The First Principle
THERE ARE SOME BEAUTIFUL LETTERS CARVED OVER THE GATE OF THE OAKU TEMPLE IN KYOTO WHICH SAY: THE FIRST PRINCIPLE. PEOPLE COME FROM FAR AND NEAR TO ADMIRE THEM. THE ORIGINAL CALLIGRAPHY WAS DONE ON PAPER BY THE MASTER KOSEN. WHEN KOSEN WAS DRAWING THE CHARACTERS THERE WAS A PUPIL STANDING BY WHO HAD MIXED THE INK. 'NOT SO GOOD,' SAID THE PUPIL AT KOSEN'S FIRST TRY.
'THAT'S WORSE THAN THE FIRST ONE,' SAID THE PUPIL TO THE SECOND TRY. AND SO IT WENT ON. AFTER THE SIXTY-FOURTH TRY, THE INK WAS RUNNING LOW, SO THE PUPIL WENT OUT TO MIX SOME MORE. 'JUST A QUICK ONE WITH THE LAST OF THE INK,'
THOUGHT KOSEN, 'WHILE THAT PUPIL IS OUT OF THE WAY.' WHEN THE PUPIL RETURNED, HE TOOK A GOOD LOOK AS THIS LATEST EFFORT, AND SAID: A MASTERPIECE!
A few things before we enter this beautiful story. First, if you are divided, then a conflict arises not only in the mind, but in your bio-energy - then you are two. And if you are two, energy is wasted in the conflict; the energy is dissipated. Unless you are one, nothing can be done. As far as the inner journey is concerned, your oneness will be needed more and more. On the surface it is okay; you can go on doing the day-to-day work even if you are divided.
Just imagine a circle with a center: if you draw two lines from the periphery towards the center, on the periphery they are divided; the more you come towards the center, the more the gap becomes less and less and less; just near the center the gap is almost not; at the center the gap disappears.
At the center everything becomes one; at the periphery everything is divided, is two.
When you are self-conscious you are two, because then you exist at the periphery. When you are not self-conscious you are one, because then you don't exist at the periphery, you exist at the center.
If you are an egoist, you are dissipating your energy because the ego exists at the periphery. The ego exists for others; it has to be on the periphery. When you are totally alone in your innermost being the ego doesn't exist. You are but the ego is not and when you are, without the ego, your energy is tremendous. When you are without the ego, you are a God. Then you are undivided, and the source of energy is infinite.
At the periphery everything is divided, and not only divided, but in conflict. It is as if I am fighting both my hands - right fights the left, left fights the right. What will happen? Is there any possibility of either hand being victorious? - no possibility, because both hands are mine The right cannot win because it is mine; the left cannot be defeated - it is mine.
Behind both hands I am one, so there is no possibility of any victory. And all victories will be just dreams, pretensions. I can fool myself, I can put my right hand on top of my left and say: Now the right has won. I can change the situation in a single moment; I can put the left on top of the right and say: The left has won. This is what you have been doing continuously.
If you fight with yourself, there is no victory. Nobody is going to be defeated, nobody is going to win; the whole game is stupid. But one thing is certain - if you go on fighting with yourself, you are dissipating energy. The right cannot win, the left cannot win - you will be defeated in the end. It is suicidal, you are destroying yourself.
When you are one, you become a creator, when you are two, you become suicidal - you destroy yourself. And how do you become two? Whenever self-consciousness arises, you become two.
Whenever you look at others and feel; What do they think about me? - you become two.
That's why all that is beautiful cannot happen when you are two. A creator has to forget everything, he has to forget the whole world; only then something from Beyond descends.
One great English poet, Coleridge, has left only seven poems completed, and he was one of the greatest masters. He left thousands of poems incomplete. Forty thousand in all have been calculated; only seven complete.
Just before his death somebody asked: What is the matter with you? The whole house is filled with incomplete poems, and a few poems need just a touch - the last line, or three lines are there one line is missing. Why can't you complete them?
Coleridge is reported to have said: Who can complete them? I have never written a single word.
When I am not, then something descends. Only three lines came; I was waiting for the fourth but it never came. And I cannot complete it because it will come from a different plane of being. I was not when these three lines came, and I would be there too much when the fourth is added. I could add it, but that would be just false. It would be something imposed - it won't have a flow, it won't be authentic, it won't be true. So what can I do? I can simply wait.
He waited for certain poems for twenty years, and then the line, the missing line would descend, and he would add it.
