A few things before we enter this beautiful anecdote. First, time should be forgotten completely. If you want to enter meditation time should not be of concern to you. If you are in a hurry then nothing is possible, and this has become a most deeply rooted problem for the modern man. The West has made people too time-conscious, not knowing where they are going, but speeding to get there because time is short.
I have heard: Once a pilot communicated on the intercom to his passengers: It seems everything has gone wrong: the radar is not functioning, the radio is out of order, even the compass has ceased to function; but don't be worried, we are keeping the same speed.
But this is what is happening to the modern mind: everything is out of order except speed. Where are you going? For what are you going? Of course, you are going fast, but you are going so fast that you have no time to look at where you are going and why you are going there.
People come to me and they say: I can stay here only one day. is meditation possible? They ask:
Can you give me something so that I can know the Divine? They are childish, juvenile - they have not grown up at all. They don't know what they are saying.
Is God something one can give to you as a gift? Is God a certain technique, so that the formula can be given to you and you can work it out later on? Is He something like a material key that can be given to you and you can unlock the door? This search needs tremendous patience, infinite patience. This is the first requirement - you should simply forget about time.
What is time? It is a very anxious state of mind: you are too much worried about tomorrow, too much worried about the future, too much worried about the past. You are pulled in these two opposite directions, the past and the future, and you are worried because you have not gained anything in the past. You are worried: Who knows? The same may also happen in the future as has happened in the past - nothing. You have achieved in the past, and it may be that you may not achieve anything in the future, so you are in a hurry. But just hurry won't help because it disturbs you.
The modern man is farther away from God not because he is more materialistic, no. Man has always been materialistic, he has to be, because a man is ninety-nine percent body. Man has always been materialistic - this is nothing new.
Is it because of too much scientific training and education? No, science is not against God. It may not be for God, but it is not at all against God. It simply says: God is not my concern at all; He is not. They exist on different planes. Science cannot say yes or no to God; they are not moving in the same dimension, the dimensions differ. So science has not made man atheistic.
Then what is making people atheistic, farther away from God? No, not Communism. Communism may have created new gods, but it has not destroyed the old one - it cannot. Communism itself is a religion. Then what? To me, it is time-consciousness, which is a new factor in the world, a new factor in human consciousness which is creating trouble. And it has become particularly deep- rooted in Christianity and Judaism; it has become very, very deep-rooted. And the cause of it is that Christianity, Judaism and Islam, they are all three from the same source - Judaism. All three are Jewish.
In the world there are in fact only two religions: one is Hindu, the other is Judiac. Mohammedanism and Christianity come out of Jewish source - just off-shots. Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism comes out of Hinduism; they are just off-shots.
There is a deep-rooted problem in Jewish thinking, and that is: they deny rebirth; they deny the theory of a circle of births. They believe in only one life and that dominates the West. If there is only one life, then you will be in a hurry, because time is short and too many things have to be done; you cannot move at ease. That's why so much speed: everything is moving fast, everybody is worried that life is slipping out of their hands and you have only one life.
In the East it is believed that you have millions of lives: there is no hurry, time is not short, no need to be worried about it; enough to waste and even enough always there is reserve - it is eternal.
You will be born again and again, again and again - it is a circle; you go, you come again, you go, you come again, so there is no need to be worried about time. That's why in the eyes of the West the East looks lethargic, lazy, not doing anything. Nobody is worried, people can relax under the trees - no hurry; but this no-hurry helps religion. The mind which is too time-conscious may create many materialistic miracles but it will miss the inner dimension. Because the inner dimension is approached only when you are absolutely patient. You will miss many things if you are patient, that is right, but you will never miss yourself.
If you want to create an empire of things, possessions, then be in a hurry; then think that time is money and very precious, and use it to create more and more things. But you will be lost. When you die you will have piled a great empire of things, but dying, you will come to realize that you have not achieved anything. The whole effort has been a failure because unless you achieve yourself, nothing is achieved. Unless you come to yourself, you have not come to any point. Life may have been a journey, but you have not reached the goal.
So about this you have to decide; you have to drop time-consciousness. Simply forget about time, time is always available. It is not like money, it is like the sky - it is always available, you cannot exhaust it, so don't run. You can sit at ease, you can relax, you can sit like a Buddha. Look at the statue of Buddha, sitting as if there is no time. He doesn't seem to be in a hurry.
