'As within, so without'
AFTER BANKEI HAD PASSED AWAY, A BLIND MAN WHO LIVED NEAR THE MASTER'S TEMPLE SAID TO A FRIEND: 'SINCE I AM BLIND I CANNOT WATCH A PERSON'S FACE, SO I MUST JUDGE HIS CHARACTER BY THE SOUND OF HIS VOICE.
ORDINARILY WHEN I HEAR SOMEONE CONGRATULATE ANOTHER UPON HIS HAPPINESS OR SUCCESS, I ALSO HEAR A SECRET TONE OF ENVY.
WHEN CONDOLENCE IS EXPRESSED FOR THE MISFORTUNE OF ANOTHER, I HEAR PLEASURE AND SATISFACTION, AS IF THE ONE CONDOLING WAS REALLY GLAD THERE WAS SOMETHING LEFT TO GAIN IN HIS OWN WORLD.
'IN ALL MY EXPERIENCE HOWEVER, BANKEI'S VOICE WAS ALWAYS SINCERE. WHENEVER HE EXPRESSED HAPPINESS, I HEARD NOTHING BUT HAPPINESS, AND WHENEVER HE EXPRESSED SORROW, SORROW WAS ALL I HEARD.'
MAN IS SPLIT. Schizophrenia is a normal condition of man -- at least now. It may not have been so in the primitive world, but centuries of conditioning, civilization, culture and religion have made man a crowd -- divided, split, contradictory. One part goes one way, the other part goes in just the diametrically opposite way and it is almost impossible to keep oneself together. It is a miracle that man is existing at all. He should by now have disappeared long before.
But because this split is against his nature, deep down somewhere hidden the unity still survives. Because the soul of.man is one, all the conditionings at the most destroy the periphery of the man. But the centre remains untouched -- that's how man continues to live. But his life has become a hell.
The whole effort of Zen is how to drop this schizophrenia, how to drop this split personality, how to drop the divided mind of man, how to become undivided, integrated, centred, crystallised.
The way you are, you cannot say that you are. You don't have a being. You are a marketplace -- many voices. If you want to say 'yes', immediately the 'no' is there. You cannot even utter a simple word 'yes' with totality. Watch... say 'yes', and deep inside the 'no' also arises with it. You cannot say a simple word like 'no' without contradicting it at the same time. In this way happiness is not possible; unhappiness is a natural consequence of a split personality. Unhappiness, because you are constantly in conflict with yourself. It is not that you are fighting with the world, you are every moment fighting with yourself. How can there be peace? How can there be silence? How can you be for even a single moment at rest? Not for a single moment are you at rest. Even while you are sleeping you are dreaming a thousand and one things. Even while sleeping you are tossing this way and that -- a continuous conflict. You are a battlefield.
You say to somebody 'I love you', and the more you say it, the more you have to repeat it.
It appears there is suspicion behind it. If you really love there is no need even to say it, because words do not matter. Your whole being will show your love; your eyes will show your love. There will be no need to say it, there will be no need to repeat it continuously.
You repeat to convince the other and at the same time to convince yourself -- because deep down, jealousy, possessiveness, hatred, the urge to dominate, a deep power politics, are hidden.
In his epistles St. Paul uses 'in Christ' one hundred and sixty-four times. He must have been a little doubtful about it.'In Christ. In Christ. In Christ...' one hundred and sixty-four times! It is too much. Once would have been enough. Even once is more than enough. It should be your being that shows that you live in Christ -- and then there is no need to say it.
Watch. Whenever you repeat a thing too many times, go deep within yourself. You must be carrying it. But you cannot falsify it, that is the problem. Your eyes will show that it is hidden behind.
Have you watched? You go to somebody's house and he welcomes you. But there is no welcome in his presence. He says, 'I am very happy to see you, glad to see you.' But you don't see any gladness anywhere; in fact, he looks a little anxious, worried, apprehensive.
He looks at you as if trouble has come to his home. Have you watched people saying to you 'take any seat' and simultaneously showing you a certain seat to take? They say 'take any seat' but they show you, in a subtle gesture, 'take this seat'. They go on contradicting themselves.
Parents go on telling their children, 'Be yourself,' and at the same time they go on teaching how one should be.'Be independent' -- and at the same time they go on forcing the child to be obedient. They have their own idea about how the child should be and when they say, 'Be yourself,' they mean, 'Be the way we want you to be.' They don't mean, 'Be yourself.'
Continuously something else is there present and you cannot really falsify it. But man has become cunning about that also. We don't look into each other's eyes because eyes can show the truth, so it is thought to be part of etiquette to avoid eyes. Don't look into somebody's eyes too much or you will be thought a little uncultured -- transgressing, trespassing. It is very difficult to falsify the eyes. You can falsify the tongue very easily, because the tongue, the language, is a social by-product. But eyes belong to your being.
You say something but your eyes continually show something else, hence in all the societies of the world people avoid each other's eyes. They don't encounter -- because that will be looking into the truth.
But you can watch these contradictions in yourself and it will be a great help. Because unless your 'in' is just like your 'out' and your 'out' is just like your 'in', you can never be at rest.
In Tibet, in Egypt, they say, 'As above, so below.' Zen says, 'As within, so without.'
Unless your within becomes as your without you can never be at rest because your periphery will continuously be in conflict with your centre. The problem is that the periphery cannot win. Ultimately only the centre can win. But the periphery can delay, postpone; the periphery can waste time and life and energy. If you go on living on the periphery and just go on pretending, not really living, you will have many faces but you will not have your original face.