It is said about one of the greatest poets of India, Rabindranath Tagore, that whenever he would be writing a poem or painting a picture, he would become so self-conscious that he would forget to eat, he would forget to drink, he would forget to sleep. Even his wife would come but he would not be able to recognize who was standing before him. So whenever he was in a creative mood, nobody would disturb him, nobody would go near his house. He was in such a different state of being that to disturb him could be fatal. For three days, four days, even for weeks, he would not eat, he would not do anything. He had become just a vehicle - he was ONE.
It happened that Rabindranath's book, GEETANJALI, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize, became world famous. He translated it himself because he wrote in.Bengali. The original was Bengali and he translated it into English himself. But he was not so confident, it is easy to translate prose, it is very, very difficult to translate poetry, even if it is your own.
Poetry exists somewhere beyond grammar - it is more music, less language, it is more a feeling and less a thought. It eludes, and that is the beauty of it - you cannot fix it. It is like a river moving, it is not like a pond. Prose is like a pond, poetry is like a river.
Rabindranath tried for many days; he would work on single pieces. Then he translated it completely.
But not confident, he asked C. F. Andrews for help. C. F. Andrews was one of the colleagues of Mahatma Gandhi, he worked for India's independence very deeply. C. F. Andrews looked through it and he said: It is wonderful, beautiful! Only at four places would I like to change it because at four places it is not grammatical. So he changed it at four places, just four words, and Rabindranath was very happy. Andrews said: It is okay now.
Rabindranath took it to London. Before it was to be published he called a small gathering of poets at the house of Yeats, one of the great poets of England. Almost twenty poets, all known, had gathered - they listened. Then Rabindranath asked: Do you feel that something is missing? Yeats stood and he said: At four places something is wrong. Rabindranath was surprised. He couldn't believe it because nobody else knew that C. F. Andrews had changed the book at four places. He asked:
What are those four places? - and they were exactly the same places. Yeats said: At these four places the flow has stopped. Someone else has put in those four words, not you.
Yeats was a very perceptive poet; he could feel that the river had somewhere become a pond, that someone else from a different plane of being had entered, that something had become like a block; the river was not flowing as easily afterwards as it had been flowing before. There was a stone, a rock somewhere. Grammar is like a rock - it is dead.
Rabindranath then said: Yes, C. F. Andrews suggested these words, and he is an Englishman, so he knows better. English is not my mother tongue. He added: These were the four words I had used before Andrews corrected it. Yeats said: They are ungrammatical but they are poetic, they have the flow, so forget the grammar and retain the flow.
At the very center, the flow is the thing. Grammar is irrelevant, grammar exists on the surface; at the center - only a flow of energy. A different plane of being is needed. When something from the Beyond descends into you, you are needed to be one.
These are the two planes of humanity: duality, the plane of duality, what Hindus call DWAITA, the plane of two; and non-duality, the plane of one, the plane of the non-dual. When you are divided you are in this world; when you are undivided, you have transcended - you are no longer here, you have penetrated into the Beyond. Then boundaries meet and the boundaries meet in you. So the whole effort is how to become undivided, how to become one.
Just the other night a girl came to me and she said: I am already a sannyasin inside. Why divide the outside from the inside? Is there really a division between inside and outside? Where is the demarcation line? Can you draw a line and say:
Beyond this is inside? Where? - at the body can you draw a line? If the body dies, you die, If the body is not there, where are you?
At the mind then? - if the mind becomes unconscious you become unconscious. Who are you without the mind? Where do you divide? - everything is linked.
At the periphery it is outside; at the center it is inside, but the periphery belongs to the center. Can you have a center without a periphery? - then what type of center would that be? The center belongs to the periphery. Can you have a periphery without a center? - they belong to each other.
They are just like two banks of a river - the river flows in between and you cannot divide.
You are hungry - you don't say: Hunger is inside so how can I eat the food which is outside? You eat the food and the food becomes your blood, and the blood becomes your bio-energy, and your bio-energy becomes your thinking, and your thinking becomes your heart, your feeling, and your feeling becomes your witness, and your witness becomes the Divine, the Ultimate. There is a subtle digestion on every plane.
You take the food, it is outside. The moment you have taken it in, you digest it, the non-essential is thrown out again; the essential moves towards the center. You have digested it - it has become blood, bones, flesh - the body. Then again a digestion takes place - the most subtle of it is again absorbed. It becomes your bio - energy, what scientists call bio-plasma. It becomes electricity in you.
