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In Frederick Franck's book "Angelus Silesius," Franck describes a Zen Master's attempt to explain to the empress how the "True-Man-without-Face" (man's true nature, the Tao, Suchness, the Buddha-nature, whatever you will) is present in all people, and how men become identical when we understand time to be infinite. The following is an excerpt from the Franck.


The Empress Wu decided to ask one of the Founder of Hwa Yen or Kegon School, Fa Tsang (632-712 A.D.) if he could possibly give her a practical and simple demonstration of this cosmic interrelatedness, of the relationship of the One and the Many, of God and his creatures, and of the creatures one to another.

Fa Tsang went to work and appointed one of the palace rooms so that eight large mirrors stood at the eight points of the compass. Then he placed two more mirrors, one on the ceiling and one on the floor. A candle was suspended from the ceiling in the center of the room, When the Empress entered, Fa Tsang lit the candle. The Empress cried: 'How marvelous! How beautiful!'

Fa Tsang pointed at the reflection of the flame in each one of the ten mirrors and said: 'See, Your Majesty: this demonstrates the relationship of the One and the Many, of God to each one of his Creatures. The Empress said: 'Yes indeed, Master! And what is the relationship of each creature to the others?' Fa Tsang answered: 'Just watch, Your Majesty, how each mirror not only reflects the one flame in the center. Each mirrors also reflects the reflections of the flame in all the other mirrors, until an infinite number of flames fills them all. All these reflections are mutually identical; in a sense they are interchangeable, in another sense each one exists individually.'

Then Fa Tsang, in order to conclude his command performance, held up a small crystal ball and said: 'Now watch, Your Majesty, how all these large mirrors and all the myriad forms they reflect are mirrored in this little sphere. See, how in the Ultimate Reality the infinitely small contains the infinitely large, and the infinitely large the infinitely small, without obstruction!'

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