We arrive at the same time in the morning and see the Master sitting at the lower veranda beneath the apple tree in A Đề Garden, Vĩnh Ích village, Vạn Thuận hamlet, Tân Đảo settlement, Khánh Hòa province, later renamed Phú Khánh province. His residence is within a little forest that was explored about four years previously on the hill near the foot of the mountain. The front overlooks the sea, and the back is the Elephant Mountain. Although the landscape is incomplete, its beauty is not inferior to the beauty of nature. The Master, delighted with our presence, offers us mountain-made tea that is drinkable, though not very tasty.
The Master sits meditatively and appears to be contemplating as we recall yesterday’s lessons. Soon, the Master begins anew.
“As I have told you, the outburst of specific element creates the acquired specific form. Therefore, seeing and knowing are not outside of the specific form, creating disagreement in thoughts and forming thousands of different ways of living. The one who absorbs and return to the uniform seed has gone through a process that is known as living beings’ salvation. In this moment, I begin to tell you: space metamorphoses the Universe along with humankind. The application of space’s nature varies with different regions. Please listen to me.”
As soon as the Meditation Master says these words, the young monk brings the tea in. The Master waves his hand and continues. “What is fundamental nature? Fundamental nature is the utmost complete immortal knowledge that is neither polluted nor self-holding and doesn’t reside in any specific field. It is like the owner of a castle who has complete control of the castle, which is immortality without birth or beginning. The fundamental nature manages specific elements and form elements as well as space. Space creates its space form from itself, whereas the Universe and all species are being born.”
“Fundamental nature and space appear to be two, but they are really not two. Why? Fundamental nature does not change, whereas space constantly changes. Space has no state, but it has form and nature. Its nature couples with elements, known as the essential nature of space. Let’s take the viewpoint of humankind in the solar system to explain this more clearly. The nature of space is a pressing nature. When something has achieved its shape as a rock or a plank of iron, it is placed in space with the intention of avoiding the rotation of the Earth or the planets. The pressing force or pressing nature still affects the rock or the plank of iron, however, so it stands still in space for a certain time and then is naturally annihilated. Because of the pressing nature, the Earth is not round but egg-shaped; such a remark shows that space has a pressing nature.”
“Looking up to space, it is clear that it has an element form of hollow space. That hollow element itself metamorphoses and is not being metamorphosed. For example, in the solar system or in the Universe, there is a planet that reached its end time and has just exploded. After the explosion, its momentum gradually slows, and the disintegrated planet is immediately annihilated by the pressing force of space, turning into tiny dust and then empty dust; it is then assimilated into space and metamorphosed from space. There is no case in which the exploded planet is immediately re-metamorphosed when it retains its form. When space metamorphoses a planet, the planet takes its shape from tiny dust. Space nourishes it until its time limit expires and it is bound to be destroyed.”
“As far as the Universe metamorphosing space is concerned, it varies with each region. For example, in the case of its metamorphosis in the region of fine substances, the substances of fine essence are metamorphosed into the planes. The rough place is formed from the rough substances, fire is formed from elements of fire, and water is formed from elements of water.”
“In this solar system, the Earth represents the solid substance, the Sun represents the fire substance, the Moon represents the water substance, and space represents the hollow substance. Each planet, depending on its substances and has its own representative to form its system. Only the species that is superior to the Universe represents the constitution of consciousness. Hearing, seeing, and knowing are the roots of fundamental nature. However, species are subjected to metamorphosis in the Universe. They are mistakenly taking specific forms bound to the birth and death regulations. Therefore, they shall rely on air and fine air to breathe and the provisions of each plane and land, with the Earth as an example.”
We, the listeners, unanimously stand up and respectfully ask, “Master, space metamorphoses the Universe, the Earth, and all of the species; how does it metamorphose? Which species is born first? We beg you to explain this.”