But then again, a digestion happens; the essential in it is again absorbed inwards - it becomes your thoughts. Thought is subtle electricity. Then again you move inwards.
Thinking is digested into feeling - it becomes your heart, so love is still a more subtle bio-energy than thinking, but that too is not the end.
Again in love, that which is more subtle is absorbed and digested - it becomes your witness, your meditation. It becomes your awareness, but that too is not the end because still the witness is there, and when the witness is there the division is there.
The division has become narrow; you are coming almost to the center but the division is still there.
You are a witness - the subject and the object. Of what are you a witness? The division is still there.
Then at the last jump energy has become totally centered; the object and subject disappear. Then there is no witness, then you have gone to the Beyond, then you are as if you are not. You are and you are not; you have become the Whole.
This is the state, the final state where in one way you are totally, utterly annihilated, and in another way you have become the Whole. The son disappears, now you have become the Father. Now there is no Jesus, just the Supreme-most Father exists - the son is absorbed. Where will you draw the line between that which is outside and that which is inside?
Many people come to me and they say: Inside we are already SANNYASINS. But is there really a division on the outside? And if you divide you become two; if you become two, then the conflict arises, the whole game of inner war, an inner politics arises - who is to dominate whom? Either the outside is to dominate the inside, or the inside is to dominate the outside. If the outside dominates the inside you become a materialist. If the inside dominates the outside you become a spiritualist.
In either case you are half, you are not whole.
When the outside and inside disappear, nobody dominates anybody, because a domination is not a good state of affairs. The one who dominates will be thrown sooner or later, the oppressors will become the oppressed, and the oppressed will become the oppressors. It is just a fight between your left hand and right hand and the whole game is a pretense. Remember this paradox: the more you go inwards, the less of the outer there is. When you really reach to the innermost, inner and outer both disappear. Then you are nothing, and everything.
In a school a teacher was asking tricky questions, and then she said: Charlie Brown, how will you define nothingness? Without a single moment's hesitation Charlie Brown said: Nothingness is a balloon with its skin off. That is you at the last moment, the skin off - nothingness. But then you have become the Whole because the skin was dividing you from the Whole.
And where is your skin? Self-consciousness, the ego is your skin. When the ego is off you become nothing and the Whole simultaneously, because they both mean the same thing.
The second thing to be understood: you may have observed in yourself and in others also, that there is a very deep urge to become unconscious. Puritans cannot understand it, moralists cannot understand it, hence the appeal of all types of alcohols, drugs, chemical intoxicants - why?
Preachers go on preaching against it but it has not changed a single person; not a single man has been changed through it. Humanity goes on moving on its path: puritans go on condemning, but nobody listens to them.
It cannot be an ordinary thing, something extraordinary is involved. That's why it is so difficult to try to change an alcoholic - very, very difficult, almost impossible. Why is there so much appeal in becoming unconscious? - because self-consciousness is such a disease, it is such a burden.
And there are only two ways to go beyond it: one is to fall into unconsciousness, the other is to become superbly conscious. Either move to superconsciousness, or move to unconsciousness.
Self-consciousness is such a tension, such an anguish and anxiety, so move either to alcohol, or move to God.
God and the devil, God and alcohol are not opposites really. If God is Supreme Consciousness, then unconsciousness is the opposite pole.
I have heard: Once it happened that a social worker who was trying to convert people towards, religion and against sin, against alcohol, came to see Mulla Nasrudin. She said: Last time I came to see you, you were sober, and it made me tremendously happy. But now you are again intoxicated and it makes me very, very unhappy. 'True,' said Mulla Nasrudin beaming with happiness. He said:
This time it is my turn to be happy.
Alcohol, unconsciousness, may not give you happiness. but at least it helps you to forget unhappiness. You forget your anxieties, and through the chemical help you drop the division, the division into two, the self-consciousness.
Self-consciousness is the greatest tension in the mind. That's why sometimes you would like to be alone; you would like to go to the Himalayas, and forget the whole society.
Society is not the problem, but when the other is present, it is very difficult to be self-unconscious or to be unself-conscious - both are the same.
It is difficult when the other is present to forget yourself; the thou creates the I within you, they are two polarities. When nobody is there and you are alone, you feel a certain relaxation. That's why people go to the forests. But then too they become bored, because when you are alone tension is not there, but boredom enters because excitement disappears.
