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Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Zen                 A Sudden Clash of Thunder

 

 

BUTEI, THE EMPEROR OF RYO, SENT FOR FU-DAISHI TO EXPLAIN THE DIAMOND SUTRA. ON THE APPOINTED DAY FU-DAISHI CAME TO THE PALACE, MOUNTED THE PLATFORM, RAPPED ON THE TABLE BEFORE HIM, THEN DESCENDED AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT.

BUTEI SAT MOTIONLESS FOR SOME MINUTES, WHEREUPON SHIKO, WHO HAD SEEN ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED, WENT UP TO HIM AND SAID, "MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"

THE EMPEROR SHOOK HIS HEAD SADLY. "WHAT A PITY," SAID SHIKO. "FU-DAISHI HAS NEVER BEEN MORE ELOQUENT."

TRUTH IS. It simply is, Nothing can be said about it. And all that can be said about it will falsify it.

There is no need for any explanation. Unexplained, utterly immediate, truth is. It surrounds you. It is within you, without you. There is no need to come to any conclusion about it. It is already concluded! You are in it. You cannot be without it. There is no way to lose it. There is no way to become distracted from it. You may be fast asleep, unaware, but still you are in it.

So those who know truth know well that philosophy is not going to help. The more you try to know about truth, the more you be come asleep. The very effort to know leads you astray. Truth can be felt but cannot be known. When I say it can be felt, I mean you can be present to it, it can be present to you. There is a possibility of a meeting. There is a possibility of becoming one with it. But there is no way to know it.

Truth cannot be objectified. You cannot put it there and see it. You cannot hold it in your hand and see it. You cannot examine it from the outside -- only from the inside, only by becoming one with it, can you feel it. Feeling is the only knowledge possible. Hence, those who know say: Love is the way.

Knowledge is a sort of ignorance. The word 'ignorance' is very beautiful. Split it in two -- it becomes 'ignor-ance'. Truth can be ignored. That's what ignorance is; otherwise, truth is already present. Ignorance is nothing but ignoring the truth which is already there. And a man of knowledge becomes more ignorant, because the more he thinks he knows, the more he becomes capable of ignoring that which is. Lost in his theories, dogmas, creeds, scriptures, he no longer has any eyes to look at the reality. Lost in words, verbalizations, his vision is clouded. He cannot see that which is.

The more you are clouded by your thinking, the more you are a mind, the more you will be able to ignore the truth. Nothing like knowledge is needed -- only innocence, a childlike innocence. Vulnerable, open.... Not trying to know. In the very effort to know, there is violence. In the very effort to know, you have trespassed reality. In the very effort to know, you have become a voyeur. You have attacked reality, you are trying to rape reality.

That's why I continuously say science is a rape on reality. The word 'science' comes from a root which means 'to know'. Science is knowledge. Religion is not knowledge. Religion is love. The word 'religion' comes from a root which means binding together -- falling into love, becoming one.

Truth is felt. It is a lived experience. So whatsoever can be said about truth will be untrue. Just because it has been said, it becomes untrue.

All that has been said up to now, and all that will be said in the future, has nothing to do with truth. There is no way of expressing it. Truth is very elusive. You cannot catch hold of it in words. You cannot catch hold of it through the mind. Mind goes on missing it, because the very functioning of the mind is anti-truth. The functioning of the mind is non-existential: it functions in that which is not, either in the past or in the future. The past is no more, the future not yet, and the mind only functions either in the past or in the future. In the present there is no mind.

If you are herenow, suddenly you have slipped out of the mind. How can you think herenow? Thinking will take you away from the herenow. A single thought, and you are thousands of miles away from here and now. In the here and now there is no possibility, there is no space for thinking to arise.

Mind functions in the non-existential, in the fictitious, in the imaginary. Mind is a faculty of dreaming -- it is a dream faculty! Truth is not known by mind; that's why I say it is not known at all. Truth is felt by the heart, by your totality; by you, not by your head; by you as an organic unity. When you know truth, you know by the head and by the toes; you know by your bones and by your guts; you know by your heart and by your blood; you know it by your breathing -- just by your very being. Truth is known by being.

That is the meaning when I say truth is felt. It is an experience.

I have heard:

A monk asked Joshu: "What is the Buddha?"

"The one in the hall."

