“Think again, Subhuti! Would I be going around thinking I’m going to be liberating beings? Please try to understand why I wouldn’t think that because, like I’ve said, those beings that I would supposedly be liberating aren’t beings anyway.
“But for sake of argument, let’s say that I really believed that I was going around liberating beings. That would mean I would have to also be holding to an idea of a 'me' and 'them,' assuming that selves were really there. I would also contrive that beings are 'being something,' that lives are being lived and, perhaps, that those individualities can live on and on!
“And Subhuti! A grasping like this, to ideas about selves as if they were real, is likewise not really grasping! But unenlightened people, who are not really people, do seem to be grasping!
“Therefore the Inconceivably Dynamic, Transcendent-Yet-Appearing Individual submits to you: unenlightened beings are not unenlightened beings! But in a discussion about what merely seems to be unenlightened beings, the term ‘unenlightened beings' is used.”
"The Diamond Teaching" (Vajracchedika Prajna Paramita Sutra)
tr. by Sol Ta Triane
Featuring the Buddha in a discussion with his disciple, Subhuti
Recorded by the disciple, Ananda