by Harold Stewart
The Buddha, from his Centre of All-Knowledge, or sarvatha-jnana, can contemplate all things simultaneously in the Eternal Present. The Metaphysical is only apparently opposed to the physical, for in reality it subsumes its contrary.
To the outlook of an Enlightened One, Nirvana is Samsara and Samsara is Nirvana;
but to the unenlightened, the nonduality of these opposites has not yet been realized and so such schematic devices and distinctive categories still have their uses as upaya, or skilful means for leading to that Realization.
Just as Earth acts outwardly, whereas the influence of Heaven is from within, so in the natural World Beauty is external, whilst it is the inmost quality of the Divine.
Thus the lowest level of sensory Beauty should be regarded as an aspect of Supernal Beauty.
The spiritual is not in opposition to the sensory: it is the despiritualized secular World alone that is illusory and false.
This nonduality of Samsara and Nirvana is brought out by a famous passage in the Heart of Transcendental Wisdom Sutra, the Prajnaparamita-hrdaya-Sutra (called Hannya Shingyo in Japanese): 'Form is Void and Void is Form;
what is Void that is Form, and what is Form that is Void;
Form is no other than Void and Void is no other than Form'.
This Mahayana view, which was theoretically developed in the Madhyamaka dialectic of Nagarjuna, has long been acclimatized in China and has provided the Metaphysical foundation for most schools of Japanese Buddhism.