I have heard.
Abrahamson had reached the grand old age of eighty and decided to celebrate. All his life he had been orthodox, had worn a long beard, black hat, black suit and black overcoat.
Now to celebrate his birthday the old man shaved off the beard, replaced his sombre black clothes with the latest style green checked suit, a burgundy tie and blue striped shirt and headed for the massage parlour.
As Abrahamson crossed the street he was struck by a truck and killed. In heaven he spoke to his maker, God, 'Why me? I was a good husband, I gave to all the charities, I have always been a religious man.''To tell the truth,' said the Lord, 'I did not recognise you.'
And I would like to tell you even God will not be able to recognise YOU either. He changed his dress only once and became unrecognisable and you change your periphery every moment, you change your dress every moment, you change your face, your mask, every moment. Forget about God -- you cannot recognise yourself. You cannot say who you are.
In Zen they have a koan, a deep object for meditation, to find out one's original face. The Master says to the disciple: 'Go and sit silently and find out your original face.' They mean the face you had before you were born or the face that you will have after you have died -- because the moment the child is born, the society starts giving him false faces; the moment the child takes his first breath, corruption starts. The child has entered into the world of politics, falsification, untruth. Now, layer upon layer, there will be many faces.
And the clever man has many more faces than the simple man. So whatsoever the need he immediately changes his face. He adjusts his face.
Have you watched? You are sitting in your room and your servant passes by. You have a different face for the servant, a very indifferent face. In fact, you don't look at your servant, he is not worth looking at. You don't recognise that a man, a human being just like you, has entered the room. It is as if a mechanism has passed. You don't recognise the humanity of the servant. But if your boss comes into the room immediately you are standing, wagging your tail, smiling -- all smiles. You have a different face for your boss.
If your wife comes you have a different face, if your mistress comes you have a different face.
Continuously you go on adjusting, manipulating. One has to understand otherwise one cannot find one's original face.
A man who has an original face has a unity. He remains the same. Buddha is reported to have said that the taste of an enlightened man is just like the taste of seawater -- wherever you taste it, whenever you taste it, it always tastes of the salt.
The enlightened person always shows one face. Not that he is monotonous.... Remember, don't misunderstand me -- he is not monotonous at all. In fact, you are monotonous because your faces are all dead. He is alive, growing, but his face is his. The face goes on growing, it goes on becoming richer and richer, it goes on taking on more and more awareness, it goes on becoming more and more radiant, alive, beautiful, a grace goes on increasing around it, it is surrounded by a light, but, it remains the same face. You can recognise it. There is a discontinuous continuity or, a continuous discontinuity. He changes yet he remains the same. He remains the same and yet he goes on changing. You can recognise the continuity and you can also recognise a constant growth.
Growth always happens to the original face -- remember. False faces cannot grow, they are dead. They have no life in them, how can they grow? You can bring plastic flowers -- they cannot grow. You can keep them, you can deceive people, but they cannot grow.
Real flowers grow. Only life grows.
If you are not growing you are dead. Remember that each moment should be a growth moment. One should continuously go on moving and yet remain centred, rooted in one's being.
You can deceive others, you cannot deceive yourself. But there are also very, very clever people who can deceive themselves also. They are the worst enemies of themselves.
Mulla Nasruddin had been pulled from the river in what the police decided was a suicide attempt. When they were questioning him at headquarters he admitted that he had tried to kill himself. This is the story he told:
'Yes, I tried to kill myself. The world is against me and I wanted to end it all. I was determined not to do a half-way job so I bought a piece of rope, some matches, some kerosene and a pistol. Just in case none of those worked I went down by the river. I threw the rope over a limb hanging out over the river, I tied the rope around my neck, poured kerosene all over myself and lit the match. I jumped off the bank, put the pistol to my head and pulled the trigger.
'Guess what happened! I missed. The bullet hit the rope before I could hang myself so I fell into the river and the water put out the fire before I could burn myself. And you know, if I had not been a good swimmer, I would have ended up drowning my fool self!'
That's how things go.... You want to do a thing and yet you don't want to do it.
You go on and yet you don't want to go. You live and yet you don't want to live. You even try to commit suicide and yet you don't want to commit suicide. That's why out of ten suicide attempts only one succeeds. And that too seems to be by some error. Nine attempts fail.
People are contradictory. They just don't know how to do a thing totally. And it is natural.
It can be understood that when they try to commit suicide they cannot be total, because they have never been total in their lives. They don't know what totality is. They have never done a single act with their total being. Whenever an act is total, it liberates; whenever it is half-hearted it simply creates a conflict. It dissipates energy, it is destructive, it creates bondage.
In India you have heard the word KARMA -- the very cause of all bondage. A KARMA is a KARMA only if it is half-hearted -- then it binds you. If it is total it never binds you, then there is no bondage for you. Any act lived totally is finished. You transcend it, you never look back. Any moment lived totally leaves no trace on you -- you remain unscratched, untouched by it. Your memory remains clean, you don't carry a psychological memory about it. There is no wound.
If you have loved a woman totally and she dies, there is no wound left. But if you have not loved her totally and she dies then she continues to live in the memory. Then you weep for her, you cry for her, because now you repent. There was time, there was opportunity when you could have loved her, but you could not love her. And now there is no opportunity; now she is there no more. Now there is no way to fulfil your love.
