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Thursday, March 26, 2015

On Human Beings Sinking Low - heavy exchange

Student C: What is that person which is not a human being?

SR: Hmm?

Student C: What is that person which is not a human being?

SR: You lose the meaning of “human being.”

Student C: I mean, he doesn't physically go though being changed. But if I were to take out a revolver and put a bullet in your head, for example, would that make me less of a human being?

SR: Yeah. You'd be an animal.

Student C: An animal.

SR: An animal [laughing].

Student C: Ah.

SR: It is true. But you cannot be an animal [laughs]. But if you can shoot me, you are an animal. There is no bottom in heaven and hell. Maybe if we cannot be a human being, we may be the worst animal [laughs]. Cats and dogs are much better than human animal. There is no bottom for us. The being working with two legs, using two hands, and thinking something-- ”good and bad, half and half” [laughs]-- thinking that will protect him as a human being, that is a big, big mistake. That is abuse of the human body, human being. He treats human being as a lowest enemy or creature. That's awful.

Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 65-07-30-C as found on - Edited by DC