The monk said, "The one in the hall is a statue, a lump of mud."

Joshu said, "That's so."

"What is the Buddha, then?" asked the monk again.

"The one in the hall," said Joshu.

Now what is this Joshu trying to do? He is saying: "Your question is absurd. Because you are asking an absurd question, I am answering it in an absurd way. Your question is stupid, and there can be no intelligent answer to a stupid question." He is trying to show to this monk that the very question: What is the Buddha? is nonsense, because there is no way to say anything about the Buddha. It is an awakening. It is an experience. It happens within you. You cannot read it through the scriptures, and you cannot ask those who have come to know it. The only way is: you have to go to it; you have to allow it to happen.

In the Buddhist terminology 'Buddha' is equivalent to 'truth'. They don't talk much about truth; they talk much more about Buddha. That too is significant, because when you become a Buddha -- 'Buddha' means when you become Awakened -- truth is, so why talk about truth? Just ask what awakening is. Just ask what awareness is -- because when you are aware, truth is there; when you are not aware, truth is not there.

So the basic and real question is about awareness. But that, too, cannot be asked and solved. One has to become aware -- there is no other way.

A disciple asked a Zen master, "If someone were to ask me a hundred years from now what I thought was your deepest understanding, what should I say?"

The master replied, "Tell him I said: This is it!"

Now what type of answer is this? -- This is it! He indicated to the immediate reality: This.

Vedanta, the greatest philosophical effort in India, talks about 'That': TATWAMASI Swetketu -- That art thou, Swetketu. Zen people talk about 'this'. Certainly their understanding is deeper -- because 'that' is again in the future, far away; 'this' is present. This is that. This shore is the other shore. This life is the only life, and this moment is eternity.

If you can live this moment, if you can be here this moment, then everything takes care of itself. Then you need not be anxious. Then there is no need to ask -- before you ask, the answer is delivered. The answer has been always there, but we are not aware. So the whole effort of Zen is how to bring awareness to you.

Man is as if asleep. Man lives in a stupor -- moves, works, is born, lives and dies, but almost fast asleep, snoring. Man's mind is very dull. Mind is dullness. Mind has no intelligence in it. There has never been an intelligent mind. I don't mean that there have never been intelligent people; there have been intelligent people, but there has never been an intelligent mind. Intelligence is something that comes when mind is dropped. Mind is never original, never radical. Mind is always orthodox. Mind is always repetitive, mechanical; it functions like a robot. It goes on repeating the same thing again and again. It is like a computer: whatsoever you feed into it, it goes on chewing it again and again.

Have you watched your own mind and its functioning? Nothing new ever happens to it. Nothing new can happen to it. And because of it you remain oblivious of all that is happening all around you; you go on ignoring it. You are too much attached to this mediocre, stupid instrument. It is good to use it; it is good as a reservoir, as memory; it is good to keep records -- but it is not a way to see into reality. It has no eyes.

Mind is blind like a bat. It has no eyes. Mind can never be intelligent -- only no-mind is intelligent. Only no-mind is original and radical. Only no-mind is revolutionary -- revolution in action.

This mind gives you a sort of stupor. Burdened by the memories of the past, burdened by the projections of the future, you go on living -- at the minimum. You don't live at the maximum. Your flame remains very dim. Once you start dropping thoughts, the dust that you have collected in the past, the flame arises -- clean, clear, alive, young. Your whole life becomes a flame, and a flame without any smoke. That is what awareness is.

Consciousness without thinking: that's what awareness is. Being alert and with no thought. Try it! whenever you see thinking gathering, disperse it! pull yourself out of it! Look at the trees with no screens of thinking between you and the trees. Listen to the chirping of the birds with no chirping of the mind inside. Look at the sun rising and feel that inside you also a sun of consciousness is rising... but don't think about it, don't assert, don't state, don't say. Simply be. And, by and by, you will start feeling glimpses of awareness, sudden glimpses of awareness -- as if a fresh breeze has entered into your room which was getting stale and dead; as if a ray of light has entered into the dark night of your soul; as if, suddenly, life has called you back.

YOU HAVE heard the story of Lazarus -- that is a story of man as such. It is said Lazarus died. Jesus loved him very much. His sisters informed Jesus; by the time the news reached him, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus came running. Everybody was crying and weeping, and he said, "Don't weep, don't cry! Let me call him back to life!"

