing. Such and such a man, proud to have seen his 'will' triumph or ashamed to have seen it defeated, conceives the desire to have more and more 'will-power'; thus is born a partiality for the tendency to counteract the action of no matter what other tendency. The ambition for 'self-mastery' is nothing else. One might say that to control the working of one's tendencies is not necessarily to counteract them; but one must admit that all control, even when it authorises the action, comprises an eventual opposition. If someone controls my acts, I feel reasonably enough that it is a denial of my liberty. This man who, for example, is going to fast in order to prove to himself that he is capable of doing so, will say that he has imposed this fast on himself in a disinterested manner, and that it is not a tendency which has struggled in him against his greed; he does not see in himself this tendency to drive his inner world with a whip, the tendency to tyrannise by which he is himself tyrannised. He wished to cease being the slave of his desires, but he has concentrated his slavery on the unique desire to be free from all his other desires. On the whole the inner condition remains the same, neither improved nor worsened from the point of view of an eventual satori. The 'self-control' can lead to 'holiness', to the harmonious unification of a positive part of the being alone authorised to act, but not to the unification of the totality of the being or satori. From the point of view of intemporal realisation this 'will' can be of no use whatsoever.

Let us note that in these 'willful' efforts of self-control the subject does not take account of his actual inner condition; he makes his effort each time that he thinks of it. When he does not do it, that is only because he forgets his task. If, sometimes, he thinks of the effort that should be made and does not make it nevertheless, it is not that he takes account of his inner condition. The fact of envisaging the effort he has conceived as systematically good is already, by itself, a release of the effort; and if this release sometimes misses fire that is because the opposite tendency has been stronger from the beginning.

When I have thus clearly seen the inefficacity of 'self-control' I am tempted to admit that the man is right who lives as he likes, who makes no demand on himself, who only makes demands on the outside world in order to obtain what suits him. But I perceive, first of all, that my reaction depends upon false reasoning; if efforts at self-control made the state of mankind worse from the point of view of eventual satori, the man who ceased to make these efforts would bring himself nearer the eventual satori. But, as we have seen, these efforts could not in themselves constitute an obstacle. The fact of no longer exerting oneself in that way cannot, therefore, remove an obstacle which never existed.

The principle refutation of the quietist attitude is much more important. In reality the man who does not make efforts of self-control seems to live as he likes, but he does not do so. If his mind does not consciously disturb the play of his tendencies, it disturbs them subconsciously. If there is no conscious opposition to the tendencies, if there is apparent composition of the tendencies, this apparent composition masks to a great extent a subconscious opposition. This man has not a theoretical, conscious 'ideal', but he has a practical, subconscious one. From the fact that his tendencies have procured him affirmations or negations, practical judgments are pronounced in him on these tendencies, approving or condemning them. The man necessarily sees a certain relation of causality between his tendencies and their practical results; his attachment to the results necessarily carries with it a partiality for or against his tendencies, that is a secondary tendency to control his primary tendencies. Even the man who appears to struggle only to control the outside world conceals an inner struggle under the tyranny of his practical 'ideal'.

What takes place in this man is more complex than what takes place within the partisan of 'will-power'. For the partisan of 'will-power' the inner control is visible all the time, for a conscious examination of the tendencies presides as much over their authorisation as over their repression. In fact, for this man, a tendency is never merely authorised; if it is not repressed it is activated by the secondary controlling tendency. In the man who, consciously, only struggles against the outer world, the inner control is only perceptible in its repressive aspect. When the controlling tendency does not repress a primary tendency it does not activate it either, it lets it work; it disappears itself. The mechanisms of this man enjoy from time to time a certain spontaneity.

In short, the man who performs no conscious inner task does not let-go on that account. Impartiality does not reign in his inner world. Even this relative spontaneity that we have just seen is not a real spontaneity. When I act impulsively my subconscious attitude in face of the inner world of my tendencies, of my Self, is not a 'Yes' said to the totality of that world; it is a 'Yes' spoken to the only tendency which is acting, but a preferential 'Yes' which is accompanied by a 'No' said to all the rest of my 'Selves', that is to say it is a 'No' said to my machine-as-a-totality.

What should one think now of the method which consists in supervising all my tendencies but in consciously approving the present tendency? It is the attitude at which the man logically arrives who, after having cherished in the past a conscious 'ideal', or several, has completed the task of comprehension which devalorises every ideal. This man understands that, from the only real point of view of intemporal realisation, all the inner mechanisms are of equal value; he is detached from the aesthetic or in-aesthetic character of his tendencies. This relative impartiality confers on him a relative liberty. The withdrawal of partiality in face of the tendencies does not prevent these from existing but it takes from them all compulsive value, Dream and reality are more and more divided; I feel in accordance with my dream, but I behave in accordance with my reason.

