One Bright Pearl, (Ikka-no-myoju, Part 5)
Master Dôgen appreciates the example of the bright pearl and says,
“It is an expression of the truth. It will be famously recognized. The one pearl goes directly through ten thousand years. The eternal past has not ended but the eternal present has arrived. The body exists now and the mind exists now. Even so (the whole universe) is a bright pearl”
In this wonderful reality we should free ourselves from the emotions of liking and disliking or badly wanting to possess something or refusing something. Considerations like these are not true reality, and the truth of the bright pearl transcends such thinking, emotions and distinctions.
In Buddhism there are several very famous stories about pearls. For example, a rich man gave his very poor friend a pearl, but he put it in his clothes and it was hidden. The poor friend became aware of the pearl many years later and was saved by it. Thus it is the great rhythm of our life to give a pearl and to receive a pearl. The black dragon of Chinese mythology has a pearl under his chin and in the Lotus Sûtra it is said that the king gives a precious pearl to a human being who has worked very hard for him.
At the end of this chapter Dôgen stresses the fact that we should not complain about the future and the universe in general. So even when it is hot in the sixth month of the lunar calendar in China, we should enjoy it and be happy in this wonderful universe. Because it is like a bright pearl and it is beyond thinking and intellectual philosophy:
“Artificial and non artificial states of surmising and doubting, attaching and rejecting are just the small view. There is nothing more then trying to make (the bright pearl) match the narrow intellect. How we could not love the bright pearl? Its colors and light, as they are, are endless.”