It is said in one of the old Zen stories: Once two monks were crossing a stream in a ferry-boat; one was very old, the other was very, very young. When they got off the ferry boat they asked the man who had brought them to this shore: Will it be possible for us to reach the town where we are headed before the sun sets? Because it was a hilly track and the sun was just going down, at the most they had one hour. They had to arrive before sunset because once the doors of the town were closed, then the whole night they would have had to remain in the forest outside of the town. And it was dangerous, wild animals were there. The ferry-boatman said: Yes, you can reach if you go slowly.
The old man could understand because a certain wisdom happens in old age. Youth is always in a hurry. This is paradoxical. An old man should be in a hurry because time is short, but it is always the opposite. The young man is always in a hurry even though there is enough time, because this hurry comes from an inner energy - ignorance. An old man can understand.
The old man said: Yes, I understand; but the young man said: You are fools, you both. How can one reach if one goes slowly? I am not going to listen to this stupid nonsense!
He started running, it was a hilly track, and he was in such a hurry. That which was to happen, happened. He fell down: he was hurt, wounded, all his things scattered. Then the old man caught up because he was coming slowly. He looked at the young man: he was crippled, blood was flowing, and he said: Now how will you be able to reach? You tried to reach quickly and now you cannot reach at all. It is said that the young man was devoured by wild beasts, but the old man reached by the time the sun was setting. He reached the door just in the nick of time and he entered the city.
This is a parable. In fact, the track is hilly. When you are moving towards the Divine, the track is hilly. There are valleys and peaks and you can fall at any moment. The territory is dangerous and millions of wild animals are all around. You have to reach the gate before the gate closes. But if you run fast you will not be able to reach, because when you run fast you cannot be conscious.
Have you ever tried running fast? If you run very fast, the very speed gives you an intoxication.
That's why there is so much addiction to. speed. If you drive a car, the mind wants to go more and more and more and more fast. It makes you intoxicated. Speed releases certain chemicals in the body and in the blood; that's why you would like to go on pressing the accelerator. More people die every year in car accidents than in a world war. The Second World War was nothing, more people die every year in car accidents. People go on getting more and more speedy; then they become intoxicated. A moment comes when they are not in their minds and the speed has taken over.
Start running one day and just watch what happens - a moment comes when the speed takes over:
that is the acceleration of speed. And just the opposite happens if you slow down. What is a Buddha doing under the tree? - slowing down the speed, nothing else. What am I continuously teaching you? - slow down the speed; come to a point where there is no speed within you, nobody running.
In that moment awareness happens - you become Enlightened.
And there are two poles: one is speed; then you are intoxicated, you become unconscious; the other is no speed - slowed down completely, totally, an absolute stop. Suddenly you become Enlightened.
This is the first thing to be understood: slow down your speed. Eat slowly, walk slowly, talk slowly, move very, very slowly, and by and by, you will come to know the beauty of inactivity, the beauty of passivity. Then you are not intoxicated, you are completely aware and conscious.
The second thing: you cannot pose as an Enlightened man. Many people try it and they can also deceive many others, because fools are everywhere. But you cannot pose before a man who knows.
But that is my regular habit. I have always lived a regular life.
Deceiving others is your regular habit; it has gone into your very roots. You do it without knowing that you are doing it, that's the problem. You go on posing. If it is a regular habit, how can you suddenly drop it when you come to a Master? There also the regular habit will persist.
Mahakashyap. Sariputra, Modgalayam, all the great disciples of Buddha had to wait for two years before Buddha would start teaching. Sariputra asked: Why do we have to wait for two years?
Buddha said: Just to provide a gap so that your old habits slow down, because if they persist, you will not listen to me; if they persist it will not allow you to see me; if they persist, whatsoever you do will be a confusion. Just two years - let things slow down. Two years, don't do anything. Just remain silent and watchful so that you can become aware of things which you have been doing continuously without knowing that you were doing them.
Posing, showing, being that which you are not is dangerous: and with a Master it is absolutely dangerous because it is not going to help anybody and you are missing an opportunity. Never pose.
If you pose then the authentic cannot surface; then the posture remains all around you. If you have many faces, then when and how will the original face surface? Allow the original face to come; drop all postures, drop all faces. For a few days you will feel dizzy without a face. You will feel very uncomfortable, without your old pattern and habits. For a few days you will feel that you have lost your identity. That's okay, that's how it should be.
