Open Secret
(公開秘密)
Wei Wu-Wei
Religion, Philosophy                                                      
March 1966
208 pages
6" x 9"
Paperback 978-0-85656-019-4
This edition is no longer available.
 
Paperback 978-962-209-030-9
This edition is no longer available.
 
Ebook

The old Masters were fond of a little joke. For instance one of them might say that the Buddha had a secret, but that Mahākāshyapa let it out. Mahākāshyapa, you may remember, was the bodhisattva to whom the Supreme Vehicle, chiefly represented by Ch’an and Zen to-day, is attributed. He was who understood the famous sermon when the Buddha merely held up a flower and spoke no word. Then one Master would remark that only as long as you do not understand—is it a secret. And, indded, do not all mysteries, and miracles too, only appear so in so far as we may not understand how they arise or occur? Then another might add that once you do understand it is Mahākāshyapa not keeping the secret. Therefore a secret is only something which people in general do not understand, and Mahākāshyapa not keeping the secret was the real secret of the Buddha. So that only when a secret is not kept is there a secret, and when there is a secret, then it has not been kept. What is not kept secret is a secret, and what is kept secret is not a secret at all. Thus the secret that is not kept secret is what is meant by an Open Secret.

 
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