The first question:
Sharda, if you want to remain unique, then avoid enlightenment.
Everyone is unique, but not a Buddha, not a Christ, not a Krishna, not me. To be unique you first have to be. A Buddha is one who has disappeared. A Buddha is one who is no more; how can he be unique? There is no possibility.
Enlightenment is the same, its taste is the same. Whenever it happens it is the same truth. It has no uniqueness in it; it can't have, it can't afford it. Diseases can be unique, not health. Health is simply
health. You can have your own specific disease, your own way of being ill; the other can have his own way. There are millions of diseases in the world - you can choose - but health is simply one.
There are not millions of healths in the world. The moment you start dropping your diseases you start dropping your uniqueness too. A REALLY healthy person has no uniqueness about his health.
How can he have it? He's healthy.
One book is different from another book - because something is written, that written message makes the difference - but two empty, blank papers are not in any way different. One house is different from another house: they have shape and form and name, architecture, but two empty spaces can't be unique in any way. They will be exactly the same. Two zeros are simply zeros and nothing else.
Buddha is a zero. He is not there. His not being there is his Buddhahood. If you understand this, the paradox disappears. The paradox arises because you go on thinking in the same terms that you think about yourself. I say again and again that you are unique. You have never been before. Like you, there has never been a single person: you are so ill, you can only be unique. There will never again be a person like you. The print of your thumb is just yours.
But I am not saying that about a Buddha, I am saying that about you. All mad people are unique.
Once they are sane, uniqueness disappears. The very idea of being unique is part of insanity. It is an ego-trip.
You ask, "IN REALITY THERE IS NO EGO, NO SELF, NO ATMAN."
It is so.
"YOU SAY YOU ARE NOT A PERSON, BUT A PRESENCE, THAT YOU ARE A MIRROR. WHEN IT IS CLOUDY OUTSIDE, YOU ARE CLOUDY."
There you have to understand one thing: I am not cloudy when it is cloudy outside. Clouds are only reflected. The mirror is never cloudy or non-cloudy. The mirror simply reflects, it never changes.
When the mirror is reflecting clouds, do you think the mirror has changed? The mirror is the same.
The mirror is nothing but its mirroring: it only reflects, it only rebounds all that falls upon it. It does not add anything to it, does not delete anything from it. It has no say about it.
"YOU ALSO SAY EVERYONE IS UNIQUE."
Everyone, except Buddhas. They are not counted in 'everyone', because they are 'everyone' no more, they are all. They are part of totality now. They don't have that idea of separation.
"UNIQUENESS IMPLIES SEPARATENESS", certainly; "UNIQUENESS IMPLIES INDIVIDUALITY", certainly; and "ENLIGHTENMENT IS UNION".
So in union there can be no uniqueness. It is VERY ordinary: it has always been the same, it will always be the same. That's why those who search for enlightenment can't go on ego-trips. To seek for enlightenment is to commit suicide as far as the ego is concerned. And individuality and ATMAN and self and all that, are nothing but different names for the ego, beautiful names. The ego looks a little ugly, and when you call it 'self' it looks a little better, and when you call it ATMAN it becomes very holy, but it is the same, the same entity.
Enlightenment is the disappearance of the ego, of the individuality, of separation. Just as the Ganges falls into the ocean - what uniqueness can it have? It was unique, it had its own form, its own color, its own strength. It was different from any other river. But when it falls into the ocean what uniqueness can it have now? All other rivers are falling - the Amazon and Thames - and they all are disappearing into the ocean, and they all are becoming salty.
So is enlightenment... the river disappears into the ocean.
"I KNOW UNIQUENESS MUST BE SO IN ENLIGHTENMENT..."
No, Sharda. That very idea of uniqueness is part of the pathology of the human mind. Enlightenment is utterly ordinary. THAT is its extraordinariness. In this life everything is special, particular, unique, EXCEPT enlightenment. That is its uniqueness, if you want to use the word 'unique'. But its uniqueness is in comparison to all other things in the world. Not that you can compare two Buddhas; comparison is not possible. Once the river has entered into the ocean there is no possibility of any comparison. The river is no more, only ocean is.
You say, "I KNOW UNIQUENESS MUST BE SO IN ENLIGHTENMENT..."
It is not so. I have disappeared, and I say to you it is not so. You are still imagining. Your ego is still thinking in terms of separateness, individuality, speciality. Your ego is thinking, "When I become enlightened this is going to be a unique experience." Nothing of the sort! That experience is the same. Whenever a river has disappeared into the ocean, it is always the same.
"... FOR I CANNOT IMAGINE CHRIST OR BUDDHA RUNNING THEIR ASHRAM THE WAY YOU DO IF THEY WERE ALIVE NOW AND ALL THREE OF YOU WERE DOING THAT."
