"Neither defiled nor immaculate".
Defiled or immaculate. Dirty or pure. These are concepts we form in our mind. A beautiful rose we have just cut and placed in our vase is immaculate. It smells so good, so pure, so fresh. It suppports the idea of immaculateness. The opposite is a garbage can. It smells horrible, and it is filled with rotten things.
But that is only when you look on the surface. If you look more deeply you will see that in just five or six days, the rose will become part of the garbage. You do not need to wait five days to see it. If you just look at the rose, and you look deeply, you can see it now. And if you look into the garbage can, you see that in a few months its contents can be transformed into lovely vegetables, and even a rose. If you are a good organic gardener and you have the eyes of a bodhisattva, looking at a rose you can see the garbage, and looking at the garbage you can see a rose. Roses and garbage inter-are. Without a rose, we cannot have garbage; and without garbage, we cannot have a rose. They need each other very much. The rose and garbage are equal. The garbage is just as precious as the rose. If we look deeply at the concepts of defilment and immaculateness, we return to the notion of interbeing.
In the Majjhima Nikaya there is a very short passage on how the world has come to be. It is very simple, very easy to understand, and yet very deep. "This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not. This is like this, because that is like that."
Source: The Heart of Understanding Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra by THICH NHAT HANH