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Buddhahood Without Meditation

Teachings of Avalokiteśvara

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Teachings of Avalokiteśvara

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a. Determining the Manner of Nonexistence

i. Determining the Apprehending Subject, Your Personal Identity, as Identityless

First, to determine the manner of nonexistence, there are the determination of personal identity and the determination of phenomenal identity. First, as for so-called personal identity, the mere appearance of the existence of a self during waking experience, dreaming experience, the intermediate period, and future lifetimes is called personal identity. As soon as this appearance occurs, there is a latent consciousness that takes it to be “I,” and this is called subsequent consciousness or discursive thinking. This consciousness clarifies [the appearance of the self] and then stabilizes and fortifies it.

HERE IS THE etymology of the term person: a person is one whose mindstream is filled with the two obscurations and their habitual propensities, and who is contaminated due to acting as a basis for the contaminated, closely held aggregates.32 As for the term self, this latent consciousness of the mere appearance of the existence of a self where none exists in waking experience, dreaming experience, the intermediate period, and future lifetimes is called personal identity. As soon as this occurs, a latent consciousness grasps that which is not an “I” as being an “I” and that which is not a self as being a self. This subsequent consciousness and discursive thinking clarify, stabilize, and fortify [the appearance of the self], [36] and this is called grasping at the apprehending subject, personal identity.

This consciousness that grasps at the “I” is called the causal ignorance of yourself alone. From it emerges the ignorant consciousness that reifies the70 distinction between objects and subjects, and this is called connate ignorance. From it emerges the individual naming of all phenomena appearing in the external physical world and its internal sentient inhabitants. Grasping at the referents [of these names] as distinct and the fortification of them as separate things is called speculative ignorance. Due to the functioning of these three kinds of ignorance, the three realms appear as saṃsāra, and there is delusion and bondage. The cause of this is the demon of grasping at the “I” and the self. The supreme paṇḍita and siddha Karma Lingpa wrote:

The demon of grasping at the “I” and self

is the great demon of the three realms of saṃsāra.

Accordingly, it is imperative to cut the taproot of grasping at the “I” and the self.

Investigating the source from which the so-called “I” first arises leads to the conclusion that no such source exists.

If you wonder whether the so-called “I” descends from the sky above, consider: If this space were the “I,” then the “I” would emerge from the “I.” Dust particles emerge from the earth, water drops from water, sparks from fire, and cool breezes from air. Likewise, if this space were the “I,” [37] then the “I” would emerge from the “I.” But the “I” does not emerge from space that is not the “I”; dust particles do not emerge from something that is not earth; water drops do not emerge from something that is not water; sparks do not emerge from something that is not fire; and cool breezes do not emerge from something that is not air. Likewise, the “I” does not emerge from space that is not the “I.”

Further, if you wonder whether the “I” emerges from the elements of earth, water, fire, or air, consider: If the elements of earth, water, fire, or air were the “I,” the “I” would emerge from the “I” just as dust particles emerge from earth, water drops from water, sparks from fire, and cool breezes from air. If the elements of earth, water, fire, and air were the “I,” then the “I” would emerge from the “I.” But the “I” does not emerge from the elements of earth, water, fire, and air that are71 not the “I,” just as particles of dust do not emerge from that which is not earth, water drops do not emerge from that which is not water, sparks do not emerge from that which is not fire, and cool breezes do not emerge from that which is not air. Accordingly, the “I” does not emerge from the elements of earth, water, fire, and air that are not the “I.” Likewise, the “I” does not emerge from the domain of the five outer elements.

If you wonder whether the “I” emerges from something substantial, consider: It is impossible for something insubstantial to emerge from something that is substantial. If the “I” emerges as something substantial, then the form, shape, color, and so on of the “I” [38] should be directly visible to the eyes and really graspable by the hands. But this is not the case.

If you wonder whether you emerge from within your own body, examine and investigate from the tips of the hair on your head down to the tips of your toes, and you will absolutely find no objective “I” that emerges from these places. Therefore, it inevitably turns out that the so-called “I” has no initial source.

This is how to investigate whether or not the so-called “I” has a location and is an agent bearing real characteristics that can be individually identified in the interim period [between its origin and cessation].

The head is called the head; it is not the “I.” Likewise, the scalp is called skin; it is not the “I.” The bones are called bones; they are not the “I.” Likewise, the eyes are eyes and not the “I.” The ears are ears and not the “I.” The nose is the nose and not the “I.” The tongue is the tongue and not the “I.” The teeth are teeth and not the “I.” The brain, too, is not the “I.” Moreover, regarding the flesh, blood, lymph, channels, and tendons, each has its own name and is not the “I.” This is revealing.