Nobody could believe him. Lazarus is dead! And the sisters of Lazarus said, "He is now stinking -- he cannot come back. His body is deteriorating."

But Jesus went to the grave where the body was preserved for him to come. The stone was pulled aside. In the dark cave Jesus called out, "Lazarus, come out! " And it is said he came out.

It may not have happened that way; it may be just a parable -- but it is a beautiful parable about man. When I look into your eyes, that's all I can say: "Lazarus, come out!" You are dead and stinking. You are not yet alive. You are born, but you need to be reborn. Your first birth has not been of much help. It has brought you to a certain extent, but that is not enough. You have to go a little further. The birth that has already happened to you is only physical -- you need a spiritual birth.

It is said: One professor of Jerusalem university went to see Jesus. Of course, he went in the night. His name was Nicodemus; he was a very rich, respectable man, a great scholar, well known in the Jewish world. He was afraid to go to Jesus in the daylight, because what will people think? He was known to be a great, learned man, wise -- what will they think? that he has gone to this carpenter's son to ask something? He was older than Jesus -- could almost have been Jesus' father. No, it was not possible for him to go in the daylight. Cunning and clever, he went in the night when there was nobody else. And Jesus asked him, "Why didn't you come in the day?"

He said, "I was afraid."

Jesus must have laughed. He said, "Nicodemus, for what have you come? What do you want of me?"

He said, "I would like to know how I can know God, how I can know the truth."

Jesus said, "You will have to be reborn."

Nicodemus could not understand. Jokingly he said, "What do you mean? Have I to enter again into a woman's womb? Are you joking or something? Are you kidding or something?"

Jesus said, "No, I mean it -- I mean what I say. You have to be reborn. You are such a coward. This is not life. You don't have any courage. You will have to be reborn! You will have to become a new man, because only that new man can come to truth and realize it. Even to see me you have come in the night. How will you be able to go and see the truth? How will you encounter God? You will have to go naked. You will have to go in deep humility. You will have to drop all your respectability, all your scholarship. You will have to drop your ego -- that's what to be reborn means."

The first birth is only a physical birth; don't be satisfied with it. It is necessary but not enough. A second birth is needed. The first birth was through your mother and father; the second birth is going to be out of the mind. You have to slip out of the mind and that will be your rebirth -- you will be reborn.

And, for the first time, trees will be greener than they are, and flowers will be more beautiful than they are, and life will be more alive than you have ever known it, because you can know it only to the extent that you are alive. You cannot know life if you are not alive. Whatsoever you are, you know life only up to that extent.

Mind, and mind's hold on you, is the imprisonment. Get rid of the mind. The question is not how to know truth; the question is how to get rid of the mind, how to get rid of this constant ignoring, this ignorance; how to be just here naked, throbbing, streaming, flowing, overflowing, and meeting the truth that has already been there, that has always been there.

Somebody asked a very famous Chinese poet, Yang Wang-li:

"Now what is poetry?" He said, "If you say it is simply a matter of words, I will say a good poet gets rid of words. If you say it is simply a matter of meaning, I will say a good poet gets rid of meaning.'But,' you ask,'without words and without meaning, where is the poetry?' To this I reply: Get rid of words and get rid of meaning, and there is still poetry."

In fact, only then is there poetry. When words are no more there, when meaning is no more there, then suddenly poetry erupts, explodes. Poetry is a flowering of your being, and religion is more like poetry than like philosophy.

Philosophy tries to explain things -- never succeeds. At the most, it can succeed only in explaining away things, but it never succeeds in explaining them. Religion makes no effort to explain life. It tries to live it. Religion does not take life as a problem to be solved -- it takes life as a mystery to be lived. Religion is not curious about life. Religion is in awe, in tremendous wonder about life.

Just our being here is such a miracle. It cannot be explained why I am here, why you are here. Why these trees are here, why these stars are here. Why at all this universe exists, and goes on peopling itself with trees and birds and people. Why in the first place it is there, there is no way to know. It simply is there. But it inspires awe! It fills the heart with wonder. It is unbelievably true -- it is incredible! It is absurd, but tremendously beautiful.

