33 | CR Book XI, Chapter 1




Chapter 1 - Introductory

To remove the stain of self-deception from the core of
reality, we must negate ourselves, or negate the negation.
The self-negating attitudes must be directed so as to
destroy their own mother. After we realised what things,
and, among them, ourselves, really are - all one, and no-
thing in themselves - we can treat their multiplicity, and
our multifarious and separate self, as what they are -
insignificant, void, empty and vain. The illusions of mul-
tiplicity will persist and reappear as long as our body
is alive, for the separation of this organism from the
rest of the world, and its obstruction to the
easy flow of the self-nature of things around it, ceases
only when it reaches its aim, death. We may, however, learn
not to be taken in by these illusions, and to accept, or to
treat things not as what they appear, but as what they
really are. In this state of mind it is futile to describe
objects as either existing or non-existing, in the way in
which our ignorance leads us to imagine those two states.
The mental attitudes which give these words their meaning
are transcendental, there being no obstacles to overcome.

Struck by the emptiness of all conditioned things, one
is tempted to assert that the world arose because a no-
thing deceived itself about itself, and thus became some-
thing. Such a statement misleads because to place self-
deception at the ultimate beginning of the world gives
the impression that there was a time when self-deception
was not. It is also more useful to do away with self-
created illusions by removing their conditions, than to
speculate about a supposed unconditioned self-caused origin
for them. In any case, the way to the reality of things goes
through their emptiness.

Thought discloses the vague outlines of Reality - but at
a distance, and as through a glass, darkly. Practice alone
makes real. Ontological and psychological investigations
showed what we must do to be saved. If we want further
to know how to do it, we find a most helpful guide in
the traditional system of Buddhist training, which is
specially designed to weaken the power of a separate
and deceptive self, and to realise the experience of