Moreover, the arms are arms and not the “I.” The shoulders are likewise not the “I,” nor are the upper arms, the forearms, or the fingers. The spine is the spine and not the “I.” The ribs are not the “I,” nor are the chest, lungs, heart, diaphragm, liver, or spleen. The intestines and kidneys are not the “I,” nor are urine or feces. Furthermore, the word “I” is not attributed to the legs. The thighs are called thighs and not “I,” and the hips are similarly not the “I,” nor are the calves, the soles of the feet, or the toes.

In short, the outer skin is not called “I”; the intervening flesh and fat are called flesh and fat, not “I”; the inner bones are called bones and not “I”; and the innermost marrow is called marrow and not “I.” Consciousness, too, is so called and is not named “I.” Therefore, emptiness as the nonexistence of a72 ­location and agent during the interim [between the origination and cessation of the self] is certain.

If you think there certainly must be some place where [the “I”] is located during the interim period [between its origination and cessation], consider: The “I” is not located in the domain of the five elements. If it were located there, when the elements are destroyed or damaged, you should experience pain within, but that doesn’t happen. If you investigate your own body inwardly, the head is called head, not “I.” Likewise, the scalp is called scalp; it is not called “I.” Bones are called bones; they are not called “I.” Similarly, the eyes are called eyes, not “I.” The ears are called ears, not “I.” The nose is called nose, not “I.” The tongue is called tongue, not “I.” Likewise regarding the teeth, brain, flesh, blood, [39] lymph, channels, and tendons, they are all called by their own names and are not called “I.” Similarly, the arms are called arms, not “I.” Regarding the shoulders, upper arms, forearms, and fingers, each is called by its own name and is not called “I.” Likewise, the spine is called spine and not “I,” and the same goes for the ribs, chest, lungs, heart, diaphragm, liver, spleen, intestines, kidney, urine, feces, legs, thighs, hips, calves, soles of the feet, and toes. The outer skin [40] is called skin, the intervening flesh and fat are called flesh and fat, the inner bones are called bones, and the innermost marrow is called marrow and not “I.” Moreover, consciousness is called consciousness and not “I.” Therefore, emptiness as the nonexistence of a location and agent during the interim period [between the origination and cessation of the self] is certain.

Finally, you should likewise come to a decisive understanding that this transcends all destinations and the agents who go to them. The apparent existence of something that in fact does not exist is like a hallucination. Uttering the names [of such things] is like talking about the horns of a hare.

Finally, if you think there must certainly be a destination to which one goes, consider: When the “I” has no origin or location, it certainly has no final destination. However, if it did, would the “I” that appears during the waking state and the “I” that appears while dreaming be one or two? If they were one and the same, the swelling on “my” body from being hit with sticks and stones and the wounds inflicted by weapons in a dream last night should be present on my body today during waking experience. But they are not. If you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 36073 nights,33 making 720 daily cycles, so there should also be 720 bodies. When they turn into corpses, the four primary directions of east, south, west, and north, as well as the eight intermediate directions, should all be filled with corpses. [41] But they are not. If they were living until they deceased, [all the directions] should be filled with great legions of “me.” If this were the case, they should be visible to the eyes, really graspable with the hands, and evident to the senses. But they are not.

Therefore, if you wonder whether the “I” becomes utterly nonexistent, consider: A nonexistent “I” would have no way of going to a realm of nonexistence. If it were existent, the “I” would have to be established as truly existent, but since it has already been determined that it is not to be found, it will still not be found. So this finally transcends all destinations and the agents who go to them.

For these reasons, the appearance of the “I” as existing even though it does not exist is [like] the appearance of strands of hair in the sky due to a disease of the eyes, and all references to the name [“I”] are like talking about the horns of a hare or sky lotuses. They do not bear even the slightest trace of true existence. As the All-Creating Sovereign Tantra states:

The root of saṃsāra is “I” and “mine.”

If this nonexistent and delusive root is cut,

the self-emergent, all-creating sovereign dissolves into yourself.

This concludes [42] the discussion of determining the apprehending subject, personal identity, as identityless.

ii. Determining the Apprehended Objects, Phenomenal Identity, as Identityless

Second, to determine the identitylessness of phenomena, there are (A') searching for the bases of designation of names, (B') dissolving grasping at the permanence of things, (C') counteracting the flaws of benefit and harm, and (D') collapsing the false cave of hope and fear.