Why it is there, there is no way to say -- but it is there. And religion says: Don't waste your time for the why. It is there: delight in it! Celebrate it! Be lost into it! And let it be lost into you. Meet it! Let the meeting be like two lovers entering into each other. Let it be an orgasmic experience.

But religion in the West has a very wrong connotation. It has almost reached to a point where the very word 'religion' creates a repulsion, where the very word 'religion' reminds one of dead churches and dead priests. It reminds one of serious looking people, long faces. It has lost the capacity to dance, to sing, to celebrate. And when a religion has lost the capacity to dance, to celebrate, to sing, to love, just to be, then it is no more religion -- it is a corpse, it is theology. Theology is dead religion.

In the West theology has overpowered religion. When theology overpowers religion, then religion is nothing but philosophy. And the philosophy is also not very philosophic -- because philosophy can exist only through doubt, and theology bases itself on faith. So it is impotent philosophy, not even philosophy in the real sense.

Religion is not based on belief or faith: religion is based on awe, religion is based on wonder. Religion is based on the mysterious that is your surround. To feel it, to be aware of it, to see it, open your eyes and drop the dust of the ages. Clean your mirror! and see what beauty surrounds you, what tremendous grandeur goes on knocking at your doors. Why are you sitting with closed eyes? Why are you sitting with such long faces? Why can't you dance? and why can't you laugh?

Nietzsche is right: God is dead... because theologians have killed Him. God can be alive only when a lover is dancing. When a theologian is trying to find arguments to prove God, He is dead. God is alive when two persons fall in love -- then God is throbbing and kicking. God is alive when you look at a flower and you cannot move from there -- something overpowers you, overwhelms you. When you look at the stars and you are one with the mystery, and your boat starts sailing towards the other shore, then God is alive. When you sing a song -- it may be meaningless, it may be just la-la-la -- it may not have any meaning, but God is alive in that sheer expression of joy.

God is alive when you are alive. If you are not alive, how can your God be alive? Your God is yours. If you are dead, your God is dead; if you are alive, your God is alive. Your God cannot be more than you, because your God is your innermost core of being. So if you want to know what God is, become more alive. If you want to know what God is, become more divine. If you want to know what God is, then don't try to know -- try to feel. He comes through the door of the heart.

God is such a mystery -- or call it life, or existence -- life is such a mystery that even if you enter into the innermost shrine of it you will not be able to believe it. It is unbelievably true. It is incredible.

I was reading a poem of Leopold Staff. Listen to it:

The Bridge

I DIDN'T BELIEVE,

STANDING ON THE BANK OF A RIVER

WHICH WAS WIDE AND SWIFT,

THAT I WOULD CROSS THAT BRIDGE

PLAITED FROM THIN, FRAGILE REEDS

FASTENED WITH BAST.

I WALKED DELICATELY AS A BUTTERFLY

AND HEAVILY AS AN ELEPHANT,

I WALKED SURELY AS A DANCER

AND WAVERED AS A BLIND MAN.

I DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT I WOULD CROSS THAT BRIDGE,

AND NOW THAT I AM STANDING ON THE OTHER SIDE,

I DON'T BELIEVE I CROSSED IT.

Even when you have known God, you will not be able to believe that you have known Him. That is what I mean when I say God is a mystery. Unknown, He remains unknowable. Known also, He remains unknowable. Unseen, He is a mystery; seen He becomes an even greater mystery. It is not a problem that you can solve. It is bigger than you. You can dissolve into it -- you cannot solve it.

I have heard that Wittgenstein, a great Western philosopher, who comes nearest to the Zen attitude, used to say that he did not solve philosophical problems -- he dissolved them. And he used to say: "We leave things as they are but perhaps for the first time we come to see them as they are." Nothing can be done about things as they are. All that can be done is to help you to see them as they are. "We leave things as they are but perhaps for the first time we come to see them as they are."

And again: "Philosophy simply puts everything before us, and neither explains nor deduces anything -- since everything lies open to view, there is nothing to explain."

Yes, life is a mystery, and there is nothing to explain -- because everything is just open, it is just in front of you. Encounter it! Meet it! Be courageous! That is the whole standpoint of Zen.

NOW LET ME help you to enter into this beautiful story. I will not explain it. I can just seduce you to enter into it. I can simply allure you to enter into it. I can only persuade you to have a taste of it.