The Meditation Master answers: “As I have expressed already, when the Universe and all of the species are integral and have not been formed yet, they can be corrected and transformed. On the other hand, when they possess form, they must have their own roots and branches. It is exactly as when you are thinking or planning something. For instance, when you plan to build a house, you can alter the plan and change the design with different dimensions. Once the house takes its shape or form, however, you would need to break it down completely or make major changes. Space must have its space form, the Earth must have its Earth form, the sun must have its sun form, and the moon must have its moon form. It is the same for all of the species: each species has its own form. Forms must have their longevity, so it is said that ‘Forms have their own regulations and functions.’ Also, the Saints say, ‘When one possesses an ill thought, if one does not express it, he or she does no harm; when one possesses an ill thought and expresses it, it is somewhat harmful, but it is rather than he or she does not put it into action. As one possesses an ill thought and puts it into one’s action, he or she is definitely evil.’”
“Speaking of space, it is a general warehouse, storing all elements and natures along with hearing, seeing, and knowing. Since species are not capable of mutual empathy yet, it is said that space has no knowledge. In reality, space is naturally endowed with hearing, seeing, and knowing. It is also conceived that space has neither fire nor light. On the contrary, when an engineer makes a power generator, he or she adopts space to emit light and make fire. If scientists can create a robot with all of the necessary parts, it is natural that the robot has knowledge and behaves exactly as a metamorphosed human would. If you understand my words, then you will believe that space metamorphoses the Universe and all of the species. On the contrary, if you are not convinced by my words yet, then you will find it difficult to believe them to be true.”
As the Meditation Master speaks these words, he seems to put added emphasis on them for our attention. He states: “Listen to me, gentlemen. First of all, space metamorphoses the Universe, or, if the Universe already exists, it sets up and metamorphoses the solar system. Space must have a starting point, moving to a great extent. Space metamorphoses the dimly white substance. With time, the dimly white substance metamorphoses itself into tiny space dust. Both the dimly white substance and the tiny space dust hold all of the required elements along with the available hearing, seeing, and knowing in themselves. However, secular eyes of specific form cannot see that.
“During that time, the tiny space dust makes itself into the visible white color. Its nature is very active, making it move and circulate within the achieved dimly white circle. When it is congested, its living body is much stronger and performs a circular rotation. In this way, it makes up the rotating line. When the tiny space dust makes up a big mass, the inside is congested and is called tiny dust, while the outside keeps on forming and nourishing. When it becomes solid, it is immediately affected by the pressure of space, which makes the rotation much stronger.”
“It is hard to estimate the number of years from the starting point of a small motion, to creating tiny space dust, to the time that it achieves an oriented rotation, but until there is congested liquid in its surface area as the Earth-encircling cloud roll, it must take eight hundred million (800,000,000) years as a time space rhythm. When the outer layer is solid, the inner layer is hard and has attractive force, there is breath air in and out, and its core has heat that is formed from the rotation. In that case, the estimated number of years must be increased by eight hundred million years (800,000,000) as well.”
“These two add up to one billion six hundred million (1,600,000,000) years. It’s estimated that it takes another one billion six hundred million years (1,600,000,000) before the outside becomes more solid and the inside has a substance that is harder than diamond. This substance has enough attractive force of metamorphosing space. Therefore, it has an extreme heat-enduring force, which is hard to describe. So, from the starting point until this stage, it has taken a total of four rhythms, equal to three billion two hundred million (3,200,000,000) years.”
The Meditation Master stops and takes a sip of tea, meaning for us to take the time to recall and ponder what he just has told us. The Meditation Master then continues. “As far as the Earth is concerned, it has four stages. Each stage has four rhythms. Each rhythm lasts for eight hundred million years. The first stage is called the Formation Period. The second stage is called the Residence Period. The third stage is called the Destruction Period. The fourth stage is called the Vacuum Period. In each stage, humans live in different ways. For that reason, humanity relies on the Earth for living rather than on itself. Humanity affects and relates to the Universe in the same way that a fish affects and relates to water.”