In the discussion of determining the apprehended object, phenomenal identity, as identityless, there are four parts:

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A' Searching for the Bases of Designation of Names

First, if you seek out the referents of all names, you will see that they do not exist and are nothing more than imputations upon the merely natural displays of thoughts; for it is impossible for any phenomenon to be established as self-sustaining upon its own basis of designation. For instance, upon what is the so-called head designated and why? Is it so designated because it is the first part of the fetus to develop, or because it is round, or because it appears above? In fact, the head does not arise as the first part of the fetus; everything that is round is not called a head; and if you examine above and below, you will find that they do not exist in space. Likewise, hair is not the head. Skin is only skin and is not called a head. Bones are called bones and not a head. The brain is not the head, nor are the eyes, ears, nose, or tongue.

If you think that none of these individually is the head, but their collective assembly is called a head, consider: If you severed a creature’s head, pulverized it into its constituent molecules and atoms, and showed this to anyone in the world, no one would call it a head. Even if you reconstituted these molecules and atoms with water, it would not be called a head. Therefore, know how the so-called head is nothing more than a verbal expression, with no objective basis for this utterance.

All names are designated, even though they do not exist. Know that grasping at them as existent, while being ignorant of the fact that they do not exist, is speculative ignorance. For instance, on what is the so-called head designated and why? If you think it is so designated because it is the first part of the fetus to develop, note that in fact the head does not arise as the first part of the fetus, which gradually develops from the cakra of emanation at the navel. So that is not a justification for calling it a head. If you think it is called a head because it is round, note that all things that are round, such as peas and pills, are not named a head. If you think that something is called a head because it appears above, note that if you impute above and below on space, you will see that space has no above or below.

If you think that the appearance of an indigo color is above, note that most tantras state that the lapis lazuli light from the southern face of Mount Meru is the indigo color that strikes the ocean and appears as the color of the intervening space. In some tantras it is said that this space [43] is the indigo color of depth.

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To draw a parallel, the color of a small body of water appears to be pale, and when this water is poured into a container, it is of a pale color. A bit deeper body of water appears to be indigo, but when this is poured into a container it is pale in color, not blue. If you look at a very deep body of water, it looks dark blue in color, but when that water is poured into a container, once again it is pale, not dark blue. Likewise, it is said that this space appears to be indigo due to its great depth.

In that case, you may wonder whether the references to above and so forth are lies. Among the perfect buddhas’ Dharma teachings, some are intended for specific periods, occasions, people, and so forth, so they are not categorically the same. In most treatises it is said that if you kill your parents, it is a deed of immediate retribution, but as it states in the Letter of Consolation for King Ajātaśatru [558–491 BCE]:

One’s father and mother (craving and grasping) are to be killed.

The king (the substrate consciousness) overcomes the two kinds of hygiene (wrong view regarding your impermanent aggregates and grasping at the superiority of your own ethics and view). [44]

If one conquers a region together with its inhabitants (the mind and mental factors),

that person will become pure.

There is no reason why the categories of above and below must be absolute.34 So if you think there is something established as self-sustaining in the basis of designation of the head, consider: Hair is called hair, not the head; the tips of hair are called tips of hair; the midsections of hair are called midsections of hair; and the roots of hair are called roots of hair. The scalp is called the scalp, not the head; the skull is called the skull, not the head; and the brain is called the brain, not the head. Likewise, the eyes are called eyes; the ears are called ears; the nose is called nose; and the tongue is called tongue, and not the head.

If you think that none of these individually is the head but that their collection is called head, consider: If you severed a creature’s head, ground it into particles, pulverized them into molecules and those into atoms, and then showed them to the people of this southern kingdom of Jambudvīpa, they76 would call them particles and not a head. Even if you formed them into a lump with water, it would be called a lump, not a head.

Furthermore, are the head that appears in the waking state and the head that appears in a dream one or two? If they are one, [45] the swelling that resulted from your head being beaten with rocks and sticks last night in a dream and the wounds inflicted on it by a weapon should be present on your head during the waking state. But they are not. On the other hand, if you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 360 nights, so there are 720 days and nights, implying that you should have 720 heads. If so, they should either be stacked upon each other like palm fronds, or else they should be layered from inside to outside like the layers of bark of a box-tree. If this is the case, then you should be able to directly see them with your eyes, really hold them in your hands, and experience them through your senses. But it is not so.

