When we chant the lineage, we chant the six primordial mythical buddhas, then the historical Buddha, then the generations of teachers following him, down to the present day.
The superficial problem – aside from the mythical buddhas – is that the lineage is made up. Some of the people named probably didn’t exist at all, and others almost certainly didn’t say or write what has been attributed to them.
In full knowledge of this, my teacher said that he accepts the lineage completely. How so?
Rinzai said that there is a true person – this person – who has no rank. This person is always going in and out through your face.
When we chant the lineage, all the names are provisional names, for this person.
And in the lineage of your own life, this person appears. All the demons, ghosts and false persons do not obstruct this person. And they don’t matter.