Nobody weeps and cries for somebody's death -- you cry and weep for the lost opportunity to love. Your mother dies. If you have loved her really, totally, then death is beautiful, there is nothing wrong in it. You go and say goodbye to her and you don't carry any wound. You may be a little sad -- naturally, she has occupied your heart for so long and now she will not be there -- but that is just a passing mood. You don't carry a wound, you don't go on crying continuously, you don't hang with the past. You did whatsoever you could -- you loved her, you respected her -- now it is finished. One understands the helplessness of life. You are also going to be finished one day. Death is natural; one accepts it.
If you cannot accept death that simply shows there has been a contradiction in your life.
You loved and yet you were withholding yourself. Now that withholding creates the problem.
If you have enjoyed food, you forget all about it. Once you are finished, you are finished.
You don't go on thinking about it. But if you were eating and you were not eating totally, if you were thinking about a thousand and one other things and you were not at the dining table at all -- you were just physically there but psychologically you were somewhere else -- then you will think about food. Then food will become an obsession.
That's how sex has become an obsession in the West. Making love to a woman or to a man you are somewhere else. It is not a total act, it is not orgasmic, you are not lost in it, so a greed arises. You try to satisfy that greed, that unfulfilled desire, in a thousand ways:
pornography, blue movies, and fantasy, your private movie. You go on fantasizing about women. When a real woman is there and she is ready to love you, you are not there. And when the woman is not there, you have a woman in your fantasy.
This is a very sad state of affairs. When you are eating, you are not there and then you are thinking about food, fantasizing about it. This is happening because you are not total in your act, you are always divided. While making love you are thinking of BRAHMACHARYA, celibacy. Then while being a celibate you.are thinking of making love. You are never in tune, never in harmony.
And one goes on pretending that everything is okay so one never faces the problem.
I have heard about one couple who was known all over Poland as the most ideal couple ever. Sixty years of married life and never had there been a conflict. The wife was never known to nag the husband, the husband was never known to be rude to the wife. They had lived very peacefully -- at least it appeared so.
They were celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary. A journalist came to interview them.
'How old is your wife?' enquired the journalist.
'She is eighty-seven,' said the husband, 'and God willing, she will live to be a hundred.'
'And how old are you?' enquired the journalist.
'Eight-seven too,' answered the husband, 'and God willing, I will live to be a hundred and one.'
'But why,' asked the journalist, 'would you like to live a year longer than your wife?'
'To tell the truth,' said the old octogenarian, 'I would like to have at least one year of peace.'
Appearances are very deceptive. Appearances may give you respectability but they cannot give you contentment. And some day or other, in some way or other, the truth has a way of surfacing.
Truth cannot be repressed forever. If it can be repressed forever, eternally, then it is not truth. In the very definition of truth one should include the fact that truth has a way of bubbling up. You cannot go on avoiding it forever and ever. One day or other, knowingly or unknowingly, it surfaces, it reveals itself.
Truth is that which reveals itself. And just the opposite are lies. You cannot make a lie appear as truth forever and ever. One day or other the truth will surface and the lie will be there condemned.
You cannot avoid truth. It is better to face it, it is better to accept it, it is better to live it.
Once you start living the life of truth, authenticity, of your original face, all troubles by and by disappear because the conflict drops and you are no more divided. Your voice has a unity then, your whole being becomes an orchestra. Right now, when you say something, your body says something else; when your tongue says something, your eyes go on saying something else simultaneously.
Many times people come to me and I ask them, 'How are you?' And they say, 'We are very, very happy.' And I cannot believe it because their faces are so dull -- no joy, no delight! Their eyes have no shining in them, no light. And when they say, 'We are happy,'
even the word 'happy' does not sound very happy. It sounds as if they are dragging it.
Their tone, their voice, their face, the way they are sitting or standing -- everything belies, says something else. Start watching people. When they say that they are happy, watch.
Watch for a clue. Are they really happy? And immediately you will be aware that something else is saying something else.
And then by and by watch yourself. When you are saying that you are happy and you are not, there will be a disturbance in your breathing. Your breathing cannot be natural. It is impossible. Because the truth was that you were. not happy. If you had said, 'I am unhappy,' your breathing would have remained natural. There was no conflict. But you said, 'I am happy.' Immediately you are repressing something -- something that was coming up, you have forced down. In this very effort your breathing changes its rhythm; it is no longer rhythmical. Your face is no longer graceful, your eyes become cunning.
First watch others because it will be easier to watch others. You can be more objective about them. And when you have found clues about them use the same clues about yourself. And see -- when you speak truth, your voice has a musical tone to it; when you speak untruth, something is there like a jarring note. When you speak truth you are one, together; when you speak untruth you are not together, a conflict has arisen.
Watch these subtle phenomena, because they are the consequence of togetherness or untogetherness. Whenever you are together, not falling apart; whenever you are one, in unison, suddenly you will see you are happy. That is the meaning of the word 'yoga'.
That's what we mean by a yogi: one who is together, in unison; whose parts are all interrelated and not contradictory, interdependent, not in conflict, at rest with each other.
A great friendship exists within his being. He is whole.
Sometimes it happens that you become one, in some rare moment. Watch the ocean, the tremendous wildness of it -- and suddenly you forget your split, your schizophrenia; you relax. Or, moving in the Himalayas, seeing the virgin snow on the Himalaya peaks, suddenly a coolness surrounds you and you need not be false because there is no other human being to be false to. You fall together. Or, listening to beautiful music, you fall together.