Therefore, the head is nothing more than a verbal expression, while the basis of that verbalization has no objective existence. It is necessary to correctly recognize exactly how this is so.

Likewise, regarding the eyes—that name is not attributed to all pairs of spheres. The sclera is not an eye, nor are tears, veins, or blood. An eye is none of these individually, nor is it the assembly of their particles, or the lump of them reconstituted with water. That which sees forms is consciousness, not the eyeballs, which is evidenced by the fact that visual perception takes place in dreams and in the intermediate period.

Likewise, if you think there is something self-sustaining in the basis of designation of the eyes, consider: Regarding the eyes, any pair of spheres is not called eyes. The sclera is called sclera, but it is not an eye; [46] tears are called tears, but they are not an eye; the veins in the eye are called veins in the eye, but they are not an eye; blood is called blood, but it is not an eye. Each of these is called by its own name, and it is not an eye.

If you think that each of these individually is not designated as an eye, but that their assembly is called an eye, consider: If you took the eye of a creature, ground it into particles, pulverized them into molecules and those into atoms, and then showed them to the people of this southern kingdom of Jambudvīpa, they would call them particles and not an eye. Even if you formed them into a lump with water, that would be called a lump, not an eye.

If you think something is called an eye because it sees forms, consider: If77 you took the eyes of many dead creatures and stuck them into the eye sockets of someone who was blind, that person should be able to see, but it is not so.

Furthermore, are the eyes in a dream and the eyes during the waking state the same or different? If they are the same, and if last night you dreamed that you became blind, then you should have been blind when you awoke this morning, but it is not so. If you were blind during the waking state today, [47] even though you saw various forms during your dreams last night, during the waking state today your eyes don’t see even a single form.

Alternatively, if you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 360 nights, so there are 720 days and nights, implying that you should have 720 pairs of eyes. If so, from time immemorial until the present, your eyes should either be stacked upon each other like palm fronds, or else they should be layered from inside to outside like the layers of bark of a box-tree. If this is the case, then you should be able to directly see them with your eyes, really hold them in your hands, and experience them through your senses. But it is not so.

If you think that if you were to become blind, you would never see anything again, consider: If you think that it was your eyes that first saw forms, then you would think that forms would not be seen once you became blind; and in the end, it seems that no forms would be seen. However, if you close your eyes today during the waking state [48] and fall asleep, there is something that sees various forms in your dreams—even though your eyes during the waking state today don’t see even a single form. Likewise, during the intermediate period and thereafter, you will have died, leaving your present body behind as a corpse. Nevertheless, there is something that sees during the intermediate period and thereafter. Apart from the primordially present consciousness of your own mind simply seeing its own forms, this eyeball has never seen even a single form. For this reason the Bhagavān35 declared, “Visual consciousness is limitless.”

Likewise, regarding the ears—neither the auditory canals nor the skin are the ears, and the flesh, channels, ligaments, blood, and lymph all have their own names, so they are not the ears. The powder that would result from reducing them to tiny particles is not the ears, nor is the lump that would be formed by reconstituting them with water. If you think that the name ear is attributed to that which hears sounds, check out what hears sounds in a dream, the waking state, and the ­intermediate78 period. It is only the primordially present consciousness of your mind and not the ears.

Likewise, if you think there is something self-sustaining in the basis of designation of the ears, consider: Regarding the ears, the auditory canals are called auditory canals, so they are not the ears. The skin is called skin, so it is not the ears. The flesh is called flesh, so it is not the ears. The channels and ligaments are called channels and ligaments, so they are not the ears. The blood is called blood, so it is not the ears. The lymph is called lymph, so it is not the ears. They are all called by their own names, so they are not called ears.

If you think that none of these individually is designated as an ear, [49] but their combined assembly is called an ear, consider: If you severed a creature’s ear, ground it into particles, pulverized them into molecules and those into atoms, and then showed them to the people of this southern kingdom of Jambudvīpa, they would call them particles and not an ear. Even if you formed them into a lump with water, it would be called a lump, not an ear.

If you think that something is called an ear because it hears sounds, consider: If you took the ears of many dead creatures and stuck them into the ear sockets of someone who was deaf, that person should be able to hear, but it is not so.

Furthermore, are the ears in a dream and the ears during the waking state the same or different? If they are the same, and if last night you dreamed that you became deaf, then you should have been deaf when you awoke this morning, but it is not so. If you were deaf during the waking state today, even though you heard various sounds during your dreams last night, during the waking state today your ears don’t hear even a single sound.

