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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Kyochi Myogo [The Fusion of Subject and Object] and faith

Question: "I have been struggling most recently with how Nichiren approached the question of the subject-object dynamic. In a round about way, its related to my flopping around on the Dharmakaya concept. Basically, I am wondering if the Dharmakaya can be understood as a sort of transcendent subjective (I realize that I am being very clumsy with the treatment of the subtle concepts).

I recalled the concept of the fusion of objective reality with subjective wisdom (jp kyochi myogo) and found in the SGI dictionary that the concept is set forth in Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra - one of Chih-i's commentaries on the Lotus Sutra. Basically, it is a description of the enlightened state, in my understanding, where the subjective is fused with objective reality. 

It is my understanding that Nichiren taught that one is able to achieve this fusion when one chants. 

I was wondering if anyone could elaborate on this idea or if anyone has any knowledge of how Chih-i explains the concept. Thanks"

Answer: Were you only able to become one with the Law while chanting, it would be impossible to benefit people or surmount life's hardships or persecutions. A person is one with the Law and equal to the Three Bodied Tathagata Shakyamuni when one lives the Lotus Sutra whether chanting, converting others, or doing the laundry. There is a reason the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren teach that faith is first and foremost. If it were only possible to become the Buddha while chanting, we would only opt to chant and would be no better than the forest dwelling monks or those who practice Zazen or Vippisana for hours on end. We chant to become the Buddha to benefit the living.

3000 Worlds in a Momentary Existence is intimately tied to The Fusion of Subject and Object. You are what you eat is another expression of an understanding of Fusion of Subject and Object, if not taken literally. From the very first, we were all taught you become what you devote (Namu) yourself to. 3000 Worlds in a Momentary Existence of Life and the Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds explains the Fusion of Subject and Object. There are two ways to look at the Ten Worlds and their mutual possession. The first is that everyone possess all ten. The other way is that everyone gravitates to one or several of the worlds. From moment to moment, those who are in the Lower Six Worlds are transformed, principally by conditions into remaining in the Lower Six while those in the Four Higher Worlds transform themselves principally through causes requiring great effort through will power consciousness (Ichinen).

If we look at the objects of the beings in the ten worlds, we see that the objects perfectly match the subjects as does the environment in which are found the various beings. 

A 600 lb morbidly obese man's object is food. He is nearly always thinking about food, talking about food, procuring food, or eating food. Whenever he sees food, whether on TV or in a restaurant, he experiences hunger and even while eating giant portions of food he is never satieted. The man's house is a mess with plates and half eaten bowls of food scattered all over his house, the sink stacked with dishes, and an extra jumbo sized refrigerator. The man's heart, liver, and muscles are immersed in fat. This man spends most of his life in the World of Hunger. This man has attained the Kyochi Myogo (Fusion of Subject and Object) of the World of Hunger. 

A Buddha's object is his teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Three Bodied Tathagata possessing the Law Body, Namu Myoho renge kyo. He is always thinking of the Law, the Buddha, and 'By what shall I cause the masses of beings to enter the Supreme Way and rapidly attain Buddhahood." Whenever he sees a person, through his words and behavior, he teaches the Law. His abode is the Land of Eternal Quiescent Light. He glows with the radiance of the Thus Come One. This man spends most of his time in the World of Buddhahood. This man has attained the Kyochi Myogo of the World of Buddhahood.

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