sutra text from last issue: When their thought and emotion are of equal proportions, they cannot fly and they do not fall,...If their emotion is dark, their wits are dull.
In the past, in order to get to the human realm, you had fifty percent thought and fifty percent emotion. All you have to do is take a look and see if you've got more emotion now or more thought. If you've got more emotion, your next transfer will be to the hells. If you've got more thought, your next transfer will be to the heavens. If you are devoid of emotion, you can transfer to the Buddhalands, for you are pure yang, without any yin. If you have ten percent emotion, you have yin. If you don't have any emotion, you are pure yang and can become a Buddha.
If their thought is bright, their wits are keen.This is the point of transfer. The more you think, the smarter you get and the more wisdom you have. The more wisdom you have, the more wisdom you will obtain. The more you cultivate, the more your skill will develop day-by-day. In this way your light grows a little more day-by-day. It keeps increasing until it is equal to the light of the Buddhas. That's what's meant by "if their thought is bright, their wits are keen."
If their emotion is dark, their wits are dull. Why is emotion said to be yin? Thought is very open and out front, very public and bright. To cultivate, investigate Chan, sit in meditation, study the Buddhadharma, and listen to the Sutras are proper activities. From them you can gain keen intelligence.
But love and emotion--romantic matters--can't be discussed in a crowd. Rather, a man and a woman must go to the park or the seashore or beneath a tree alone to speak in whispers. They must slowly talk things over in secret. This is what is meant by emotion being "dark." Dark and obscure places are places where others cannot see them and where there is very little light. For example, they might go into the forest where they can't see the sky. Or they get into cars or on boats. They go to places where there are few people; this is to be "dark." Darkness is considered yin, and it causes people to be stupid and dull-witted. They chat and chat and become stupider and stupider until eventually they fall into a bottomless pit. That's why emotion makes you fall. You talk together until you both slip and fall into the sea of suffering. Then it won't be easy to get out; you'll have to make a tremendous effort. Unless you're lucky enough to have a Good and Wise Advisor who grabs you by the hand and shouts, "Get out!" getting out will be very difficult.
When they have more emotion than thought, they enter the animal realm. With heavier emotion, they become fur-bearing beasts; with lighter emotion, they become winged creatures.
When they have more emotion than thought, they enter the animal realm. With heavier emotion, they become fur-bearing beasts. People with heavy emotion end up getting reborn as cows, horses, sheep, and the like. Do you see how dangerous it is? You'd better be careful! That's why I said this section of the Shurangama Sutra is so important. It shows exactly the point at which people and animals cross paths. One wrong step and you end up an animal. If you're off by just a little bit, then you fall into the animal kingdom. Those with heavy emotions become animals with fur and perhaps horns.
With lighter emotion, they become winged creatures. If people have more emotion than thought, then they are reborn either as hungry ghosts or as animals. If they have more emotion, but still also have some thought, then they become creatures that fly.
Did you ever wonder why birds are so colorful? Some birds have beautiful spots and patterns on their plumage. It's because when they were human beings, they liked to wear colorful and pretty clothes. They would get all dressed up and then constantly admire themselves. The combination of excessive attention to clothing and a lot of emotion with a little thought caused them to fall into the realm of birds. Some birds are really exquisite. They must have been people who dressed especially well. Because of their emotion, they end up as animals, but the degree of their emotion is slightly less than that of beasts, and so they become birds.
To be continued