Alternatively, if you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 360 nights, [50] so there are 720 days and nights, implying that you should have 720 pairs of ears. If so, from time immemorial until the present, your ears should either be stacked upon each other like palm fronds, or else they should be layered from inside to outside like the layers of bark of a box-tree. If this is the case, then you should be able to directly see them with your eyes, really hold them in your hands, and experience them through your senses. But it is not so.

If you think that if you were to become deaf, you would never hear anything again, consider: If you think that it was your ears that first heard sounds, then you would think that sounds would not be heard once you became deaf; and in the end, it seems that no sounds would be heard. However, if you close your eyes today during the waking state and fall asleep, there is something that hears various sounds in your dreams, even though your ears during79 the waking state today don’t hear even a single sound. Likewise, during the intermediate period and thereafter, you will have died, leaving your present body behind as a corpse. Nevertheless, there is something that hears during the intermediate period and thereafter. This is nothing other than the primordially present consciousness of your own mind simply hearing its own sounds. [51] For this reason the Bhagavān declared, “Auditory consciousness is limitless.”

Likewise, regarding the nose—the nostrils, skin, cartilage, flesh, channels, and ligaments all have their own names, so they are not called a nose. Moreover, that which smells odors is consciousness itself, so you should investigate what smells odors in a dream and in the intermediate period.

Likewise, if you think there is something self-sustaining in the basis of designation of the nose, consider: Regarding the nose, the nostrils are called nostrils, so they are not a nose. Skin is called skin, so it is not a nose. Cartilage is called cartilage, so it is not a nose. Flesh is called flesh, so it is not a nose. Channels and ligaments are called channels and ligaments, so they are not a nose. They are all called by their own names, so they are not called a nose.

If you think that none of these individually is designated as a nose, but their combined assembly is called a nose, consider: If you severed a creature’s nose, ground it into particles, pulverized them into molecules and those into atoms, and then showed them to the people of this southern kingdom of Jambudvīpa, they would call them particles and not a nose. Even if you formed them into a lump with water, it would be called a lump, not a nose.

If you think that something is called a nose because it smells odors, consider: If you took the noses of many dead creatures and stuck them into the facial cavity of someone whose nose had been severed, that person should be able to smell, but it is not so. [52]

Furthermore, are the nose in a dream and the nose during the waking state the same or different? If they are the same, and if last night you dreamed that your nose was cut off, then your nose should be cut off during the waking state today, but it is not so. If your nose was cut off during the waking state today, even though you smelled various odors during your dreams last night, during the daytime today your nose doesn’t smell even a single odor.

Alternatively, if you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 360 nights, so there are 720 days and nights, implying that you should have 720 noses. If so, from time immemorial until the present, your noses should either be stacked upon each other like palm fronds, or80 else they should be layered from inside to outside like the layers of bark of a box-tree. If this is the case, then you should be able to directly see them with your eyes, really hold them in your hands, and experience them through your senses. But it is not so.

If you think that if your nose were cut off, you would never smell any odors again, consider: [53] If you think that it was your nose that first smelled odors, then you would think that odors would not be smelled once your nose was cut off; and in the end, it seems that no odors would be smelled. However, if you close your eyes today during the waking state and fall asleep, there is something that smells various odors in your dreams, even though your nose during the waking state today doesn’t smell even a single odor. Likewise, during the intermediate period and thereafter, you will have died, leaving your present body behind as a corpse. Nevertheless, there is something that smells odors during the intermediate period and thereafter. This is nothing other than the primordially present consciousness of your own mind simply smelling its own odors. For this reason the Bhagavān declared, “Olfactory consciousness is limitless.”

Likewise, regarding the tongue—its flesh, skin, blood, veins, and nerves all have their own names, so they are not called a tongue. If they were pulverized into a powder, this would not be called a tongue, and if it were reconstituted into a lump, it would still not be called a tongue. This applies to all the following instances as well.

Likewise, if you think there is something self-sustaining in the basis of designation of the tongue, consider: Regarding the tongue, the flesh is called flesh, so it is not a tongue. Skin is called skin, so it is not a tongue. Blood is called blood, so it is not a tongue. Veins and nerves are called veins and nerves, so they are not a tongue. They are all called by their own names, so they are not called tongue.

If you think that none of these individually is designated as a tongue, [54] but their combined assembly is called a tongue, consider: If you severed a creature’s tongue, ground it into particles, pulverized them into molecules and those into atoms, and then showed them to the people of this southern kingdom of Jambudvīpa, they would call them particles and not a tongue. Even if you formed them into a lump with water, it would be called a lump, not a tongue.