Excitement is a sort of anxiety - anxiety is a sort of excitement. If you are after excitement, you cannot be meditative, you cannot move to a solitary place, you cannot move inwards, because there you will be alone and there is no excitement. Excitement needs the other. Alone, how can you be excited? - nothing is happening, how can you be excited? For anything to happen the other is needed. So if you are alone you become bored. If you move with society, live in relationship, then you become much to tense.
So going into loneliness won't help. But if you can drop your self-consciousness while living in society with others; in relationship if you can drop your self-consciousness, suddenly there is no tension and no boredom, and life is a constant celebration without any excitement. It is a very silent celebration. It is a joy, but without any excitement; it is a very, very cool happiness; it is a deep fulfillment, but without any excitement.
A Buddha is so fulfilled, but there is no excitement about it. He's simply fulfilled. He has not achieved anything, nothing new has happened, but he has simply become so content with himself that it is very, very cool state of enjoyment - it is a cool state of bliss.
Remember, that is the difference between bliss and happiness: happiness is excitement; bliss is happiness without excitement. If there is excitement, sooner or later you will get bored, because only when the excitement is new it is excitement. But how can you be excited about the same thing again and again?
You are excited about a woman or a man, but when the honeymoon is over, then the excitement is also over. Almost always, by the end of the honeymoon, a marriage ends - then there is just a hang- over, because you are looking for excitement, and excitement cannot be a continuous phenomenon.
Unless your love is cool, not cold remember, but cool - cold is dead, cool is alive, but without any excitement - it is bound to turn into boredom.
In the world everything ends in boredom, it has to. When you attain to the innermost core of your being, you are happy without any cause, you are happy without any reason, you are happy without any excitement. There will be no boredom. And this is what happens in love also.
You need love, because only in love do you become self-unconscious; only in love does the other disappear. There is no need to be 'I'. With someone you love you can be alone. Even if the lover or the beloved is present you can be alone. The deepest possibility in love is that it helps you to drop self-consciousness.
But if you have to continuously carry the other's presence, if you have to behave accordingly, if you have to follow rules, if you have to plan even in love what to say and what not to say, then this love is sooner or later going to turn sour, bitter, because self-consciousness is there.
Wherever you find self-consciousness disappearing: in alcohol, in love, in meditation, you feel good.
But alcohol cannot give you a permanent state; love can give that to you, but that possibility is very, very difficult.
Remember, love is more difficult than meditation because love means living with the other and without the self. Meditation means living with oneself, forgetting the other completely - it is a less difficult dimension than love. That's why those who can love don't need meditation; they will reach through love.
Jesus says: Love is God. But to love is very difficult. It is difficult because the other enters with all his problems. The other is ill - you are ill, and when two ill persons meet, illness is not only doubled, it is multiplied.
It is very difficult to love, but if you can love then there is no need for any meditation. Love will become your meditation and you will reach through it. If you cannot love, if you feel it difficult then meditation is the only door.
Only one in a million reaches through love; others reach through meditation. Once you become meditative love also becomes easy, and then you can love. If you love then meditation comes as a shadow of it.
You have to decide how to drop your self-consciousness. There are two methods: one is through love, through a relationship; living with the other, and growing - it is a difficult path, very, very arduous - there is nothing more difficult than that; and the other is living in meditation. You have to choose.
If you grow in love, meditation will happen like a shadow. Love and meditation are two aspects of the same coin; if you have gained control of the one aspect, the other follows. If you meditate, love will follow - if you love, meditation will follow. This you have to choose.
Meditation is easier - love is more difficult. Unless you want to move into the difficult unnecessarily - that is for you to decide - with meditation love comes automatically. This is my feeling: that ninety- nine percent in one hundred have to go through meditation, then love will happen. Only one percent can go through love, and meditation happens. This is the state of affairs, this is how things are. But one thing is certain, that in either case self-conscious is to be dropped. Now try to understand this story.
THERE ARE SOME BEAUTIFUL LETTERS CARVED OVER THE GATE OF THE OAKU TEMPLE IN KYOTO WHICH SAYS: THE FIRST PRINCIPLE. PEOPLE COME FROM FAR AND NEAR TO ADMIRE THEM. THE ORIGINAL CALLIGRAPHY WAS DONE ON PAPER BY THE MASTER KOSEN.