That is true. Buddha cannot run the ashram the way I do, I cannot do things the way Buddha used to do, that's true - but that has nothing to do with enlightenment, really. You will have to understand the process.
When you become enlightened you come to know the unity of all, but your mechanism remains with you. You are no more identified with the mechanism, you are no more identified with your mind, with your body. You know you are transcendental, but the body is there, the mind is there. You have just come to recognize the fact that you are not your body-mind, that you are total. Now if you want to express THIS experience, you will have to use the same mind, the same body that you were using before enlightenment. You don't have any other instruments to use, hence the uniqueness.
Christ uses his mind. Of course, when he wants to speak he will speak Aramaic. He could not have spoken Sanskrit. When Buddha spoke, he spoke Pali. He could not have spoken Aramaic. I cannot speak Aramaic. Why does Jesus speak in Aramaic? That is the language he had learned when he was not enlightened, and that is the only language available to him. That was the only language that his bio-computer carried. The bio-computer is ready, buzzing, ready to be used. Now this enlightenment has happened. He has seen the reality, he has become the reality, he wants to express it: expression is unique.
Jesus, Buddha, Krishna are not unique in their experience, but in their expression they are unique.
Expression is of THIS world: it is translating the other reality into this reality. Then things start changing.
When Kabir speaks he speaks like a poor weaver. He was a poor weaver; how could he have spoken like Buddha? Buddha was the son of a king, well-educated, cultured, sophisticated in the ways of the royal court, was taught by the best of the teachers of the country, had lived the life of an aristocrat.
When he speaks, he speaks the way aristocracy will speak. When Jesus speaks, he speaks as the son of a carpenter. He must have been doing errands, he must have been taking wood to the father's shop, he must have been helping his father. He knew the language of the carpenters.
It is not an accident that Jesus attracted the poorest. All his twelve apostles came from poor families. Somebody was a fisherman and somebody was a farmer and somebody was a weaver - people like that. When Buddha attracted people, they were not weavers and carpenters, no. He attracted the aristocracy - princes, learned people, scholars, brahmins - the cream. Naturally, he was talking also to a different kind of person, because he attracted a different kind of person. When he renounced the world, naturally, the first rumor was in his circle, and many people from the royal families followed. The innermost circle of his disciples always remained aristocratic. Sariputra, Modgalayam, Mahakashyapa - they all came from very sophisticated, cultured brahmin families.
Jesus' disciples are poor. He speaks their language, he knows only that language. It is also not accidental that Jesus STILL attracts the poor people in the world, and Buddha still attracts the rich people in the world. America is turning Buddhist. Why? - America has become rich: Zen has appeal. In the East just the reverse process is happening: more and more people are becoming Christians, MORE AND MORE people are becoming Christians.
If you try to analyze the whole process you will be surprised: communism and socialism and all kinds of social revolution are by-products of Christianity. Nothing like communism has happened in the long tradition of Buddhism. It can't happen. The tradition is aristocratic, the whole pattern of it is aristocratic. It can't see things from the side of the oppressed. Marx may be against Christianity, but basically he is a Christian, a by-product of Christianity. He could not have been born in India; that is impossible. He could only have born in a Christian world.
This is the uniqueness: expression is unique. If you have been a poet and you become enlightened, of course, you will sing a song - the Song of Mahamudra, the Song of Nirvana. But if you have never been a poet and you become enlightened then it is impossible for you to sing a song. If you have been a painter you may paint. Zen Masters have painted beautiful things; that is their way of expressing. If you have been a dancer, you will dance your enlightenment. You will not find anything else to express it. It depends on you. Expression will depend on you as you were before enlightenment, because your whole mechanism will be ready there to express it - and that is the only mechanism one can have.
I am different in my expression. The way I do things is my way, but that does not mean that my enlightenment is in any way different from Christ or Krishna or Buddha. It is the same. Then there is no paradox.
The paradox is arising out of your mind. Your mind still hankers for uniqueness, and a certain fear is there: how can enlightenment be unique? It can't be.
The second question:
They are not the same, they are similar. They have something like a common thread running through them, but they are different. These three things are different: inventing, discovery, creation.
Inventing is imagination, feeling, heart. Inventing creates art in the world. If Picasso had not invented his paintings, they would not have existed at all. And nobody else could have done that. Only he was able to do it, only he could have done them. They are inventions: they never existed before.