If you think that something is called a tongue because it experiences tastes, consider: If you took the tongues of many dead creatures and stuck them81 into the oral cavity of someone whose tongue had been cut out, that person should be able to experience tastes, but it is not so.

Furthermore, are the tongue in a dream and the tongue during the waking state the same or different? If they are the same, and if last night you dreamed that your tongue was cut out, then your tongue should be cut out during the waking state today, but it is not so. If your tongue was cut out during the waking state today, even though you experienced various tastes during your dreams last night, during the waking state today your tongue doesn’t experience even a single taste.

Alternatively, if you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 360 nights, so there are 720 days and nights, [55] implying that you should have 720 tongues. If so, from time immemorial until the present, your tongues should either be stacked upon each other like palm fronds, or else they should be layered from inside to outside like the layers of bark of a box-tree. If this is the case, then you should be able to directly see them with your eyes, really hold them in your hands, and experience them through your senses. But it is not so.

If you think that if your tongue were cut out, you would never experience any tastes again, consider: If you think that it was your tongue that first experienced tastes, then you would think that tastes would not be experienced once your tongue was cut out; and in the end, it seems that no tastes would be experienced. However, if you close your eyes today during the waking state and fall asleep, there is something that experiences various tastes in your dreams, even though your tongue during the waking state today doesn’t experience even a single taste. Likewise, during the intermediate period and thereafter, you will have died, leaving your present body behind as a corpse. Nevertheless, there is something that experiences tastes during the intermediate period and thereafter. This is nothing other than the primordially present consciousness of your own mind simply experiencing its own tastes. For this reason the Bhagavān declared, [56] “Gustatory consciousness is limitless.”

Likewise, regarding the arms—the shoulders are not the arms, nor are the upper arms, forearms, fingers, knuckles, flesh, skin, bones, or marrow. Likewise, regarding the shoulders—the skin is not the shoulders, nor are flesh, bones, their assembled particles, or the lump reconstituted with water. The basis of designation of the name shoulder is empty in that it has no objective existence. Likewise, by investigating the upper arms and forearms, it becomes apparent that each component has its own name, with flesh being called flesh, bones called bones, skin82 called skin, and marrow called marrow. Not even an atom can be established as their basis of designation.

Likewise, if you think there is something self-sustaining in the basis of designation of the arms, consider: Regarding the arm, the shoulder is called shoulder, so it is not an arm. The upper arm is called upper arm, so it is not an arm. The lower arm is called lower arm, so it is not an arm. The fingers and knuckles are called fingers and knuckles, so they are not an arm. Flesh is called flesh, so it is not an arm. Skin is called skin, so it is not an arm. Bones are called bones, so they are not an arm. Marrow is called marrow, so it is not an arm. If you think that none of these individually is designated as an arm, but their combined assembly is called an arm, consider: If you severed a creature’s arm, ground it into particles, pulverized them into molecules and those into atoms, and then showed them to the people of this southern kingdom of Jambudvīpa, they would call them particles and not an arm. Even if you formed them into a lump with water, it would be called a lump, not an arm.

Therefore, is something called an arm because it performs tasks? If you think that if this arm didn’t exist, there would be nothing that performs tasks and actions, [57] consider: Are the arm in a dream last night and the arm during the waking state today the same or different? If they are the same, and if last night you dreamed that you had a crippled arm, then your arm should be crippled during the waking state today, but it is not so. If your arm was crippled during the waking state today, even though you plowed a field, built a house, and performed various tasks during your dreams last night, during the waking state today your arm doesn’t perform even a single task.

Alternatively, if you think they are different, consider: In one year there are 360 days and 360 nights, so there are 720 days and nights, implying that you should have 720 pairs of arms. If so, from time immemorial until the present, your arms should either be stacked upon each other like palm fronds, or else they should be layered from inside to outside like the layers of bark of a box-tree. If this is the case, then you should be able to directly see them with your eyes, really hold them in your hands, [58] and experience them through your senses. But it is not so.

If you think that if your arm were crippled, you would never perform any tasks again, consider: If you think that it was your arm that first performed tasks, then you would think that tasks and activities would not be performed once your arm was crippled; and in the end, it seems that no tasks or activities would be performed. However, if you close your eyes today during the waking state and fall asleep, there is something that performs tasks and activities in your dreams, even though your arm during the waking state today doesn’t83 perform even a single task. Likewise, during the intermediate period and thereafter, you will have

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