Whenever, in whatsoever situation, you become one, a peace, a happiness, a bliss, surrounds you, arises in you. You feel fulfilled.
There is no need to wait for these moments -- these moments can become your natural life. These extraordinary moments can become ordinary moments -- that is the whole effort of Zen. You can live an extraordinary life in a very ordinary life: cutting wood, chopping wood, carrying water from the well, you can be tremendously at ease with yourself. Cleaning the floor, cooking food, washing the clothes, you can be perfectly at ease -- because the whole question is of you doing your action totally, enjoying, delighting in it.
The society is not in favour of an integrated man, so remember, society cannot help you.
It will create all sorts of hindrances for your growth. Because only a disintegrated man can be manipulated -- the politicians can dominate him, the teachers can dominate him, the religious priests can dominate him, the parents can dominate him. Only a disintegrated soul can be forced into slavery.
Integrated, you are free; integrated, you become rebellious; integrated, you start doing your own thing; integrated, you listen to your own heart, wherever it leads. Such types of individuals can be dangerous for the dead so-called society. They can create trouble -- they have always created trouble. A Jesus, a Socrates, a Buddha... they have always been troublesome because they are so integrated that they can be independent. And they are living so blissfully that they don't bother about other nonsense.
Try to understand it. If you are unhappy, you will become ambitious; if you are happy, ambition will disappear. Who bothers to become a prime minister unless you are a little insane? Who bothers to become the richest man in the world unless you are mad? Who bothers about fame? You cannot eat it, you cannot love it, you cannot sleep with it. In fact, the more famous you become, the more difficult it becomes to be happy.
The richer you are, the more worries you have -- problems of security, future.
Whatsoever you have, you have to hold it. You have to hold it against others because they are constantly watching for a right opportunity to take it back. Whatsoever you hold, you hold out of violence. And of course, if you have been violent then others can be violent to you. They are just waiting for the right moment. The richer you get, the more worries, more problems, more fears you have. Who bothers, if one is happy?
It is said that a Taoist mystic was sought by the emperor of China because he had heard that the mystic was very wise and he wanted him to become his prime minister.
Ambassadors, with a golden chariot following them and with many presents from the court, were sent to him.
The two ambassadors were puzzled because they found this wise man sitting on the bank of a small river fishing, very poor, just ordinary. But the king had ordered so they told him, 'The king wants you to become his prime minister. You are welcome. We have come to take you.'
The mystic looked at the ambassadors and then he looked around. A turtle was wagging his tail in the mud, enjoying, just by the side of the river, by a small pool.
The mystic said, 'Look at that turtle!'
The ambassadors said, 'We don't understand. What do you mean?'
He said, 'I have heard there is a turtle in the emperor's palace three thousand years old -- dead of course -- encased in gold, with valuable diamonds, very precious. The dead turtle is worshipped. If you ask this alive turtle, 'Would you like to become the dead turtle in the king's palace? You will be encased in gold, surrounded with precious stones and you will be worshipped by the king himself, ' what do you think this turtle will choose?
Would he like to go to the palace or would he like to wag his tail in the mud?'
They said, 'Of course, he would like to wag his tail in the mud.'
The mystic said, 'Do you think I am more foolish than the turtle? Go back! I would like to wag my tail here in this mud -- I would like to be alive.'
Who has ever heard of anybody living in a palace and being alive? Difficult, almost impossible. If you are unhappy then you become ambitious, because an unhappy person thinks, 'If I attain much wealth I will become happy.' The unhappy person thinks, 'If I become the prime minister, the president, then I will become happy.' An unhappy person starts projecting into the future; a happy person lives here and now. And he is so happy, so infinitely happy, that he has no future. He has no concern for the future.
That's just what Jesus means when he says, 'Think not of the morrow. Look at the lilies in the fields. Even the great Emperor Solomon was not so beautiful, arrayed in his precious dresses, as these poor lily flowers. Look at the grandeur! And they toil not and they think not of the morrow.'
The whole society depends on creating ambition in you. Ambition means a conflict, ambition means that whatsoever you are, you are wrong -- you have to be somewhere else. Wherever you are, you are wrong -- you have to be somewhere else. A constant madness to be somewhere else, to be somebody else, is what ambition is.
So every child is corrupted, destroyed. The parents were destroyed by their parents, and they go on destroying their children -- and so on and so forth. Of course they don't know what else to do. They simply repeat the old pattern: whatsoever was done to them by their parents, they do to their children. The parents say, 'Go to school and come first. Go to university and attain the gold medal.' Then for their whole life they are always chasing and chasing the gold medals. They live in a dream -- and because of this they have to follow many things which are against their nature, they have to do many things which are against their nature. If they are to attain some goals in society they have to follow the society.
And society is constantly trying to force something on you: a certain morality, a certain religion. Whether it suits you or not is not the problem; whether it is going to help your being flower is not the problem. The society goes on enforcing things on you.
One day I met Mulla Nasruddin on the road. He was walking with his two children.
So I said, 'How are your two children?'
He said, 'Both are good.'
I said, 'How old are they?'
He said, 'The doctor is five and the lawyer is seven!'
