By Sallie B. King

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Thus, from the perspective of supreme truth, nonbeing is at once both affirmed and denied, hence it is at once both being and nonbeing. The same applies to being. Moreover, says the author, emptiness "both is and is not" (kong 38 I THE CONCEPT OF BUDDHA NATURE you bu you). This is the final salvo against any who might mistake emptiness for nonbeing. The treatment of emptiness in this text both argues against this particular mistake and opens the way for a discussion of emptiness in positive terms.

Buddha nature is no exception to this allencompassing rule. The author offers us here no new ideas or perspectives. \\bat he gives us is straight Middle Path logic emphasizing the process of tlux and the interdependence of cause and effect, of former and subsequent stages. He concludes the section by affirming in the most orthodox manner, "Know, therefore, that all things are Thus truly without own-nature. Only true emptiness is their essential nature" (793c). In this way the author affirms that his forthcoming teachings concerning the Buddha nature do not trespass on the inviolable teaching that there is no own-nature.

Literally, ben- "root, source, origin'' -plus you- ··existence, being"the term contrasts with you in the sense of finite existence; that is, the process of coming into being and perishing in time. Ben you rhus contrasts with both existence, or being Cvou ), and nonexistence, or nonbeing (wu), both in the finite sense. An interesting parallel can be found in the Daoist concept of wu. " The former "was not ... " 7 This sense of wu also was called ben u•u, ''original or root nonexistence" to distinguish it from the second sense of merely contingent nonexistence.

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