BUTEI, THE EMPEROR OF RYO, SENT FOR FU-DAISHI TO EXPLAIN THE DIAMOND SUTRA.

Now the Diamond Sutra is really a Kohinoor; it is one of the most significant utterances ever uttered on this earth. Buddha's sayings in the Diamond Sutra are the most precious. But the basic thing in the Diamond Sutra is that nothing can be explained, that life is utterly unexplainable; that life is such that all explanations fall short, that all philosophies prove very narrow. The sky of life is so vast that there is no way to confine it in any hypothesis or doctrine.

Buddha himself never used to talk about metaphysical problems. He made a list of ten or twelve problems, and before he entered a town or a city his disciples would go and declare in the town: "Don't ask about these twelve problems because he will not answer." Not that he cannot answer -- if he cannot answer then who will answer? -- but that these problems are unanswerable. They are better left not touched; better they are left alone.

Nobody should ask about God. Buddha would not say God is; he would not say God is not -- because he said both are irrelevant. To say God is, is as irrelevant as to say God is not -- because that which is, is beyond the positive and the negative. That which is, it is beyond the minus and the plus. That which is cannot be said 'is' and cannot be said 'is not'. It is far beyond both. That which is, it is beyond dichotomy, it is beyond dialectics, it is beyond duality. 'Is' and 'is not' create a duality. Existence is one, organically one; it comprehends both.

Questions like this, Buddha would say, please don't ask.

This Emperor Butei asked another Buddha, Fu-daishi, a Zen master, to come to his palace and explain to him the Diamond Sutra. Buddhists long too much to understand what this Diamond Sutra is. It is utterly absurd. It is difficult to understand, because it has nothing explained in it. Those are utterances of tremendous value, but no philosophy is woven around them, no system is created. Those are atomic utterances. And the substratum of them all is that nothing can be said. Just like Lao Tzu's TAO TE KING: The Tao that can be uttered is no longer Tao. The truth that is said is no longer truth. Truth said becomes untrue -- said and it becomes false. Now what to do? How to understand?

The Emperor must have been reading the Diamond Sutra. And there is no other way than to ask some Enlightened person -- because the Diamond Sutra, or scriptures like that, are utterly illogical. Unless you can find someone who has become awakened you cannot sort it out, you cannot figure it out. It will be very confusing to you. You can go on repeating it, you can even enjoy the music of your repetition, the rhythm, but you will never be able to penetrate into the mystery. The mystery can be explained only by an alive person.

ON THE APPOINTED DAY FU-DAISHI CAME TO THE PALACE, MOUNTED THE PLATFORM, RAPPED ON THE TABLE BEFORE HIM, THEN DESCENDED AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT.

This was his discourse on the Diamond Sutra. He did a great job! What did he say by doing this?

First thing: that truth can be explained only in action; words are not enough. If the Emperor had watched rightly the way Fu-daishi walked, there was the commentary on the Diamond Sutra. The grandeur, the dignity, the beauty, the grace,.the way he walked -- there was the commentary on the Diamond Sutra. He must have walked like Buddha -- he was a Buddha. He must have carried a milieu of Buddhahood around him. He must have brought a different type of universe with him into the palace -- a dimension alive. His door was open: if the Emperor had had any eyes, he would have seen that Buddha himself had come. It was not Fu-daishi, it was Buddha walking again on the earth -- in another form, under another name. The container may have been different, but the content was exactly the same.

Fu-daishi walked, MOUNTED THE PLATFORM, RAPPED ON THE TABLE BEFORE HIM... why did he rap on the table before him? He must have seen the Emperor fast asleep. He must have seen him dozing. Just to make him a little alert, just to shock him!... THEN DESCENDED... he did well! What more can you do? When a person is asleep, that's all that can be done: you can shout at him, you can knock at his door. HE RAPPED ON THE TABLE... what else can you do? Then gracefully he must have descended... AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT. Because if he had spoken on the Diamond Sutra he would have proved that he himself had not understood it.

On the Diamond Sutra it is impossible to speak: it is the very truth. No, it would have been profane. It would have been a sacrilege! It would not have been right. Only silence can be the commentary. Had the Emperor had any ears to listen to silence, he would have understood.

... AND, STILL NOT SPEAKING, LEFT. Why did he leave so suddenly? -- because more is not possible. You cannot forcibly give the truth to somebody who is not ready. He did whatsoever he could; now there was no point in lingering any longer.