One has to lose one's identity in order to regain the real identity; one has to lose all faces to gain the real face - that which you had before you were born, and that which you will have after you have died. When you are no more, the original will be with you. Never pose. Now try to enter this story.
FOR NEARLY TWENTY YEARS, HOUN, A LAYMAN DEVOTED TO THE STUDY OF ZEN, LIVED AT YAKUSAN TEMPLE, AND UNDERTOOK DISCIPLINE UNDER MASTER IGEN.
Twenty years! One-third of life and he waited as if there was no hurry. Twenty years! Just think! Two days seem to be too long, two months, two years; twenty years seem just a whole lifetime. He must have come near about when he was twenty, a young man, and when he came out of the temple, he was already old. Your whole youth, your whole energy has to be devoted to the search. Remember, time-consciousness will be a barrier.
There is a Zen story: One old man was dying. He called his son and told him: I would like you to attain to meditation before I die, because in my whole life I have come to realize that nothing is more important. So I am not giving you riches, I am not giving you any prestige or power of this world; this is going to be my only gift: you go to a Master and learn meditation.
The boy was afraid to leave because the father was old and any day he could die; he was just on his death-bed. But when the father said: You have to go; he had to go.
He reached a Zen Master and told him the whole My father is very, very old, almost dying, and he wants me to learn meditation before he dies. He would like to see my meditative face and I would like to make him happy, so just tell me how long will it take for me to become meditative. The Zen Master said: Three years. The young man said: I will make as much effort as possible, I will put my total energy into it; then how long will it take, how long? The Zen Master said: Thirty years.
He said: What are you saying? I am saying that I will put my total energy into it; and before that you said three years. The Master said: I thought that you would put your total energy into it, that's why I said three years. But when you say: Now I will put my total energy - thirty years; and if you ask about time again, it will be impossible - ninety years.
The boy said: But my father is dying. The Master said: What can I do? Everybody has to die, that is not my concern. Meditation doesn't bother about who is dying or who is not dying. Never ask about time again, or else leave me. The boy watched the Master: he was the right man, the fragrance was there, the quality that exists around a Master - he could feel it, he could touch it exactly. It was there all around him, like a light, an aura.
He said: Okay. He touched the Master's feet and said: I will never ask about time, and you start the teaching. The Master said: Good. You clean the house and whenever the time is right, I will start.
Three years passed and he had not even started, but by this time the young man had also become perceptive. He could understand that he had been foolish to ask about time. These three years slowed him down. He was just cleaning the house the whole day, and cleaning the house is not a mental thing. You have to do it with the body, so by and by, the mind stops. He became perceptive and he could see that he had been foolish - the question was nonsense. And now there was no point in asking.
The Master knows whenever the right moment comes and he will start. One day he thought inside that he knew, and the time was right. On that very day the Master started - and what was the start?
He came from behind and attacked the boy. The boy was sweeping and he attacked him with a wooden sword. The boy screamed and jumped. The Master said: This is my first teaching - now be aware. At any moment I will attack, so don't just simply clean and wash and sweep, be alert, I am a dangerous man. And then the attacks started.
Within three months the boy was so alert - he had to be, because at any moment from anywhere, the Master would come like the wind and attack. He started dodging, he learned the trick, he became more and more alert, and more and more happy.
By the third month, the Master said: This won't do. Now in sleep also, remain alert. I will come at any moment and jump on you. The Master brought his mattress into the boy's room and said: I will sleep here.
Now even sleep was not to be left alone. The boy learned by and by - because the Master would jump at least twelve times each night. He would attack at any moment. The moment the boy would be falling into sleep, he would attack. He became so alert that again by the third month the body slept, but he remained alert; he started dodging in his sleep. The moment the Master would jump, he would already be out of his bed. Even in his sleep, with closed eyes, he became so perceptive - he had to.
Then the Master said: It is not enough. Now tomorrow I am going to purchase a real sword. This wooden sword won't do. Remain alert because now I will be attacking you with a real sword. You miss once, and finished.
