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如是 Nyoze, “like this” or “as it is”

The phrase is a feature of the Lotus Sutra, where it is often translated as “factor” or suchness” in description of the ten “factors” that define all things. Some compare this to the American expression, “It is what it is.” 

The ten factors (Nyoze) are

• Appearance (nyoze so) – is form or appearance or behavior that we can see; the outward physical manifestation of all things

• Nature (nyoze sho) – the original nature or character (inherent quality) of all things

• Entity (nyoze tai) – the essence, or substance of all things

• Power (nyoze riki) – the potential power, capacity, or inherent ability of all things

• Influence (nyoze sa) – The action(s) influenced or brought forth by potential power or inherent ability

• Internal Cause (nyoze in) – an inherent or direct cause that produces a latent effect at some future point

• Relation (nyoze en) – the outside trigger (relational cause) that helps bring forth the latent effect

• Latent Effect (nyoze ka) – the effect produced by the unity of internal cause and relation

• Manifest Effect (nyoze ho) – the consequence that emerges when a latent effect becomes manifest as a result of the unity of internal cause, relation and latent effect

• Consistency from Begging to End (nyoze hon-makku-kyoto)– means that the nine factors from ‘appearance’ to ‘manifest effect’ are ultimately equal and  applicable to all matters in this world as the common principle. All the factors are related to each other.

Sumi and watercolor on French Linen paper from Moulin du Vergere, Angoulême, France, 2020
20”H x 26”W