And that suddenly leaving the Emperor was also another shock. He must have jolted the Emperor to his very roots. He came like a cyclone, almost uprooted the tree of Butei! The Emperor could not have even dreamt that such a rude behavior.... He was doing it out of tremendous compassion, but to the Emperor it must have looked rude, uncivil, unmannerly.

And in a country like Japan where people are obsessed with manners, where their faces have all become false, where everybody is carrying a mask! For centuries the Japanese have been the most false people in the world, always smiling. The Emperor must have been shocked; he could not have believed what happened... and so suddenly comes Fu-daishi!

And he must have waited for so long for this appointed time. And he must have longed for so long that he would say something, that he would enlighten him, he would help him to know. And here comes this man: walks, mounts on the platform -- leaves without uttering a single word!

BUTEI SAT MOTIONLESS FOR SOME MINUTES...

He must have been completely incapable of figuring it out. Fu-daishi had shocked him out of his wits! But had he been a little aware, that interval would have opened a new dimension for him. Fu-daishi has invited him, he waits there, seeing that the Emperor is completely asleep -- even shouting is not going to help. Even if you call "Lazarus, come out! " he will not listen.

He left. The Emperor was shocked. For a few minutes he sat motionless

... WHEREUPON SHIKO, WHO HAD SEEN ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED, WENT UP TO HIM AND SAID, "MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"

Now to ask this even of an ordinary man is dangerous. And to ask an emperor: "Sir, whether you understood...?"

Now this man, Shiko, is a man of tremendous understanding -- must have been. He has understood the significance of the gesture of Fu-daishi. He must have seen the glory that walked; he must have seen the light that shone in silence. He must have seen those eyes overflowing with compassion. He must have felt the grace that came like a breeze -- cool, calm, serene. He must have felt sorry for the Emperor also.

"MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"

THE EMPEROR SHOOK HIS HEAD SADLY.

He has not been able to understand. He is sad. He must have become even sadder because of this man, Shiko. Now he can see that something has happened; now he can feel that some opportunity has passed his door, that some momentous interval was available to him, and he has missed.

THE EMPEROR SHOOK HIS HEAD SADLY.

Many people have been doing that down the centuries. A Buddha comes, a Jesus comes, a Krishna, a Zarathustra -- very few, very rarely. Shiko's are very few -- those who understand. Butei exists as the mass; Butei is the many; Butei is the majority, the crowd. Buddha comes and walks; he brings another world into this world. He brings tremendous beauty, but you cannot see, you cannot feel,

Jesus goes on saying to his disciples: "If you have ears, listen! If you have eyes, see!" Truth was standing before them. God Himself was standing before them. God has come many times to the earth -- He cares for it! In many forms He has been seeking you. Never think for a moment that you are uncared for.

It is not only that you are seeking God -- God is also seeking you in many, many ways. Sometimes as a Krishna with his flute, sometimes as a Buddha with his silence, sometimes as a Jesus with his revolutionary approach to life -- in millions of ways God has been extending his hand towards you, groping for you. Sometimes your hand has even touched His hand -- but you don't understand. Sometimes even a glimmer, a tremor has gone through your spine, but you don't understand. On the contrary, you explain it somehow.

A WOMAN came to me a few years ago. She sat just in front of me holding my feet, crying. It was a beautiful moment. Somehow, she had been able to feel me. But then she became afraid; then I could see -- suddenly she left my feet, recoiled backwards. I asked her, "What has happened? Something was going deep in you -- why have you withdrawn yourself?"

She said, " I am a professor in a university and I teach psychology -- this must have been a relapse, a regression. I must have regressed towards my childhood; you must have worked like a father-figure. No, this is nothing. Yes, something happened, but it was a relapse into childhood. Yes, something happened, but it was nothing but a sort of hypnosis. Your eyes got hold of me." Now she has explained it away.

Something was on the way, something was really going to happen. One moment more and she would have been a totally different woman, and there would have been no possibility of her falling back. She would have crossed the point of no return. But just before it, she recoiled back, became afraid. And, of course, she was intelligent -- as intelligence goes -- a well-educated woman, capable of rationalizations. She immediately produced a rationalization: "It may be a sort of hypnosis, or a relapse into childhood, or you must have reminded me of my dead father." Now that which was happening has been cut.