Already the future is fixed in the mind of the father. One has to become a doctor, the other has to become something else. The children have not been asked. Now the father will enforce. He can enforce, he has power. The children are helpless. And if the child was going to become a singer and he cannot become a singer but has to become a doctor, he will never feel at ease. He will be false. He will be carrying something false -- continuously dragging himself. His whole life will be destroyed. It will be a sheer wastage. There are doctors who would have been beautiful singers or dancers or poets and there are poets who would have been better to have been doctors or surgeons. There are poets who should have been engineers, scientists, and there are scientists who should have been somewhere else. It seems that everybody is in some wrong place because nobody has been allowed to be spontaneous and to be himself.
The society forces you to be something that you are not meant to be. Nobody else can know who you are meant to be, your destiny has to unfold within you. It is only you, left to yourself. A society can help. If a real, right society exists some day in the world, it will simply help you. It will not give you directions, it will give you all support to be yourself.
But this society first tries you to make somebody else -- imitators, carbon copies -- and when you have become carbon copies then people start saying that you are not yourself.
A Jewish momma found herself sitting next to a young man on a bus. She looked at him quizzically for a few moments, then nudged him in the ribs and said confidentially, 'You are a Jewish boy, aren't you?'
He said, 'Er, no, as a matter of fact, I'm not.'
She laughed and said, 'Oh, go on, I'm Jewish myself -- I can always tell. You're Jewish, aren't you?'
He said, 'No, missus, I'm not.'
She said, 'What's the matter? You ashamed of it or something? You're Jewish.'
So just to keep her quiet, the young chap said, 'All right, if it'll make you happy -- yes, I'm Jewish.'
She said, 'That's funny, you don't look Jewish....'
That's how it goes on. First everybody is trying to convince you that you are this, and once you are this, suddenly you find -- and everybody else starts saying -- that you don't look yourself.'What is wrong with you? You look unhappy, you look sad, you look frustrated, you look depressed -- what is the matter with you?' First they try to force you to be somebody else that you are not and then they want you to be happy also. This is impossible!
You can be happy only if you become yourself. Nothing can be done about it, that is how it is. You can be happy only if you are yourself -- but it is very difficult to find out now who you are because you have been so confused, you have been so crippled. And society has entered so deep down in you that it has become your conscience. Now your parents may be dead, your teachers may be dead -- or even if they are alive they are no longer sitting on your head -- but still whatsoever they have taught you goes on speaking in subtle whisperings within you.
It has become your conscience. The parental voice has become your ego. If you do something against it, it immediately condemns you. If you do something accordingly, it applauds you, appreciates you. Still you go on being dominated by the dead.
I have heard.
Rothstein owed a hundred dollars to Wiener. The debt was past due and Rothstein was broke, so he borrowed the hundred dollars from Spevak and paid Wiener. A week later Rothstein borrowed back the hundred dollars from Wiener and paid Spevak. Another week went by and Rothstein borrowed back the hundred dollars from Spevak to pay back Wiener. He repeated this transaction several times until finally he called them up and said.
'Fellers, this is a lot of bother. Why don't you two exchange the hundred dollars every week and keep me out of it!'
This is how it has happened. First your mother, your father, your teachers, your priests -- they have put things in your mind. Then one day they come and they say, 'Now you be on your own. Keep us out.' Now the conscience goes on functioning as a subtle agent.
Remember, the conscience is your bondage. A real man is conscious but he has no conscience. An unreal man is unconscious and has a very strong conscience. Conscience is given by others to you; consciousness has to be attained by you. Consciousness is your earned being, your earned quality of awareness. Conscience is given by others who wanted to manipulate you in their own ways. They had their own ideas and they manipulated you, they coerced you, tortured you into certain directions. They may not have been aware of it themselves because they were tortured by their parents.
This is how the future is dominated by the past and the present is dominated by the dead.
A real man has to drop his conscience. The parental voice has to be dropped.
There are a few sayings of Jesus which are very rude but true to the very core. He says, 'Unless you hate your father and mother you will not be able to follow me.' Now this looks very rude. The language is rude but what he means is what I am saying to you -- drop the conscience. He is not saying you should hate your father and mother, he is saying you should hate the mother's and father's voice inside you. Unless you drop that you will never be free; you will remain split, you will have many voices in you, you will never become one.
You have lost your original face. People have painted your face too much according to their own ideas. They have made you. Now you have to take the whole process in your hands you have to become aware that you are not here to fulfil anybody's expectations.
You are here to attain your destiny.
So don't choose the safer way which you have been choosing up to now. It is safer to follow society because then society does not create trouble for you. It is very, very dangerous to follow your own voice, very dangerous to follow yourself, because then you are alone and society is not there to support you.
They used to tell a story of the Russian dictator, Stalin. The dictator walked into a movie incognito and sat in the last row. Suddenly his picture flashed on the screen and everybody rose in salute. He remained seated, enjoying the spectacle of his power, when suddenly an usher poked him in the back and whispered harshly: 'You'd better get up too if you know what's good for you. I don't like him any more than you do, but you'd better get up. It's safer.'
We have been choosing the safer, the secure, the socially approved. You will have to get out of it. There are two ways to get out of the socially approved: one is the way of the sinner, the criminal; another is the way of the saint, the holy man. These are the two ways to get out of the structured being that the society has given to you, cut of the role that the society has given you to play.
One is the criminal way. That is a reactionary way, foolish. It is not going to help you.
You may get out of the social structure but you will find yourself in prison. That is not going to help much; you cannot go very far on that way. That too is a way of getting out of the bondage of society -- the criminal is also trying to be free. Of course, he does not know how to be free, so he gets more into bondage. But his desire is the same as that of the saints. He is moving in the wrong direction, but his desire is the same. Society has forced many people to be criminals because the structure is too strong and people don't know how to get out of it. So they do something wrong, just to get out of it.