Zen uses all types of skills to grow in meditation; calligraphy is one of them. If you have seen Japanese or Chinese calligraphy, you will become aware of a certain quality - there is flow. No other language can do that, because every other language has an alphabet. The Far Eastern languages - Chinese, Japanese, don't have an alphabet. They are pictorial languages; not the pen, but the brush is used, and the flow is the quality.
So a calligraphy is not only that which is written, it also carries something. of the Master who has done it - the flow. Change is not allowed, you cannot correct it; you have simply to do it in one stroke. A very skilled Master, a very mindful state is needed. You cannot change it, you cannot correct it. If you correct it, the whole point is lost because then the ego enters. You simply have to flow with it.
These are pictures and the basic thing is not that which is written, the basic thing is that which is hidden. You will be surprised. On the gate of a temple only these words are written: The First Principle. What type of message is that? - The First Principle, it says nothing. If you go and read these words: The First Principle, what does it say? There is no message in it.
The First Principle is 'flow' - it is not written; these words are just an indirect way. If you look at the calligraphy, there is the first principle, the flow. If you can flow, if your energy can flow without any blocks you will achieve. But the moment you become self-conscious, block enters, immediately.
It is just like falling into sleep - if you become self-conscious you cannot fall into sleep. Now the West is suffering from insomnia, and sooner or later the whole world will suffer, because sleep needs self-unconsciousness.
And yet the whole civilization teaches you how to be more self-conscious - walk, do, move in life, the whole training is how to be a subtle egoist. The Western psychology says that a mature ego is needed; the whole Eastern effort is that a mature egolessness is needed.
In fact, when you become egoless, only then you are mature, never before.
Ego is a juvenile phenomenon. It is childish, it is foolish, it is idiotic, because through ego you simply cut yourself off from the universal flow; then you are no longer a part of it. It is as if a wave in the ocean says: I am total, I do not belong to the ocean - I have nothing to do with the ocean, I am separate. Ego is separation, and whenever a wave says: I am separated, the wave is foolish. The wave is one with the ocean, ocean waves in it.
Real maturity is to attain an egolessness - a balloon with the skin off - then you are fully mature, a Buddha, one who is now awakened. Western psychology teaches that you should become a mature ego - it is good. If you are attaining it just to throw it, then it is good, because you can throw a thing only when you have it.
Attain an ego, it is good, but don't get caught in it. It is something to be attained and thrown. It is something you have to get, because if you don't have an ego, how will you achieve surrender? This has been a constant problem for me.
Eastern people come to me: Indians, Japanese, they can surrender very easily. They are almost ready to surrender, but they have nothing to surrender. Western people come to me; they are very, very antagonistic to surrender, and they have something to surrender. If they surrender, they will grow. And Eastern people, before they surrender something they have to attain a mature ego.
Remember only that which you have can be surrender. If you don't have an ego, what are you going to surrender? The Western psychology takes the first step and the Eastern religion takes the last.
They are complementary. Unless Western psychology and Eastern religion meet, man is going to remain in trouble.
What is in these words, 'The First Principle'? They say nothing. But 'The First Principle' is not the point, the words are not the point .The point is, the point was, for the Master to make them with such a flow, that even a touch of self-consciousness is in them. Whosoever loves to read between lines will be able to read at this temple gate.
And why at the gate? - because that is the gate of the temple. If you are self-conscious, you cannot enter a temple; that is the first principle. If you have self-consciousness, an egoist mind, you cannot enter the temple. If you drop your self-consciousness, only then you can enter.
And what is a temple? - it is an emptiness. It is nothing surrounded by walls - it is an emptiness.
You drop the ego outside. This was the problem for the Master: to write these three words in such a flow, that while he was writing them, not even a single touch of the self entered into them. Difficult, because you will not be able to judge this unless you know how self-consciousness can destroy the flow. The first principle is to be in such a flow that 'I' is no block - you simply live in a let-go.
Nothing is like Japanese or Chinese calligraphy; no language can do that, only they can do it - pictorial, flowing, doing it with a brush. Years of training are needed. First a man has to be taught the skill of calligraphy, and that alone won't do because just skill is not the point. A very egoist person can become very skillful but that is not the point.
First one has to learn calligraphy for years and then the Master says: Now drop it for a few years.
forget about it. For three or four years, the disciple has to forget about it. He will do other things:
gardening, cleaning, many millions of things, but not calligraphy. He has to completely forget it so that the skill doesn't remain in the ego, on the surface, but the skill settles, and settles, and settles at the center, reaches to the very bottom of the river.
