Excerpt About True Nature's Nature

When the Master and the Lama Look at the Situation Differently

So what is the philosophers’ stone? I’ve said it is our true nature. But what is true nature? It is not easy to find out or say what true nature is. This reminds me of the story of the Zen Master who presents an apple to a High Lama and asks him, “What is this?” The Lama answers, “It’s an apple.” Unsatisfied with the answer, the Zen Master persists, “What is this?” And the Lama keeps responding, “It’s an apple.” After a few rounds of this, the Lama finally exclaims, “This guy has never seen an apple before?!” As I understand it, for the Lama true nature is clarity and
emptiness that is everywhere, including the apple, the Lama, the Master, and all of reality. For the Zen Master, the apple itself is all of reality. Even though everything that the Lama is seeing is there in the apple, the Master and the Lama don’t see eye to eye, because they are looking at the situation differently. This happens a lot; people don’t understand each other because they use different languages and metaphors and they have different backgrounds and history, but also because they have different views of reality.

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