But by this time the awareness was penetrating very, very deeply. The boy laughed because he knew that now he could not miss a single moment. Now he became so perceptive that the Master had no need to attack, because the moment the Master would think to attack, the boy would say:
Wait! No need. You are an old man. Why? Just by thinking - the Master would think inside and the boy would say: Wait, you may kill yourself. Three months passed, nine months, and the Master said one day: Now you are ready, you can go to your father.
The boy thought: This old man has been torturing me in every possible way; I'm grateful because I have become aware and meditative. But would it not be good before I leave, to attack this old man and see what happens? The old man started laughing. He said: Remember, I am an old man.
Time should not be a concern, because time is against meditation. Time is mind and in meditation there is no time. Meditation is beyond time; there is no space, no time.
When you are deeply in meditation, you don't know what time it is, you cannot know; you cannot feel time - and you don't know where you are, you cannot feel space. And if you go a little deeper, you don't know who you are. Everything disappears - time, space, and all the configurations of time and space: the ego, everything disappears; you simply ARE. This is the being, this is the Truth. Twenty years?
Zen doesn't believe in renouncing the world. If you renounce, it is okay; if you don't renounce, it is also okay. It is up to you, both are good. The basic thing is not the world or renouncing the world; the basic thing is to be alert and aware wherever you are. Even a layman, a householder, can attain to the perfect Enlightenment. In this, Zen is very, very liquid. It gives you total freedom. Your style of life in this world doesn't matter.
Hindus have insisted that you have to renounce the world. Jains have insisted that you have to renounce the world. Even Buddha insisted. Buddha in fact had no householders as his disciples.
The whole Indian tradition is for renouncing the world. But Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, they lived in the world; they lived fully aware.
Chuang Tzu's wife died and the corpse was lying there. People were gathering, the neighbors, waiting to take the body, and he was sitting under a tree beating a drum and singing. The King himself had come to pay his respects. He also respected Chuang Tzu very much, and his wife was dead so he had come. But when he saw Chuang Tzu beating a drum, he couldn't contain himself.
He said: Not weeping I can understand, but singing and beating a drum! It is going too far. What are you doing? Chuang Tzu said. She lived with me, she was a beautiful woman, she served me, she loved me, she gave me many beautiful moments, she was really lovely; can't I even give her a good good-bye? She is leaving, it may not be possible for us to meet again. Can't I even sing and beat a little drum while she is leaving? She lived so long with me and she has done so much for me.
Can't I do even this much?
This is a perfectly alert man. He has not renounced his wife; he has lived in the world like an ordinary man. But he is not ordinary, he is extraordinary.
Buddhism and Tao met, and Zen was born, so Zen says both are good. If you live in the world, it is okay, but live with alertness. If you renounce, if you feel like renouncing, that too is good, but renounce with alertness. So the basic thing is not the form, but the spirit.
This Houn was a layman. He was not a BHIKKHU, he was not a SANNYASIN; he had not renounced life. But what a man! For twenty years, he had not gone to his family. What more of a renunciation can you ask? For twenty years he had not remembered the family; for twenty years he had not talked about it; what more of a renunciation can you ask? And when he became Enlightened, the Master said: Now you can go.
Now he is going back to his family. He is totally transformed but he is going back. The wife may be waiting, the children may be there, the old parents may be there; maybe they are dead. He is going back.
There is a saying in Zen that before you are Enlightened, rivers are rivers and mountains are mountains. When you start meditating, rivers are no longer rivers and mountains are no longer mountains; everything is topsy-turvy. Then you attain; again everything falls into line - rivers are rivers again, mountains are mountains again. Just in the middle everything is disturbed, then everything settles again. Of course, it settles on a totally different plane.
Now this man is returning to his wife, but he is no more a husband. This man is returning to his children, but he is no more a father. This man is returning to his old parents, but he is no more a son. This man is returning back to his shop, but he is no more a shop-keeper.
Zen says: It is up to you. And there are different types of people; Zen gives freedom to all. There are people who would like to remain in the mountains - good. There are people who would like to remain in the markets - very good. Zen says that it is up to you; the style of your life is up to you.
That is not the thing to be worried about. The basic thing is to be alert. This Houn attained alertness:
he became aware and conscious.