The saint is also doing the same but he is trying to create devices. Meditation is a device, zazen is a device to get out of society without becoming a criminal.
So remember, that danger is there. If you understand me and you think, 'Right, I will get out of society,' and you don't understand what I mean by meditation, you will become a criminal.
That's what hippies are doing in the West. They are hankering for freedom and their desire is right, absolutely right, they have absolute birthright to be free -- but they don't yet know the way of the saint. So knowingly, unknowingly, they are moving onto the path of the sinners. Sooner or later they will be crushed by society.
Just to be free of society is not enough. To be free and responsible, to be free and responsibly free -- only then are you free, otherwise you will be caught in another pattern.
The hippie is reacting, the people of Zen are rebelling. In reaction you just go to the opposite: if the society says no drugs, you say drugs are the only panacea. If the society says do this, you immediately do just the opposite. But remember, in doing the opposite, you are still in the trap of society because society has decided what you should do. Even the opposite is decided by society. The society said no drugs so you say, 'I am going to take drugs.' By saying no, the society has decided your direction.
So the one who is conventional is within the society and the one who has reacted against it, again gets caught in the society. One says yes to the society, another says no the society, but both react to the society. The man who really wants to be free says neither yes nor no.
The language is created by the society so the language is simply contradictory. Either you have to say yes or you have to say no. Sometimes you don't want to say either yes or no but there is no word. Just lately Edward de Bono has done a great service to humanity.
He has invented a new word, 'po' -- just in the middle of no and yes. Because there are situations when you would like to say po. You mean, 'I don't want to say yes, I don't want to say no, I don't want to take any alternative between these two. I want to be free. If I say yes, I am caught -- you decided my yes; if I say no, you decided my no in the opposite direction. I say po.'
A Zen person says po, the hippie says no -- and much is the difference, great is the difference.
The language is decided by the contradictory mind so everything is divided into two:
heaven and hell, god and devil, yes and no, good and bad, the sinner and the saint.
Everything is divided into two, and in life, in fact, it is totally different -- it is a rainbow.
All the seven colours are there. There are many stages between the saint and the sinner; there are many possibilities between yes and no. And dark and light are not only two possibilities -- they are two poles. Between these two poles are all the rays, all the colours of the rainbow.
But the aristotelian logic, which is the logic of the society, divides only into two. That two creates a falsity in man. If you don't want to say yes and you don't want to say no, the language does not give you any other alternative. Somebody says, 'Do you love me?'
What are you going to say? If you say yes it may not be true, if you say no that also may not be true. You may like to remain uncommitted, you may like simply to shrug your shoulders -- but in language there is no way to shrug your shoulders.
I have heard about a man who went to visit a church with his wife. The church had over the portal the inscription: This is the house of God. This is the Gate of Heaven.
The man must have been a logician, a follower of Aristotle.
He glanced at these words, tried the door and found it locked.
Then he turned to his wife and said, 'In other words, go to hell!'
Because the door to heaven is closed, where to go?'In other words, go to hell!'
Life is divided into two -- that is too miserly a division. Life is much richer. Life is neither white nor black, it is grey. White is one end of it, black is another end of it, but life is grey.
If you don't know that language is also a social trap, morality is also a social trap, formality is also a social trap, etiquette is also a social trap, you will not be able to get out of it. And this is possible only if you become very, very aware, very keenly aware, sincerely aware. Then you will see traps all around. Don't react to them. Sinners have always been there, criminals have always been there -- they tried to break out of the bounds of the society, but they never could get very far; they were always caught.
The only way to get out of it is a very subtle one, and that is to get within yourself so deeply that the society cannot reach there. That's the only way -- to become true, to get to your centre. That's what Zen is all about.
Once, at a scientific gathering, a young physicist approached the British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington and asked:
'Is it true, Sir Arthur, that you are one of the only three men in the world who really understands Einstein's theory of relativity?'
Then noticing the look of discomfort that came into the astronomer's face, he apologised.
'I'm sorry,' he said.'I didn't mean to embarrass you. I know how modest you are.'
'Not at all,' said Eddington.'I was just wondering who the third man could be.'
All your social formality, modesty, politeness, is just a layer, a very thin layer -- like when you pour oil on water and a thin film of the oil covers it. It is not even skin deep.
Don't be deceived by it. The only way to get beyond is to go within. You can become rude -- that is happening. Just to become sincere, some people are becoming rude. That is not the way. Just to be honest, people are becoming violent. Just to be true, they are becoming angry and insane. That is not the way. If you want to be true, move to the centre -- because if you remain on periphery you will remain untrue. Let your centre dominate the periphery. You move to the centre.
And be in a hurry. I don't mean be impatient. I mean don't be lazy. Because the problem is that if you have lived too long in the society and you have followed its rules and regulations for too long, one becomes accustomed to it. One forgets that it is a bondage, one forgets that these are chains. The chains start appearing like ornaments. You in fact start protecting them.
To celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary, Mulla Nasruddin came home and presented his wife with a little monkey.'Are you crazy or something?' shouted Mistress Nasruddin.'Where the hell are we gonna keep a monkey?'
'Don't worry,' said Nasruddin.'He will sleep right in the bed with us.'
'And what about the smell?'
'If I could stand it for thirty years, he will get used to it soon.'
