4 Ways of the Wise, continued

4. Depend on wisdom and not on concepts

I will be very brief here. This final maxim is the most profound, but we can say very little about it.

It is mainly intended for serious meditators. Gaining wisdom means realizing the nature of mind. To do this, you cannot rely on dualistic consciousness; you will go through to the non-dualistic mind, which we call wisdom. Meditators depend on the non-dualistic mind and not on the normal dualistic mind. They know that language, logic and reason are limited and cannot give access to ultimate reality, so they do not put much stock in these.

Depend not on dualistic or logical and conceptual mind, which is illusion, this maxim says, but on non-dualistic mind. Go underneath, don’t follow illusion as usual. Please do not forget that no matter how impressive or convincing our thoughts are, ultimate reality is beyond their reach.


So these are the four Ways of the Wise. Is it a sign of a decadent age that most people today behave in a way opposite to these precepts? They pile up one mistake on top of another without respite. People mislead themselves and then one person misleads another who in turn passes on wrong thinking to yet others, creating an endless chain of error. Please, don’t let yourself get caught in this chain. Rely on these four maxims, and you will cut through the bonds of illusion just as the great bodhisattva Manjushri, who has realized the perfection of wisdom, cuts through obscurations with his sword of wisdom.

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