Many times God has reached you, and many times you have withdrawn yourself. Many times He has walked with you and you have not recognized Him. Many times He has shouted at you: "Lazarus, come out! " and you won't listen. Or you think: "He must be calling somebody else -- Lazarus is not my name. " Let me tell you: Lazarus is your name!

And don't think about this story just as a story. That's what Buddha has done, that's what Bodhidharma has done, that's what Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu have done: they have shouted at you, they have taken you by your hands and shaken you. Very few understand. In most of the cases people become angry, they become annoyed, because you are disturbing their sleep. They are sleeping and having beautiful dreams, golden dreams, sweet dreams, and you are disturbing their sleep.

That's why they had to kill Jesus, murder Mansoor, poison Socrates -- these people were great disturbers. They were disturbing your sleep.

"MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, " ASKED SHIKO, "AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"

Now this is a very meaningful question. People go on believing that they understand -- and this very idea that they understand keeps their ignorance intact. The first step to be taken towards understanding is to understand that you don't understand, to recognize and realize your ignorance, to realize in deep humility that you have been ignoring the truth.

I was reading a small story:

Four frogs sat upon a log that lay floating on the edge of a river. Suddenly the log was caught by the current and swept slowly down the stream. The frogs were delighted and absorbed, for never before had they sailed.

At length the first frog spoke, and said, "This is indeed a most marvellous log. It moves as if alive. No such log was ever known before."

Then the second frog spoke, and said, "Nay, my friend, the log is like other logs, and does not move. It is the river, that is walking to the sea, and carries us and the log with it."

And the third frog spoke, and said, "It is neither the log nor the river that moves. The moving is in our thinking. For without thought nothing moves."

And the three frogs began to wrangle about what was really moving. The quarrel grew hotter and louder, but they could not agree.

Then they turned to the fourth frog, who up to this time had been listening attentively but holding his peace, and they asked his opinion.

And the fourth frog said, "Each of you is right and none of you is wrong. The moving is in the log and the water and our thinking also, but if you look still deeper then nothing has moved, because nothing can move and there is nowhere to move."

And the three frogs became very angry, for none of them was willing to admit that his was not the whole truth and that the other two were not wholly wrong; and they were not ready to think that they didn't know, and this fourth foolish frog -- he knows? It was against their egos.

Then the strange thing happened -- this has always been happening: the three frogs got together and pushed the fourth frog off the log into the river.

It is very difficult to see; when truth knocks at your door, it is very difficult to open the door and receive the guest, and welcome the guest -- because when truth knocks at your door, suddenly you become aware that you have been living up to now with lies, that up to now you have been untrue, that all your declarations were false and all your dogmas were false. When truth comes face to face with you, suddenly your whole life is nullified. Your whole past has been just a darkness. It is too much for the ego to accept. It is better to deny the truth, it is better to close the door, and say that truth never knocked at your door. It is better to say that there has been never a Buddha, never a Jesus, never a Krishna. It is better to say that to save your own face.

It is very difficult to understand that you don't understand. It is very humiliating. And think of an emperor: emperors have been thinking that they know everything; they have even been trying that they are the representatives of God on earth, the very incarnations of God on earth. They have power -- power blinds the eyes. It is very difficult to see that you are ignorant when you have money, respect, power. When others think that you know, it is very difficult.

Shiko's fear was relevant.

"MAY I BE SO BOLD, SIR, AS TO ASK WHETHER YOU UNDERSTOOD?"

THE EMPEROR SHOOK HIS HEAD SADLY...

but the Emperor must have been a humble person -- maybe blind, but still humble; may not have seen what had happened, what had transpired; may not have seen what Fu-daishi had brought as a gift, but he was not arrogant, not very egoistic. There is a possibility for him. He was sad that he could not understand; he was not annoyed.

Remember: anger and sadness are two aspects of the same energy. These are the two alternatives. Either the Emperor could have been angry, or sad. Angry -- then he would have killed Fu-daishi; then Fu-daishi would have been thrown into the prison, poisoned, murdered, crucified. But he was sad. Then there is a hope.

Sadness has something beautiful in it, because sadness can become creative. Anger is always destructive. If he had been an angry person he would have thought that Fu-daishi had insulted him. But he thought: "I have missed an opportunity. " If you can be that humble then more possibilities open for you.