“In the Earth Formation Period, humankind and all of the species begin their metamorphosis. The sun and the moon also make their appearance in this Period. The sun and the moon appear after the three rhythms of the Earth, which take two billion four hundred million (2,400,000,000) years. Why do the sun and the moon appear later than the Earth? Because the heat of the Earth constitutes the sun, and coolness is provided to the moon. That’s why their appearance is rather later.”
We are very surprised at hearing these words. The Meditation Master seems to be aware of what is in our minds. He smiles and reminds us, “You should know that each land or plane has its own species as its center. For example, the Divine Plane is presided over by the divine species. The Earth is presided over by humans. This solar system is presided over by the Earth, whereas the sun, the moon, and space are taken as supplements to nourish and support the Earth. For that reason, the constituted Earth is supplied with a liquid that is denser than the tiny space dust. As its center is hard and it has the rotation line of the orbit, it is affected by the pressure of space. This pressure is favorable to the Earth for two purposes. First, it provides the Earth with a moving force that allows the Earth to rotate strongly, and the strong rotation gives rise to heat at the center of the Earth. Second, owing to the heat, there is an attractive substance of space and the absorption of tiny dust constituting the outer cover. The more rotations of the Earth, the more absorptions and emissions of the Earth’s gas. At a certain speed, the heat rises strongly at a considerable height. The heat is drawn into the orbit. The heat that rises above the orbit is known as the fire space dust. It is not subjected to the Earth, making an up-road in space to the upper layer, immediately touching space and becoming the orbit line, which resembles the Earth’s rotation. In the constituting time, it is called the Sun.”
Upon these words, The Meditation Master notices that we don’t quite understand yet. He restates his point as follows: “What is the fire space dust? The fire space dust is the emitted heat from the center of the Earth. At that time, no sunlight is yet seen from the Earth. The heat is emitted, touches the orbit, and then rises up and expands 3000 meters around in the air. Half of it is attracted to the Earth and renders the Earth temperate, and the remaining half rises above the orbit, making a diameter, and rises to the upper layer, where the sun becomes apparent.”
“The fire space dust has a separating diameter with space, which heads to the upper layer. You should remember that the inside of the diameter pertains to the fire space dust, and the outside of the diameter is pushed downward by the pressing nature of space and becomes the cool substance known as fine space dust. It strongly runs down to the end of the diameter of the fire space dust, making up an inverse diameter such that it also collides with space, becoming an orbit rotation and constituting the apparent moon.”
“When the three masses take shape, as far as the elements are concerned, there is mutual integration and nourishment between them in the Earth. Each has its own capability of absorbing and releasing. The sun belongs to the fire air. The moon belongs to the fine air; the Earth belongs to the air. As far as the planets in the solar system are concerned, each planet has a chief element of its own. Space is active and lively because the sun, the moon, the Earth, and lots of other planets rotate together in it. If there is neither planet nor Earth nor sun nor moon in it, space is not living and active. Such liveliness of space creates a governing gas, which is a substance that covers the solar system and becomes the frontier of a plane. No matter how advanced modern humans have become, they cannot surpass the governing gas’s circular lines.”
“I shall now tell you how human beings and living creatures undergo metamorphosis and clearly explain the four periods of the Earth: Formation, Residence, Destruction, and Vacuum. Human life is more rhythmical due to the influence of the Earth than it would be if humans were self-reliant. When the Earth begins to be destroyed, as it is about to be destroyed, how does the human living standard change? Please listen to me carefully.”
