…the Tathagata’s (Buddha’s) Vow destroys the poison of wisdom and foolishness.
--Kyogyoshinshu by Shinran Shonin
I think it means that duality is eliminated by
vitue of the Tathagata’s Vow.
It is easier to avoid and destroy foolishness
because they are gross and easily identified. The poison of wisdom is more subtle and difficult to discern. In my life a sincere
humility must be constantly cultivated because pride is easily found in the work I do.
In the yogic quest for enlightenment, the final
attachment that one must surrender is the desire for liberation. That entails setting the tool of the mind, that plots and
strategies, aside. The moment that we think we have gained wisdom, we lose it. Claiming wisdom is like trying to catch the
wind in the palms of the hands. One cannot capture wisdom within oneself, though one is surrounded by it at all times. “The
unexamined life is not worth living,” I warn my father, who refuses to contemplate his existence. I feel that I have
gained merit through my practices of mediation and compassion. I suspect that those who do not attempt to better themselves
are wasting precious lives and contaminating the world with their ignorance. Am I better than them kinder? More conscious?
Where is the wisdom in relativity?
We are our own impediment to enlightenment. Being
wise or foolish is the same thing, both those labels are for our egos. True inspiration for Namo Amida Butsu only requires
being without the need for “wisdom” of “foolishness.” For me –don’t take this all too
seriously, it doesn’t need to be complicated or philosophical. I don’t need to be any thing but “as is.”
It is an unexplainable medicine that eradicates
all poisons, with true faith and practice, Amida has served all of us, we just have to call the Name. My belief has been blind
for so long, until I became willing to practice the Nembutsu, yes, I believe but I am foolish; it’s the balance of growth,
not doubt, like I was, it’s what I will become.
Amida’s Vow will destroy both wisdom and
foolishness. The significance seems to be with wisdom. Wisdom can be a trap for feeling superior to others or feel more prestigious
too. It’s easy to pat yourself on the back and say to yourself, “wow!” I know a lot of stuff about this
and that, but I always want to feel that I still need to learn from others.
Shinran was especially perspective in his recognition
of how we use religious practice in the practice of the search for wisdom and enlightenment as masks for our wish for superiority,
distinction, power and status. It is easy to see foolishness and ignorance as a poison but to understand wisdom as a poison
requires a subtle and perceptive pursuit of truth.