The Emperor is not very far off the mark. Sooner or later, he will enter on the path.

"WHAT A PITY," SAID SHIKO. "FU-DAISHI HAS NEVER BEEN MORE ELOQUENT."

Rapping on the table, shouting so hard and so loud, walking with such intense grace -- bringing Buddha to the palace: yes, Fu-daishi has never been more eloquent. He has said that which can be said. He created the situation in which there was every possibility that the Emperor could have seen. Whatsoever he could do, he had done. You cannot find any fault with Fu-daishi. More cannot be done. In fact, he had already gone out of the way to do it.

In the first place, it is very difficult for a man like Fu-daishi to come to the palace. Emperors should go -- but he must have been of tremendous compassion: he came to the palace. A disciple should go to the master; but sometimes it has happened that a master has come to the disciple -- out of sheer compassion and love. Then, he came with his full flame, he came naked. He had never been so aflame, he had never revealed his being so totally as on that day.

And then... there are stories: Once Buddha came and sat silently. There are other stories of other Zen masters: They came. They stood on the platform, looked around, left the platform, not saying a single word. But Fu-daishi is the only one who rapped on the table, who shouted loudly, who tried to shake the Emperor out of his stupor. Yes, Shiko is right: "Fu-daishi has never been more eloquent."

In that moment a transfiguration was possible.

Chao-pien says:

A SUDDEN CLASH OF THUNDER...

THE MIND-DOORS BURST OPEN,

AND LO! THERE SITTETH THE OLD MAN

IN ALL HIS HOMELINESS.

Fu-daishi created a sudden clash of thunder. If the Emperor had really been ready to receive this tremendous compassion, this grace, this gift, then the mind-doors must have opened, burst open... AND LO! THERE SITTETH THE OLD MAN.

You are already that which you are seeking. That which you are seeking is already sitting inside you, it has already entered you. It has been there before you ever were: AND LO! THERE SITTETH THE OLD MAN IN ALL HIS HOMELINESS.

But the Emperor missed.

I AM shouting to you every day, every morning. Of course, I am not rapping on the table -- I am rapping on your heads! because your stupor is bigger and greater. Beating on the table won't help. Beating on the table, there is every possibility you will become angry at me -- you will not even be sad. So, in different ways, in different words, I go on hammering on your head.

But remember: whatsoever I am saying is not the thing that I want to say to you. Whatsoever I am saying has nothing to do with truth, because truth cannot be said. Whatsoever I am saying is nothing but a hammering. If you become awake, you will see the truth. This is just to create an opportunity. I am shaking you hard -- and if you allow, if you don't resist, if you cooperate with me, if you are ready to go with me, if you can trust, if you are courageous, then my words can become a clash of sudden thunder.

Life is slipping by... each moment... you are missing it. Enough is enough! You have missed long; now missing it has become a habit -- you will have to break this habit. The only way to be benefited by me, the only way to be blessed by me and by my presence, is to gather courage. Come out of your graves! Only your periphery is dead -- you can never be dead. That is the meaning of the story of Lazarus: only the periphery can be dead; you can never be dead. Deep down, life is eternal. Burst forth! Rush out!

This is the whole effort of all the masters: to create a sudden clash of thunder so those who are fast asleep can be awakened.

A SUDDEN CLASH OF THUNDER...

THE MIND-DOORS BURST OPEN,

AND LO! THERE SITTETH THE OLD MAN

IN ALL HIS HOMELINESS.

That old man is what Zen people mean by God. Their term is beautiful: the old man. It is your nature -- ancientmost, eternal nature. It is the old man. Drop the mind! Stop thinking! Become more alert! See the trees and listen to the birds, with no screens of thoughts hindering the path. Meet directly! Truth is immediate, radiant, herenow. It is not that truth has to be discovered -- only you have to become aware. Truth is already here.

Let me shake you, allow me to shake you out of your sleep. Don't go on thinking that you understand. You don't. Your knowledge is a way of ignoring the truth. Drop this ignorance -- and ignorance cannot be dropped by accumulating more knowledge. Ignorance can be dropped only by dropping the knowledge that you have already accumulated.

Knowledge is the barrier to knowing. When knowledge is dropped, knowing flowers.

 
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