The Meditation Master explains, “In the beginning, when the Earth represented the liquid of smallest space dust, seeds of all of the species and humans already existed in it. Why? This is because fundamental nature is all-embracing and is present at the space elements level. Today, the space elements metamorphose into thousands and thousands of different shapes, forms, and colors, all of which already exist in the space elements. If they do not pre-exist, their forms would never be shown. This is like how an orange seed includes an orange tree in itself. Secular eyes, dharma eyes, and Divine eyes can’t perceive space elements; only the eyes of contemplative intelligence of Buddhism can see them. Buddhist contemplative-intelligent eyes see humans conceived as an egg wavily flying above the Earth. When reaching 12 years, one’s body is hatched out and is 2 meters, 60 centimeters tall. When one is first hatched out, one flies like the swimming fish. One’s knowledge is very poor, one’s longevity is as long as 10,000 years each lifetime, and one’s provision is living air. At this time, humankind was metamorphosed and the Universe was nourished by the Earth’s living air, which was plentiful and rich of nutrition; thus, longevity was very high. The more congested and the harder the Earth became, the more human longevity decreased. Each mountain was formed from the breath of the Earth, with the motion of the Earth causing the high or low configuration. Tiny space dust combined to become tiny dust, which was transformed into grains of sand: all of this was caused by the hot and cold of the fire space dust, it then similarly metamorphosed into stone on the Earth. There are countless similar combinations and similar metamorphoses.”
“As stated above, the Earth undergoes four periods. Each period lasts for four rhythms. Each rhythm lasts for eight hundred million (800,000,000) years. The first period is known as the Formation Period. The second period is known as the Residence Period. The third period is known as the Destruction Period. The fourth period is known as the Vacuum Period. The total longevity of the Earth is twelve billion eight hundred million (12,800,000,000) years.”
“During the Formation Period of the Earth, human knowledge was very poor. It was even inferior to that of the living animals of the Destruction Period. People did not yet know how to have sexual intercourse. Humans only used what the Earth metamorphosed. Since metamorphoses are rare and infrequent, they did not know what death was. Toward the end of the Formation Period, humankind started to use a solid, milk-like substance that was emitted by the Earth. At that time, humans began to lower, walk, stand, fly, and run together on the Earth.”
“At the beginning of the Residence Period, human longevity decreased to eight thousand (8,000) years each lifetime. Human knowledge was still poor; they only knew their residence, using only materials emitted by the Earth. They were very carefree, innocent, and they enjoy with each other in the human sentiment; later, they learned how to recognize the feminine and masculine genders. They made groups, being mutually happy and very friendly. As far as the sexes are concerned, they were naturally friendly to one another. They missed one another when they were far apart; they flew and ran to find each other. Later, they lived with one another and treated each other as wife and husband. That was the beginning of the Residence Period.”
“At the Residence Period of the Earth, there were plants, fruit trees, and landscapes. Humans began to reproduce by themselves and to be conceived in the ovary. Humans did not fly anymore. Their living standard was excellent and leisurely. They did not think privately or have any notion of ownership, as in, ‘This tree is yours and that land is mine.’ The fruit trees contained lots of vitamins and nutrients, being very long-beneficial. For instance, a ginseng root could support human health for up to one hundred years and a fruit could be nutritive for as long as two or three years. Each kind of food was nutritive for a very long time. Each fruit was substantially high in nutrition value due to pure and natural soil, and the emitting air was plentiful. Therefore, human longevity was high.”
“The Period of Residence was not a compulsory or obligatory one. It did not know any kind of organization, theft, or resentment. Humans were generous in sharing food with one another; they loved to be next to each other and help one another in many different ways, entertaining each other by talking, gathering, dancing, and clapping their hands. Later on in this period, they began to know how to keep fruits for themselves and to plant their own trees, and thus they needed their own people to take care of these private properties; this was the beginning of the ownership concept. Human longevity decreased to six thousand (6,000) years. This decrease resulted from the lack of nutrient-rich living air in the Earth. Human longevity slowly decreased with the passage of time until, in the Destruction Period, lifetimes were no longer very long.
“This period that we now live in is known as the Destruction Period. This period began very long ago. In fact, the Destruction Period dates from the time when tribes or institutions were formed and kings or chiefs governed the people. The Destruction Period is characterized by degradation. At the beginning, this degradation is small. Over a period of time, it becomes very large. It has the same progress as how space metamorphoses the Universe: at the beginning, it originates from space as very small, then it takes its initial shape as the tiny space dust, then becomes the tiny dust before finally becoming the Universe. This is the same as the beginning of the Destruction Period.”
