"You students lack self-confidence and therefore seek outside yourselves."All this amounts to "hsin-hsin", trust in heart — your heart. I-Hsuan (Hui-chao) was speaking to those who sought 'enlightenment'. I would honor it by understanding what he had in mind, and then defile it by rending it from its context. Forgetting 'enlightenment', I would declare that whoever you are, whatever the state of your personal 'mess', have confidence in your own heart, be yourself, let your only reference be the integrity of your own heart. Trust yourself. Who knows, maybe you'll get 'enlightened'; then you would find no need to reference anything at all.
"Let the mind be free from all external searching. You will be emancipated wherever you are."
"Be yourselves and don't pretend anything."
"If you do not have enough self-confidence, you will busily submit yourself to all kinds of external conditions and their transformations, and be enslaved and turned around by them and lose your freedom."
— I-Hsuan (?-867)
But 'enlightenment' is a side issue; Nirvana is a day-dream. Affirming your own reality is where it all begins and ends. Affirming oneself is not affirming something about oneself, that one is Tao, or Mind, or Buddha, or Nothing. Affirming oneself is affirming oneself. It does not matter what or who you 'are'. Affirmation is unmediated; it requires no reason, no 'because'.
If there is 'enlightenment', how would it differ from this?
The slave knows his slavery by the chains that he wears. To be disturbed by the opinion of others is to wear chains. To internalize their opinions is to wear their chains. To be 'a house divided against itself' is to wear the chains of one's own opinions of oneself. To affirm oneself is to refuse all chains.
Do you think this freedom is anything other than 'a vast openness'? Do you believe that in caring nothing for the opinion of others relative to yourself, that you are not thereby able to embrace them as never before? To truly affirm oneself is to affirm every self, it is to dissolve the walls between self and other.
You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.