Then the Master says: Now - now you can do calligraphy. But do it without any self-consciousness, do it as if you are not the doer, as if someone else is doing it through you; you become just instrumental and just move with the energy. That was the point, and it was going to be on the gate.
THE ORIGINAL CALLIGRAPHY WAS DONE ON PAPER BY THE MASTER KOSEN. WHEN KOSEN WAS DRAWING THE CHARACTERS THERE WAS A PUPIL STANDING BY WHO HAD MIXED THE INK.
... standing by who had mixed the ink. The ink has to be mixed fresh constantly; ready-made ink is not used. These are all symbolic things - everything should be fresh, moving in the moment. A pupil stands by who goes on preparing the ink, and the Master goes on doing the calligraphy.
But when the pupil saw the first calligraphy complete, he said: Not so good. At Kosen's first try this became the problem: immediately the Master became aware of the disciple, that he was standing there judging, looking. And when somebody is judging it is very difficult to remain self- unconscious. He became self-conscious; a slight tremor in the hand, a slight fear, a slight effort, because somebody was going to judge - he became afraid, a slight nervousness entered him.
Mulla Nasrudin was invited to speak in a ladies' club. A woman entered into the room and asked Nasrudin: Are you feeling nervous? He was just about to speak after a few minutes. Nasrudin said:
No, I have never felt nervous, never in my life! - but he was trembling as he spoke. The woman said: Then what are you doing here in the ladies room? Nervous, he had not noticed that he was in a ladies' room. He was not conscious, he was walking up and down.
When you are nervous you are not yourself. When you are self-conscious, you are not your true Self; you are afraid, there is a slight trembling inside because others are going to judge whether they appreciate you or not - a fear has entered.
I have heard about one Zen Master, Bokuju, that he would talk to his disciples even though sometimes the disciples would not come at the right time. He would start talking and there was no one to listen. Sometimes he would talk for so long that the disciples would simply disappear, but he would continue.
I have known a man in my own life. I had a teacher, a rare teacher. I was the only student in his subject, so he told me: Remember one thing, because I don't follow rules; when I am speaking, I cannot remember time, so if you feel uneasy, or you would like to go to the bathroom, simply go and don't disturb me. And then return silently, sit and I will continue. While you are gone I cannot disrupt my flow, so it is for you to go and come, but don't disturb me. And don't wait, because nobody knows when I will stop. I may start when the bell rings, but I cannot stop, because how can the bell control me? Starting by it is okay, but stopping? If something is incomplete, how can I stop? - I will have to complete it. So if you are fed up or bored, simply go. I tried many times - I would be outside up to half an hour, and when I returned he would be speaking and there was nobody there.
This type of man could not be nervous because he was not bothered about whether somebody was listening or not; he was not bothered about whether somebody was judging him or not. But Kosen was bothered he was not yet a Perfect Master. This showed that he was more interested in the judgement of others than in doing his own thing. He was not yet centered. He was almost at the center, approximately he had reached, but something was missing.
'NOT SO GOOD,' SAID THE PUPIL AT KOSEN'S FIRST TRY. 'THAT IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST ONE,' SAID THE PUPIL TO THE SECOND TRY. AND SO IT WENT ON.
- He must have become more and more worried - AFTER THE SIXTY-FOURTH TRY, THE INK WAS RUNNING LOW, SO THE PUPIL WENT OUT TO MIX SOME MORE. 'JUST A QUICK ONE WITH THE LAST OF THE INK,' THOUGHT KOSEN, 'WHILE THAT PUPIL IS OUT OF THE WAY.'
The pupil was outside, so while he was out of the way, Kosen wanted to give it a last try. Because when the pupil was out Kosen was not self-conscious; nobody was there to judge.
'JUST A QUICK ONE WITH THE LAST OF THE INK WHILE THAT PUPIL IS OUT OF THE WAY.'
When the pupil is out of the way, the ego is also out of the way. While the pupil is out Kosen is also out. Because of the pupil, Kosen could not NOT BE; because of the pupil he had to be there. When the pupil was out of the way, Kosen was also out of the way - the passage was clear, there was nobody. The pupil and Kosen had both disappeared.
WHEN THE PUPIL RETURNED, HE TOOK A GOOD LOOK AT THIS LATEST EFFORT, AND SAID:
How had it happened? He failed sixty-four times and the sixty-fifth time, he attained. How did it happen? - sixty-four times he was there to do it; the last time he was not there to do it - it had been done by the Beyond.