He was ready, he was going back, and the Master asked ten of his disciples to see him off at the gate. This 'ten' is symbolic, ten are the senses. Five senses: touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste are outward; and five are the inward senses. Because as you can see outwardly, so can you see inwardly. When you see outwardly, your outer eyes function. When you see inwardly, the inner eye functions. Five are the senses for moving out; five are the senses for moving in. And these five senses each have two vehicles: two eyes, two ears, two hands - there is a duality. The five senses through which you enter inwards each have one vehicle, one eye - that is called the third eye, one ear - you can call it the third ear, one nose - you can call it the third nose; five pairs going outwards, five units going inwards. In all they are ten. So the Master tells his ten disciples to go and give him a good good-bye at the gate.
This is symbolic, this happens. When someone attains Enlightenment, the senses come up to the gate from where they leave you, from beyond where they cannot go, from where enters the Beyond.
The senses come to a certain point from where they leave you. And they have lived with you so long; it is good that they should come and see you off at the gate.
A Buddha also has to use your language; an Enlightened person also has to use your words, but the significance changes. He cannot use them in the same sense that you do because the sense comes from the user, not from the words. His meaning is different. For example, no Buddha, no one who has attained, can make any comparisons or use comparative words. If he says: This is good, he doesn't mean that something is also bad. But for us, duality exists.
If somebody says: You are beautiful, immediately you compare it with ugliness. But when a Buddha says: You are beautiful, he is simply saying it, not in any comparative sense; he is not thinking of anything which is ugly and comparing it to you. His words don't carry any comparison.
He says: You are beautiful; and he will also say the same to somebody else, and somebody else:
You are beautiful. He can even say: You are the most beautiful person in the world; but don't think that he is comparing the whole world to you. Wait a little - he will say the same thing to somebody else. Because to him everything is 'the most beautiful'. He is not saying anything about you. In fact, he is saying something about his own quality: whosoever comes near him he feels to be 'the most beautiful'. It is his feeling that he is showing through it, it is nothing about you. Don't be deceived by his words, because you will think in comparisons.
One day, Mulla Nasrudin came to me and I said to him: Nasrudin, many people say that you are effeminate. He said: They are right, in comparison to my wife, I am.
We think in terms of comparison. If somebody says to everybody: You are beautiful; to us the meaning of that word 'beautiful' is lost. Because if you don't tell anybody that they are ugly, what do you mean by your word 'beautiful'? If somebody says: Everything is good, nothing is bad, then what is the meaning of his word 'good'? To us the word 'good' carries meaning only in comparison to 'bad'.
An Enlightened person has to use your words with the different quality of his consciousness. He doesn't compare.
This man Houn is Enlightened. He says: Lovely, snowflakes as beautiful as these don't fall elsewhere. How many comparisons he is using! - 'Lovely' - to us it simply appears that this man must be saying that something else is not lovely, otherwise what is the meaning of 'lovely'?
Snowflakes as beautiful as these... immediately to our minds it seems that he is making comparisons with other snowflakes... as these don't fall elsewhere; immediately we think that he is comparing this moment, this here and now with something else, somewhere else.
But he is not; he is simply expressing how he feels at this moment. He is not comparing. At another place, he will again look up and say: Lovely, such snowflakes, such beautiful snowflakes fall nowhere else. He will say the same thing everywhere.
Buddha is reported to have said: You taste the sea anywhere, and you will find it salty. You have to watch a man who has attained; a man of understanding - you have to watch - and you have to drop your old habits of comparison.
Once it happened: A man came to Buddha, and Buddha said: Beautiful. You are a beautiful person.
I have never come across a person like you. One of the chief disciples, Ananda, was sitting nearby.
Ananda was always present. He became uneasy. When the man left, he said: But you told me the same thing, and you have been saying the same thing to others, to many people, and I have been hearing this. What do you mean?
Buddha laughed and said: Everyone is beautiful, so beautiful that everyone is more beautiful than everybody else. Nonsense? How can everyone be more beautiful than everybody else? Everybody else is included in everyone.
He is not saying anything about the person; he is saying something about his consciousness. When you attain, the whole world simply becomes a blessing. When you attain, suddenly everything is beautiful, illuminated, luminous - nothing is dark, nothing is sin, nothing is evil. When you are fulfilled, you look around and everything is so fulfilled, so complete, so perfect: that perfection is total because you have attained it. A man who has attained cannot condemn.