Be in a hurry because once you get settled it will be difficult. Difficult because you will not realise that you are in bondage. If you can escape younger, it will be easier. The older you grow, the more difficult it becomes.
Now, the story.
AFTER BANKEI HAD PASSED AWAY, A BLIND MAN WHO LIVED NEAR THE MASTER'S TEMPLE SAID TO A FRIEND: 'SINCE I AM BLIND I CANNOT WATCH A PERSON'S FACE, SO I MUST JUDGE HIS CHARACTER BY THE SOUND OF HIS VOICE.'
'ORDINARILY WHEN I HEAR SOMEONE CONGRATULATE ANOTHER UPON HIS HAPPINESS OR SUCCESS, I ALSO HEAR A SECRET TONE OF ENVY.
WHEN CONDOLENCE IS EXPRESSED FOR THE MISFORTUNE OF ANOTHER, I HEAR PLEASURE AND SATISFACTION, AS IF THE ONE CONDOLING WAS REALLY GLAD THERE WAS SOMETHING LEFT TO GAIN IN HIS OWN WORLD.'
'IN ALL MY EXPERIENCE, HOWEVER, BANKEI'S VOICE WAS ALWAYS SINCERE. WHENEVER HE EXPRESSED HAPPINESS, I HEARD NOTHING BUT HAPPINESS, AND WHENEVER HE EXPRESSED SORROW, SORROW WAS ALL I HEARD.'
This is the greatest homage that can be done to a man, to the memory of a man.
Bankei was one of the greatest Zen Masters. This blind man who used to live near the temple could not see people's faces. Blind people become very, very perceptive. Because they are blind they become very perceptive. Because their eyes are not functioning, the whole energy and the capacity to see moves to their ears. Their ears become substitutes for eyes.
And there is a difference between eyes and ears. Eyes are linear, they look only in one direction. Ears are not linear. The ears hear from all directions, the sound is caught from all directions. Ears are more total than eyes. Eyes just focus; eyes are more concentrated.
Ears are more meditative; hence all the meditators close the eyes, because with the eyes the mind becomes linear. It is easy to concentrate with the eyes; difficult to meditate.
Remember the difference: when you concentrate, you focus your mind exclusively on something, and everything else is excluded out of it. You include only the certain thing on which you are concentrating, and everything is excluded. You focus. But ears are more meditative. They include all, everything that happens around. If you are listening to me, you are also listening to the birds. It is simultaneously happening. To the ears, existence is simultaneous; to the eyes it is linear, gradual. If I start looking from this side to that side, first I will see Amida, then Teertha, then somebody else, then somebody else -- you are all here together. But eyes will create a linear procession which is a falsification of reality. You are not here in a queue, you are all here together. But if I listen with my ears, with closed eyes, to your breathing, your being -- then you are all here together.
Ears are closer to existence than eyes, and it is a misfortune that ears have been neglected and eyes have become very predominant. Psychologists say that eighty per cent of human knowledge is gained through the eyes. Eighty per cent! It is too much. It has become almost dictatorial. The eyes have become the dictators. Ears are closer to the existence, to the diffused existence, to the togetherness of existence.
There are methods, particularly in Zen, where one simply sits and listens -- listens to existence, not concentrating anywhere. It is easier for eyes to be closed; you can open them, you can close them. Your mind can manipulate your eyes, but your ears you cannot close. They are always open.
So if your emphasis moves from eyes to ears, you will become more open. The eyes can be manipulated more easily, the mind can play tricks with the eyes. With ears it is more difficult to play tricks.
If you have come across a blind man, you will see, it happens. He starts seeing by his ears. And he can see many subtle nuances which eyes cannot see. He becomes more perceptive. By the sound, by the tone, by small waverings in the tone, fluctuations, he starts seeing deeply into you. And because he is not part of the society -- society belongs to those who have eyes -- a blind man is almost an outcast, out of the society. So you don't know how to deceive a blind man. You know how to deceive people who have eyes but you don't know how to deceive a blind man. You have never practised it, it has never happened. Rarely do you come across a blind man.
He starts seeing many things. Even by your footsteps, by the sound of your footsteps, he starts recognising many things in you. Are you a man rooted in the earth? Grounded in the earth? A blind man can see just by your footsteps -- he can hear whether you are grounded or not.
Every person moves in a different way, walks in a different way. If a Buddha walks he is tremendously grounded. His legs are almost like the roots of a tree. He is in deep contact with the earth. He is nourished by the earth, the earth is nourished by him. There is a continuous transfer of energy.
Ordinarily people are uprooted trees. They walk as if they are uprooted; they don't have roots in the earth, they are not grounded. You try sometimes. Just stand with naked feet on the earth or on the sand on a beach and just feel that your legs are like roots and that they are reaching deep into the earth. And start swaying with the wind like a tree. Forget that you are a man, think of yourself as a tree, and soon you will see something transpiring between you and the earth. It may take a little time because you have forgotten the language but one day you will see something is transpiring. Something is given by the earth to the feet and you are also returning, responding. And the day it happens you will start walking in a totally new way -- rooted, solid, not fragile, not sad, more alive, full of energy. You will be less tired and your footsteps will have a different quality.
A blind man can immediately say whether this man is rooted in the earth or not.
A man who is a thief walks in a different way -- continuously afraid. The fear enters into the footsteps, into the sound of the footsteps. A man who is walking in his own home -- at home, at ease -- walks in a different way.