When you are not, the Beyond functions; when you are, the Beyond cannot function because you are in the way.
Not only did this calligraphy become a masterpiece, but through this calligraphy, Kosen became a Perfect Master; never again could anybody bother him, never again was he nervous, never again was he self-conscious - never again! This became a revelation, a realization. He could see through and through what the problem was: it was not the pupil, it was he himself; it was not his eye and judgement, it was his own ego.
Remember this, because a moment will come in your meditation when only you will be in your way, nobody else. A moment is bound to come in your own growth also, when everything is clear and only you are in the way.
So never think about what others are thinking about your meditation. Never think about others: why they are judging you, how they are judging you. Their judgement is their affair, it is their business, it has nothing to do with you. You do your thing and do it totally; efface yourself utterly, then everything starts happening.
The moment the doer leaves, everything starts happening because the doer is the problem. Let it happen. If meditation is not happening, you are still doing it. You are still a doer, you are still watching how and what others are thinking, whether they will judge you mad. If their judgement is in your mind you cannot be total, you are divided.
Only the ego thinks about others, because it depends on others. It is nothing but a collection of others' opinions, what others say about you. You are continuously on display, an exhibitionist: 'What are others thinking, what are others saying?' Because of these others your ego remains, becomes more and more solid, crystallized.
Have you ever observed that whenever you are not thinking of others and not thinking of what they think about you, suddenly you have a different flow of energy within you, an unblocked flow - there is no block and the river flows to the ocean? And then whatsoever you do becomes a masterpiece - whatsoever! Your quality is now totally different. Now you exist on a different plane altogether and whatsoever you do, even a very small thing, becomes totally different. It becomes 'the first principle'.
If you are total, even if you remove your shoes before you enter this house, you remove them in a different way. It becomes 'the first principle'.
If a calligraphy, just three words, 'The First Principle', can become a great message, why not shoes?
The way you walk becomes 'the first principle'. You walk unself-consciously - you walk like an animal, like a bird, or you sit under a tree and you sit like a tree, unself-conscious. And then suddenly, many millions of things start flowering within you. The only problem is that you are, and the only solution is that you should not be there.
Just give way; don't stand there, just give way, just put yourself aside. Difficult - that's why it is the first principle. But once you can do it, the temple is opened - you have entered. There is nobody blocking the way except you.
Look at how you do things and you will always find the ego. People saying prayers always look around; go to a mosque and watch, go to a temple and watch. If many people are there, then people say their prayer with a fervor. If there is nobody to look at them they simply do it in haste, as if the prayer is not addressed to God but to the bystanders, to the onlookers.
This is happening continuously, whatsoever you do. You are not enjoying the act, you are enjoying others' opinions. And what value does it carry, what is the meaning in it, why are you here? - just to be judged by others that you are a very good man, a religious man, a meditator, a seeker after Truth? Truth doesn't seem to be so important as others saying that you are a great seeker after Truth.
People come to me every day. I watch. Something is happening to someone's back, maybe just a back-ache. He comes to me, and if I say: It is nothing but a back-ache, go to the doctor; he doesn't feel very good. If I say: It is your kundalini rising, and look at his face, he feels very happy, tremendously happy. And in a hundred cases, ninety nine cases are back-ache. He says:
Something is happening in the third eye. But it is nothing, just a headache. If I say: Go and take aspirin or something, he simply feels badly. I see it in his face. He had come for something else, for recognition that he is growing, that he is reaching somewhere. Through headaches no one has ever reached. Not only does headache have to be left behind, but the head itself has to be left behind.
Watch yourself, be alert to what you are doing. Don't be a fool, and don't befool yourself. It is so easy to, but the Ultimate can happen only when this foolishness disappears. Nothing else will help.
Unless you want to go on accumulating more junk around your ego, watch whatsoever you do and remain alert. Don't go on moving like a somnambulist and don't try to seek any recognition from others. Just be alert, and watch and wait - and the Ultimate will happen to you. Because through watching, you will disappear. Through forgetting about others you will forget your own ego.
Even with God people have the same relationship - they pray loudly just to get some recognition from the Ultimate. Because no recognition can come from that source, they have created mid-agencies:
priests, popes; they can give you recognition.