Just a few days ago, the roof fell down at the back of this house. And the first thing that came to me was: How beautiful a ruin! It was so perfect, you could not make a better ruin than that. It was simply perfect. Everything fell so beautifully, in such a pattern, as if someone had done it. It was not just in accident; it was as if someone had created it.
If you can see things with perfect awareness, everything is good. You feel blessed by everything and you can bless everything. This is what was happening.
And he is right, because a man who has attained is expected not to compare. Comparison belongs to the ignorant mind. Comparison is part of the ignorant mind, so how can a man who has attained talk in terms of comparison? An Enlightened man is always here and now. How can he talk about elsewhere? There is no elsewhere for an Enlightened man.
This disciple must have heard all these things; he must have accumulated them in his memory and reason, he must have been a head-oriented person. He immediately raised a question: Elsewhere?
What do you mean? Where is this elsewhere? You are bringing in comparisons, and we have heard that a man who has attained never compares - he lives without comparison, he does not know comparison at all.
If you live only this moment, how can you compare? How can you say: This moment is beautiful. You are bringing other moments in and you are comparing - then other moments were not so beautiful.
What type of attainment is this? Where is this elsewhere?
AT THIS HOUN SLAPPED HIS FACE.
Why did he slap his face? - to bring him to his senses. You need to be slapped many times, because sometimes just an answer won't help, it will create more questions. And when there is a head-oriented person you cannot answer him because the answer will create many more new questions. The more you answer, the more questions arise. Slapping is needed.
Have you ever observed, if somebody suddenly slaps you, the mind stops immediately for a moment? When it is unexpected, absolutely unexpected, who will expect such an irrational act?
And they had come to see this man off. They were not thinking that he would be rude. He slapped - he tried to bring the disciple back down.
Remember, neither has your consciousness any mind, nor your body. Mind exists just in between it is a ghost phenomenon. If you are totally in the body, mind disappears. If you become totally conscious, then too mind disappears. If you cannot become totally conscious, then a Master will slap you to at least bring you back to the body, because at that moment also there is no mind.
That's the beauty and the appeal of sex; it slaps you so deeply that you come back to the body - for a single moment, thinking is lost. And that is why in a war, people feel very exhilarated, euphoric, because when you are facing death suddenly you are in the body, the mind has disappeared. Many things appeal to you only because they give you a shock.
A gambler - what is the appeal in gambling? He puts all that he has at stake; now nobody knows what is going to happen. The unexpected is waiting just around the corner. He is thrilled and he cannot think - thinking leaves for a moment. When the dice fall on the table, there is no thinking, there is simply waiting. In that waiting there is no mind. The man has come totally to his body.
Mind disappears and that is the best moment, the most relaxed. But with the body it cannot disappear forever, only for a moment. It is just like when you take a dive into the water. How long can you remain there? You can force yourself to remain a little bit and then you will be out again. You can take a dive into the body - sex is a dive into the body, gambling is a dive into the body, alcohol is a dive into the body. You can take a little dive and then you are back again, more frustrated.
But Zen Masters have used slapping because it can make you a little more awake and in that awakening, it is possible to see the man who has slapped you. And he is the answer; no answer can be given. Whenever you ask, the person is the answer.
He is bringing you to the body so that mind disappears. And you can look at this person, but you can also miss. If you become too concerned about the slapping and why you were slapped, you are also making a question out of the slapping. Then you miss.
This man is saying: Please come closer. Stop asking, stop thinking, just look at me. In the shock you can look.
He is too concerned with the slap. The point is missed, he has made a question out of it; and the point is not to make question out of it, but to look at the man who has slapped.
And this Houn was really beautiful at that moment, at his peak; twenty years' effort had come to its culmination. He was moving back into the world; he was returning to the point where mountains and rivers again become mountains and rivers. He had touched the source and was moving to the circumference, to the world to test whether it is real or not.
It is easy to attain something in an isolated monastery. It is easy to feel that something has been attained there, but the real test lies in the market, in the world, there where the situations are, where the challenges are. Will he be able to stand it?
This man was coming from the source, carrying the freshness, the fragrance of the source. At the moment, he was most beautiful; just as fresh as a dew-drop in the morning, as fresh as a new lotus just opening its petals. That is the most beautiful state of consciousness.
He slapped this man in a deep compassion to bring him to feel: Don't bother about questions. I am here. Look at me.
'How can you pose as a Zen-man? You are asking a question as if you know.'