This method, then, which consists in consciously approving each present tendency, confers on me a relative outer liberty. But it is not the 'letting go' of Zen. Consciously to authorise is not to let-go, it is only an imitation of it. The letting-go, as we have seen, is realised when I authorise the totality of my tendencies before the conscious appearance of any one of them; and then none of them appears. When, on the contrary, I authorise my present tendency, I only let-go with regard to this tendency; all the rest remain held. Observation of my inner phenomena that is impartial and approbatory cannot have by itself any efficacity for an eventual satori.

Let us return now to the letting-go as we have understood it. The question is no longer for us to define the gesture of the correct inner task, but to know when to make this gesture. It is thus at least that the question is at first presented to us, in a form which would only be suitable if an ordinary gesture were in question, a gesture of contraction. If I have decided to do some physical culture I can ask myself 'when shall I do it?' because if some moment of the day is more propitious than another for a good result from the exercises, I can impose them on my muscles at that moment. It is not the same for the inner gesture which decontracts all the tendencies by authorising them all in a moment of impartiality. This gesture can be tried no matter when, but not effected at random. My consciousness can demand this gesture from my machine, but cannot impose it. The realisation of the gesture supposes that two factors are united—that my thought proposes the gesture and that my machine accepts it. If, meeting in me a resistance to the gesture of decontraction I try to overcome this resistance, I prevent myself by that very fact from succeeding, for then I graft a contraction onto a spasm.

Let us examine the two factors that we have just mentioned. It is necessary that my thought propose the gesture. This assumes the vigilance of the mind operating in an active manner; and this vigilance assumes a clear understanding of the inner task and of its interest. In this vigilant invitation by the active mind resides the veritable will, will which, as Spinoza said, is nothing else but the understanding. Next it is necessary that my machine accept the invitation of the mind and open itself to it in full consent. This good-will of my machine is realised when it feels that my thought seeks its collaboration with perseverance but without the least constraint, when my machine feels itself the subject of consideration on the part of my thought.

We can now understand what is the correct inner discipline. We asked ourselves just now: 'Since, in all inner discipline, "something" directs my machine, what can this "something" be?' Shall we say that it is the active mind? Yes, in one sense, but not in another sense, since the effective directing action of this mind depends on an accord between it and the machine, accord over which the mind has no immediate power. The direction from which the machine benefits, in the course of the letting-go, passes through the active mind, but it comes in reality from the Conciliating Principle which reconciles my two parts. The correct inner discipline can only be assumed by the Principle itself, and it comprises no kind of constraint, no inner struggle. The only effort that we have to make consists in forgetting as little as possible that our true advantage is conditioned by letting-go, by attention without object, by 'mental presence of mind in face of nothing' and never to impose on our machine—but only propose to it—this decontraction, this common opening to the Principle.

The decontraction so proposed is accepted from time to time by the machine, when it is tired of refusing the invitation, but as we have said, in a flash without duration. Everything happens as though I were afraid of the bursting of my Ego. If I wish to tame a frightened child I hold out my arms to him without approaching too near, by inviting him without constraint. One day perhaps he will throw himself into my arms, but for a long time I shall only see in his eyes fugitive flashes of relaxation in the course of which he accepts for a moment the idea of coming towards me; after which fear takes possession of him again. It is in this sense that my gestures of decontraction, my letting-go, are in reality only infinitely short glimpses of the real letting-go which would be satori. All the gestures to which my inner discipline leads, even correctly understood, are set-backs; they constitute those very special set-backs, felt by the whole of my being, which condition by their accumulation the ultimate set-back of my actual condition, with the passing-beyond, in satori, of all the dualism of success and failure.

One sees how this conception of discipline conciliates the ideas of 'training' and of 'non-training'. There is non-training in the sense that no part of me constrains any other to that end. There is training however in the sense that my understanding obtains from my machine a decontraction that this machine would never have effected by itself. The trainer makes the trainee do that which is good for both of them, in the moments during which the trainee consents voluntarily; and this is possible because trainer and trainee become one in the conciliation of Absolute Reality.

Satori can be understood as a letting-go which lasts. In this instant there is established a definitive double decontraction. The machine opens itself to the active mind which is united with it, and the couple so formed opens itself to the Principle which is united with it, in a trinitarian Unity. Only then man sees with evidence that there has never been separation between machine, mind and Principle.

top of page