God never recognizes you. God recognizes you only when you are not, and that's the trouble. That's why priests exist; they can give you recognition. They can tell you: Yes, you are growing. If you are growing, there is no need to ask anybody; the growth will speak for itself, and even if the whole world denies it, it doesn't matter. If you are growing, the growth itself will say; you will feel it, you will be fulfilled through it. You will not go asking. God gives no recognition to you.
That's why in this century we have said: God is dead. If He doesn't give us recognition, how can He be alive? If He does not come and give us a certificate, how can He be alive? He should recognize us - only then.
We would like to carry our egos to the very end; because He is not there to affirm. And unless you also become a nobody like Him, there is no possibility of meeting Him. We have created priests, great churches; they give you certificates.
I know a man. He is the head priest of a small Mohammedan community in India. He gives a letter; exactly, literally a letter; he writes a letter referring a man's name who is going to die to God, saying that he has donated this much and he has done that much, and this and that, so 'take care of him'.
The letter is to be put into the grave with the man. And people feel very, very happy; they donate, they give money, they fast, they pray just to get a big certificate. You are dying in your grave and the letter will remain there.
I was speaking to this community once. I told them: You just go and dig your own graves and you will find those letters there. But they were afraid to dig because if they were to find the letters there, then the whole edifice would fall. Then what to do? Then who would give them recognition?
Don't ask for recognition because all recognition is the effort of the ego. Don't look at others, just watch yourself. When you grow, you know. When you flower, you know. When you are blessed you will know. If you grow there is no possibility not to know; it is absolutely certain that you will know.
But because in our lives we continuously live with other, always looking in their eyes, at how they feel, at how they think about us, we go on and on. Then the habit becomes a fixed pattern. When you move into the other world you carry the same habit.
Just a few days ago one man came to me and he said: I have become Enlightened. I said: It is very good, now everything is finished. Why you have come to me? He answered: Just to check. What type of Enlightenment is this that you are not certain of it?
There was a case against Mulla Nasrudin. Because he was drunk, he had insulted somebody, so he was taken to court. The magistrate said: Nasrudin, are you here again? Are you guilty or not?
Nasrudin said: Guilty your honor, but I would like to be tried to make certain. Nobody is certain even about himself, and everybody is looking at the other.
Once it happened that Mulla Nasrudin's four-year old child asked him: Daddy, why you married Mummy? Mulla Nasrudin stared at the child for a few seconds and said: So, you also are not certain why? You also are asking why? Also I am not certain. He added: If you can find out some day why I married your Mummy, please tell me.
You live in an uncertainty; your only certainty is others' recognition. When you start moving to the Beyond this is not needed. And that is the temple, and the first principle is at the door: drop yourself - drop yourself utterly. You cannot be allowed to enter. When you are not, then you are allowed.
Then you flow into the temple; then there is no blockage of energy.
Try it - be watchful and move in the world as if you are alone - there is nobody, move in the world as if it is a total loneliness - there is nobody. If nobody is there your self-consciousness will drop by and by. Then the pupil will be out, and with the pupil, you also will have gone out.
'JUST A QUICK ONE WITH THE LAST OF THE INK,' THOUGHT KOSEN, 'WHILE THAT PUPIL IS OUT OF THE WAY.' WHEN THE PUPIL RETURNED HE TOOK A GOOD LOOK AT THIS LATEST EFFORT, AND SAID: A MASTERPIECE!
If you can put yourself out of the way, your whole being will say - masterpiece! You become the masterpiece. There are two types of creators in the world: one type of creator works with objects - a poet, a painter, they work with objects, they create things; the other type of creator, the mystic, creates himself. He doesn't work with objects, he works with the subject; he works on himself, his own being. And he is the real creator, the real poet because he makes himself into a masterpiece.
You are carrying a masterpiece hidden within you, but you are standing in the way. Just move aside, then the masterpiece will be revealed.
Everyone is a masterpiece because God never gives birth to anything less than that. Everyone carries that masterpiece hidden for many lives, not knowing who they are, and just trying on the surface to become someone. Drop the idea of becoming someone because you already are a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it. God has Himself created you, you cannot be improved.
Here, I'm not teaching you to improve your life - no, not me. I am simply teaching you to know the life that is already there, that has already always been there, that is already the case.
Just put yourself aside, so your eyes are not filled with the ego, your being is not cloudy, and the sky becomes open. Suddenly, not only you, but the whole Existence says: A masterpiece! This is 'the first principle'.