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Buddha Zhen

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Being A Latent Cause


The 5 Facets of Fact


Form is a facet of power. A big person appears to have more power than a small person. Oops, the small guy's got a gun.



The nature of all things to exist in some shape that is unique yet influenced by reality. On earth, water is influenced by gravity and behaves in certain ways according to temperature. In outer space, water pulls apart and behaves differently as it floats about in little droplets.



Water is a useful metaphor for humans since we are composed of water, more than anything else. So, for now let's continue to use water to explain the concept of "Latent Cause."



Using this formula:

POWER = Form (a handful of water)

+ Nature (poured into an ice cube tray)

+ Embodiment (transformed into an ICE CUBE)


So, POWER = ice cube.

Not very powerful you say? A zillion ice cubes = glacier = change face of planet.

That is the essence of all reality. All things have power. Water can be a river eating a canyon between two mountains, or an ice cube with the power to transform a glass of water into a lower temperature.

Consider that ice cube from many perspectives. It has power because it has function.

This inner potential is the latent cause. Sometimes, just having a cup of water will not accomplish our goals. We must transform that water into ice to ENABLE its' latent cause.

Latent cause means it has POTENTIAL. This ice cube we create has potential, but as it sits in our freezer, it is not accomplishing anything.

So, now we add EXTERNAL CAUSE to our latent cause.

The secret to this pearl of wisdom I am offering, is to see this lesson in several parts.

1. Water has potential.

2. By freezing the water we create ice which now has LATENT CAUSE. It has a new power, but is not in use yet.

3. By having this ice in the freezer, we can be READY for an external cause, or because we know the ice is there, we may introduce an external cause to make use of it. Because we know there is ice in the freezer we will consider using it for something.

This is the power of LATENT CAUSE. By creating this latent cause, we can attract an external cause.

The combination of latent cause and external cause = FRUITION or success.

When the ice cube cools the water, we have successfully utilized the POWER of the water by giving it a latent cause, adding an external cause, then enjoying the taste and temperature of a cool glass of water.

This is also the principle behind women wearing makeup and perfume.


  Zhen Shen-Lang,  July 10, 2003

  Chinese chop of Shifu Zhen Shen-Lang
  Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang
  Patriarch, Shaolin Zen




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