“The Destruction Period brought human self-strengthening and self-reliance to earn one’s living. Every time a king or chief begins to govern, they try different things, hoping to bring better life to all. However, the living standard of the current Destruction Period is neither superior nor inferior to the transitional time between the Destruction and Vacuum Periods.”
“In the Destruction Period, human intelligence is superior to that of the Formation and Residence Periods. This period produced Saint’s beings, Fairy beings, and super human beings in order to show a way to escape life. That’s why humankind aspire to practice and perform the dharma Tao, aiming to escape from the sorrows and pains of the human world, and to avoid the place of ruin and destruction. During this Destruction Period, the clairvoyant people are very fearful; they concentrate their efforts on cultivating fields of good fortune and virtuous natures, aiming to safeguard their lives and dissolve resentment and competition. This period often causes unexpected accidents and injustices.”
“There are many reasons and facts that cause millions of people throughout the world to worry about birth and death. They vow to help one another, showing each other first how to escape from sorrows and pains, and second, how to bring harmony and safety to humankind. From kings and chiefs to heads of state, they all guide their people.”
“How opposite and pathetic the Destruction Period is! The more humans worry, the unhappier humans become. The more efficient the drugs they find, the more serious the diseases they cause. Many super humans and Saints who have solutions for humankind are pushed into isolation. On the other hand, those who bring nothing to other people are self-proud, claiming themselves powerful, and are authorized. Meanwhile, clairvoyant and authentically bright people who relax the human mind and body are rare.”
The Meditation Master completes these words, silently looking at us, contemplating what more can be done for humankind during the Destruction and Vacuum Periods. Then the Master continues: “Please think of my words. In any given period, Saints come into being and great people are born, yet few people listen to them, so they quietly leave. Simply because of the Destruction Period, the human body and mind are full of confusion and doubt. One doesn’t know where the destination of his or her life is. On account of that, the great person or Saint’s being leaves some sutras for living advice or showing humankind the right way. There was a period when Confucius was placed at the rank of super human. He showed many appropriate ways of behavior for every class and level, and his words are still welcomed by many people. In this period, even though humans are made feeble by following his guidance, he still knows how to preserve their roots in virtuous nature. When he saw that people were puzzled by the question, ‘Who creates humankind?’, Confucius said, ‘The heaven creates humankind, and the Earth produces grass.’ This is exactly as I tell you today, ‘Space metamorphoses the Universe and humankind.’ I do not rely on Confucius’ thesis, I just reaffirm what that wise sage said. It’s also a fact, which shows that the words I say today are true.”
“Through many generations, the super person, the great person, the Saint’s being, and the incarnated Buddha come and go. Unfortunately, they are slowly forgotten over time by the following generations, but their footprints are still left in the human heart. The one who wants to achieve in his or her lifetime as a human being always improves, but he or she always acknowledges and treasures a wise sage’s precious advice. You should also remember that a heap of rubbish is dirty, but it is still useful as fertilizer for rice. So how can we throw away a wise sage’s words? The Destruction Period is the governing one that was long-established and became the familiar system of humankind. It must proceed in each human stage. At the outset, animals know how to eat animal flesh, with the big animal devouring the small one; then, humans catch animals to eat their flesh. Later on, humans eat human flesh. That is the time of ruin and destruction, when exploitation, cruelty, and oppression increase as people compete for each other’s flesh to eat.”
“When the Shakyamuni Buddha was incarnated in India, India had two distinct castes: the ruling caste (King and Mandarin) and the slave caste. The ruling caste did not literally eat the slave caste’s flesh, but they did eat the slave caste’s vitality through slavish lifetimes.”
“The Buddha applied a dissolving procedure to destroy these two castes so that they became equal. At the same time, the Buddha brought truth to all people as a self-lightening torch that lit the way to achieving the immortal life.”
As the Meditation Master completes these words, it is near high noon, time for a regular lunch. Regrettably, we have to leave. The Meditation Master leads us to the gate. We ask for his permission to return in the evening, and the Meditation Master nods in agreement.