Remember, there are two types of questions: one question comes out of ignorance - it is beautiful, and one question comes out of your knowledge - it is ugly. A question that comes out of ignorance can be answered. And a Master will help you to find the answer. A question that comes out of your knowledge - you cannot be helped.
That's why Houn said: How can you pose as a Zen-man? - you are doomed to hell. Because all those who know without knowing, they are doomed to hell. All scholars, if they don't become alert, aware, and see that they are hiding their ignorance through theories, creating a screen of knowledge around themselves, trying to hide the fact that they don't know but posing as if they do know, are doomed to hell.
A sinner can reach heaven, but it's unheard of for a scholar ever to reach. Because if you think you already know, all doors are closed for knowledge to enter. That's why he said angrily: You are doomed to hell. How can you pose as a Zen-man?
Houn is present there, he can be felt. You can drink and eat him in that moment; he can become part of you, he is available.
And this disciple asks: And you? The disciple cries: What about yourself? His ego is hurt: Me - and doomed to hell? His ego comes in. The slapping has not awakened him; he has gone deeper into sleep. Now he is in a fighting mood, his anger is arising. And he says: What about you? Where are you going? I am going to hell, but where are you going?
A man at the peak of his glory....'I am here, he said, 'I am here and you have eyes, but you won't see, 'and you have a mouth, but you are dumb.'
A mouth is dumb if it is used by the mind. Then it is just chattering mechanically. A mouth is not dumb when it is not used by mind, but by silence. So remember, there are dumb people chattering continuously and there are silent people who really have a mouth, who are not dumb, but they don't chatter. They only say that which they have known, they only say that which can be helpful, they only say that which is needed by you. Talking is not their need; they talk just to help you.
You talk - it is a mad need within you, because you cannot be silent. You go on talking just to avoid silence. Your talk is a monologue. You are not talking to the other, the other is just an excuse. And he also is not talking to you. He is not listening to you, neither are you listening to him. He is posing as if he is listening, he is just waiting for the right moment when he can start talking. He is just waiting for the right link from where he can go on, from where he can take over.
I have heard: A leader had come to a town. Many people gathered to listen to him, but by and by, they all left. By the time the leader had finished his talk, only Mulla Nasrudin was left. The leader was very thankful and he said: I'm very, very grateful. I never thought that you were such a lover and such a follower of mine. Nasrudin said: I'm not, that is not it. I am the next speaker here, so if you are finished, 'I should start.
When somebody is listening to you, remember, he is the next speaker; he is just waiting for you to finish. And if you go on and on, he will tell people that you are a bore, but what he really means is that you never gave him a chance to bore. Those people who never give you any chance to start are called bores. They go on and on. They never give you a small space so that you can take over.
A Master speaks - his words come from his silence, from his inner silence. You speak - your words come from your inner madness. That's why Houn says: You have eyes, but you won't see. Why can't you see? - because your eyes are filled with many thoughts. Just as the sky is covered completely by clouds in the rains, you cannot see where the sky is; when thoughts are too many, floating in your eyes, you cannot see. When thoughts are floating too much in your mind, you are dumb.
Be silent. First attain to silence, then your word carries a tremendous force and energy; then whatsoever you say or don't say has a significance; every gesture of yours is a poem. Even if you sit silently, you release a tremendous energy around you - it is a communion.
Silence is the source of all energy, but you talk through your madness. You have an obsession with talk. That's why if you are put into isolation for a few days, you will start talking to yourself. After the third week, you cannot wait any more for somebody to listen; you start talking to yourself. You cannot wait any more. Now there is so much talk that it has to be thrown out.
Your talking is a catharsis, it is a cleansing. But why cleanse yourself on others? Why throw your dirt on others? If you want to clean yourself, clean yourself alone. Close your doors and talk to yourself as much as you like. Ask questions and give answers and make it a game. It will be good, because that's all that you are doing anyway. But when you do it with others, you are never aware of what nonsense you are doing. Alone, you will become aware. Do it alone and soon you will realize what you have been doing your whole life.
Then by and by, the more you become aware, the more words disappear, clouds disappear. When the inner sky is without clouds, when your eyes are without words and thoughts, and your mouth is filled with silence, then... then you have eyes, then you have ears, then your senses are completely vacant - they are vehicles, mediums. Then communion is possible.