The blind man who lived near Bankei's temple must have known thousands of people. He was a beggar. He said, when Bankei died, 'ORDINARILY WHEN I HEAR SOMEONE CONGRATULATE ANOTHER UPON HIS HAPPINESS OR SUCCESS, I ALSO HEAR A SECRET TONE OF ENVY.'
When people congratulate others, deep down they are jealous. The envy is there. It is just a social formality that they are fulfilling. Their voice will show it. You watch, you start watching life. It is a beautiful thing to watch. Many things are happening around you continuously. You are missing tremendous experiences. Watch people's voices -- someone congratulating someone. Try to see what his voice says -- not what he is saying, but what his voice says. And immediately you will understand what this blind man means. There is a subtle jealousy, envy, pain, misery, frustration -- that somebody else has succeeded and he has not succeeded. It is just a lip service.
'WHEN CONDOLENCE IS EXPRESSED FOR THE MISFORTUNE OF ANOTHER, I HEAR PLEASURE AND SATISFACTION....'
The second thing is still deeper. The first thing you can understand. You can say, 'Right, true. There is jealousy when you congratulate somebody.' But the blind man says that when you condole, when you see somebody has died or somebody has gone bankrupt or somebody's house has burned, and you go and you sympathize and you say, 'It was very bad,' deep down there is a subtle satisfaction and pleasure. Because deep down you are feeling good that your house has not been burned, somebody else's has; that your wife has not died, somebody else's has; at least your child is still alive, somebody else's has died. God has not been so cruel to you. You feel a subtle joy.
Whenever you sympathize or express condolence, watch. Or when you watch others doing that, just look deep down into their voice -- something else is also present; bound to be so. In your love, hatred is present. Even when you laugh, something deep down goes on crying within you. Your laughter is not pure; your laughter can be changed into crying very easily, your crying can be changed into laughter very easily. You know it.
You love a person and you can hate him any moment. You were ready to die for him, and now you are ready to kill him. A friend can become foe any moment. Man is contradictory, schizophrenic.
And the blind man said,
'IN ALL MY EXPERIENCE, HOWEVER, BANKEI'S VOICE WAS ALWAYS SINCERE. WHENEVER HE EXPRESSED HAPPINESS, I HEARD NOTHING BUT HAPPINESS...'
It was pure, uncontaminated by the opposite, uncorrupted, uncontradicted. It was simple.
It was not complex. It was sincere.
'...AND WHENEVER HE EXPRESSED SORROW, SORROW WAS ALL I HEARD.'
This simplicity is the goal of Zen; this sincerity is the goal of Zen.
I was reading a few lines of T. S. Eliot the other day:
A CONDITION OF COMPLETE SIMPLICITY (COSTING NOT LESS THAN EVERYTHING) AND ALL SHALL BE WELL AND ALL MANNER OF THINGS SHALL BE WELL WHEN THE TONGUES OF FLAME ARE IN-FOLDED INTO THE CROWNED KNOT OF FIRE AND THE FIRE AND THE ROSE ARE ONE.
They express the very essence of Zen. AND THE FIRE AND THE ROSE ARE ONE.
There comes a moment of simplicity when the energy that is invested in hatred and the energy that is invested in love are released from their polar opposites. AND THE FIRE AND THE ROSE ARE ONE.
Then a man is simply simple. He has no contradictions in him. You can taste him; his taste is always the same. And whatsoever he does he does it totally -- there is no other way. He cannot do even a small thing without being total in it. Even a small gesture of his hand and he is totally there in that gesture. He looks at you and he is there in his look -- totally there. He touches you -- it is not only his hand that touches you, it is his whole being.
Ordinarily we are manipulating things -- chairs, tables, a thousand and one things -- and we have forgotten that hands are meant for something more also, not just manipulating things. So when you touch your beloved's hand, you touch as if you were touching a table. You have forgotten that hands are not just to manipulate, they are to give also. The hands have become dead.
When a man like Bankei touches, then you will know what touch is. He will flow through his touch totally into you; he will pour himself into you. His touch will be a gift, his look will be a gift, because he has attained. He has given the ultimate gift of his own being to himself -- AND THE FIRE AND THE ROSE ARE ONE.
Listen to your heart, move according to your heart, whatsoever the stake:
A CONDITION OF COMPLETE SIMPLICITY COSTING NOT LESS THAN EVERYTHING....
To be simple is arduous, because to be simple it costs everything that you have. You have to lose all to be simple. That's why people have chosen to be complex and they have forgotten how to be simple.
But only a simple heart throbs with God, hand in hand. Only a simple heart sings with God in deep harmony. To reach to that point you will have to find your heart, your own throb, your own beat.
'THIS IS MY WAY,' Nietzsche used to say. 'WHERE IS YOURS? THUS I ANSWERED THOSE WHO ASKED ME THE WAY. FOR THE WAY...THAT DOES NOT EXIST.'
'THIS IS MY WAY, WHERE IS YOURS? THUS I ANSWERED THOSE WHO ASKED ME THE WAY. FOR THE WAY...THAT DOES NOT EXIST.' Only ways exist -- THE way does not exist. Your way, my way, yes -- but THE way, no.
Zen is an absolutely individual path. It is not a religion in the sense of Christianity, it is not a religion in the sense of any organization. One has to become individual. The word 'individual' is good. It simply means: one who cannot be divided. Indivisible means individual. You are not yet individuals because you are split. Become one and you will become individuals.
Great is the stake, great is the risk, but it is worth it.