The commentary says, "Responding to the myriad things from the perspective of the self is delusion." That's the way we see the world—out of our own self-centered perspective. We encapsulate ourselves in the skinbag, and we figure that what's inside is who we are and what is outside is the rest of the world. Of course, that kind of attitude results in our taking care of the skinbag and little else. We don't see that what's happening out there is happening to each one of us. But there's no way to avoid this truth. We can deny it. We can pretend it's not happening, but the fact is, it's true. Intimacy is the truth of the universe. It is how all things work—the ten thousand things. When you realize that the myriad things and you are the same reality, how you move through this world is quite different. How you act, how you take care of it, becomes very personal. It's no longer merely a duty or something that we tell ourselves we should do "for our children": "Let's take care of the environment because our kids won't have an earth." Actually, it's much more personal than that. It's my body out there that's being polluted. It's my body—that's why I take care of it. Very personal.
"From ancient times to the present, people have regarded the myriad things as separate from themselves, not realizing that the universe is the body of the Buddha—this very body and mind itself. What do you see when you behold a mountain?" the commentary asks. The poet Thoreau wrote, "I hear beyond the range of sound. I see beyond the verge of sight." What do you see when you look at a mountain? "Can you see the real form of truth?" What is it that makes the mountain the real form of truth? An old master once said, "In studying the Way, we do not use the perceptions of seeing and hearing. If we practice with the perception of seeing and hearing, this is simply the perception of seeing and hearing. It is not yet the awakening of the Way."
How can we pass beyond the objective reality that is perceived by the sense organs and enter the realm of real intimacy? What does it mean to be the mountain? "What do you hear when you listen to the river sounds?" Dogen once said. "It's difficult for the ear to understand. It's the eye that hears the sounds. Moreover, there is hearing the sounds with the realized body. There is hearing the sounds with the all-pervasive body." What is the realized body? What is the all-pervasive body? So long as we're convinced that who we are is separate and distinct from the rest of the universe, it is not yet the realized body. So long as we're locked in this skinbag, it's not the all-pervasive body.