They are not discoveries. He has not discovered them, they were not there to be discovered or uncovered. They were non-existential. But still it is not creation; it is just imaginary. Those paintings simply say something about the dream of Picasso - nothing much. They don't become real, they NEVER become real. They become actual, but never real. A painting can be non-actual when it is only in your imagination. And when it comes on the canvas it becomes actual, but never real. It has no reality. It has not a reality like water, H20. It has not a reality like sunlight. It is not part of the real world; it is somewhere between the real and the unreal. It is actual. It is a fantasy, invented. It has no fundamental law behind it. God is not behind it: that's what I mean when I say it is not real. Only man s inventiveness, innovativeness, is behind it. All art is invention.
Invention is introvert: you have to look for your inner dreams and then project those dreams outside.
It may be poetry, it may be painting, it may be music, whatsoever. And only man is the inventing animal in the world. That is man's prerogative, his dignity, his grandeur.
A society is cultured if it is artistic. It shows that the humanity has started functioning, that the man has come beyond the animal. The animal lives only in the real; he knows nothing of the actual because he knows nothing of the imaginary. Man creates a world of the actual. It almost looks like the real. That's why artists are so egoistic: they are inventors - they have done something, they have created something. But remember, there is a distinction between creation and invention.
The second thing is discovery. Science discovers, art invents. Art actualizes fantasies, science simply discovers that which is. It does not interfere with it, it does not project. The whole scientific methodology is to keep yourself aloof, detached, indifferent. You should not interfere. You have only to report what is the case. You are not to come into it, you are not to color it in any way. In art just the opposite is the case: you are not to report what is the case. If a painter simply reports what is the case, then he is a camera, not a painter. Then the thing that he has produced is a photograph, not a painting. That can be done by a machine. Where is the invention?
So modern art is right when it says that in the past, in old days, there was not much art because it was more or less reporting. The artist was doing the work of the camera. With the camera coming into existence, the artist has to do real art. He has to invent, he cannot just go on reporting. That can be done better, more skillfully, more truthfully by mechanism, by machines, by technology. Then where does the artist come in? He colors reality. If he simply reports the flower that is on the tree, it is photography. If he invents the flower, if he improves upon the flower, if he gives new qualities to the flower that don't exist there but are produced by him, if the real flower functions only like a screen and he projects all his fantasies on the flower, then he is an artist.
Have you seen van Gogh's paintings? Trees go so high that they almost touch stars. Now you have not seen trees go so high. No tree has ever touched any star.
Somebody asked van Gogh, "Why are these trees going so high? These are untrue." He said, "No!
I have seen trees touching stars. Whenever I see a tree I see the desire of the earth to have a meeting with the stars. Each tree is a desire of the earth to have a meeting, a love-affair with the sky. That's why trees go on moving upwards, upwards, upwards. Trees are longings of the earth to have a meeting, to make love with the sky. They are on the way; I have simply depicted the final state. I have seen the final state where everything is moving, reaching. My painting is the painting where the whole earth is trying to reach. I can see beforehand, I can predict."
Now this is not real, this is invention - beautiful in itself. And man would be at a great loss if inventive people disappeared. They make life more tasteful. They make life more fun. They make life worth living.
Science discovers. Art is feminine, science is male. The artist simply waits in his passivity; he dreams, desires, longs, and out of that dreaming, desiring and waiting something is invented. The scientist penetrates the reality. He is almost a rapist. He goes and uncovers. He throws all the clothes away, he makes reality nude, HE FORCES it to be nude.
Invention, inventing, is of the feeling. Discovery is of thought, of mind. Invention is through the heart, discovery is through the head.
Then what is creation? Creation is beyond both. When a man is no more identified with the head or with the heart, he becomes a mystic. A mystic creates, a poet invents, a scientist discovers.
A mystic creates. He is no more extrovert, no more introvert. He is no more man, no more woman; he has transcended all duality. He has dissolved himself into God; God is the creative energy. He is no more functioning separately, he has become part of the creative energy; he has become God.
That is the meaning when we say Jesus is God, or Buddha is God - they are no more separate.
The painter is separate, the poet is separate, the physicist is separate, the chemist is separate, but the mystic is one with the whole. He has dissolved himself into the creativity of this existence. Then out of him something is born that is creative - out of him reality is born. That's what I mean w hen I say, "Create God, create soul." Buddha created enlightenment,Jesus created God, Mahavira created MOKSHA. These are different names. But they dissolved themselves into the whole, and out of that dissolution comes creation. Not that they create - they are no more, hence the creation.
Art is invention, science is discovery, religion is creation.
To create you will have to disappear. Only when you disappear is creation possible. You will have to make way for God. When you are not there to do anything, to be anything, you become a hollow bamboo, a flute... and the song starts descending through you.
The third question:
A blind man looks at the sun. The sun is there, but the blind man cannot see because he has no sight, he has no eyes. If he attains to sight he will have the vision of the sun. Sight has to happen inside, and the vision will be outside.
You have to search for eyes, you have to become a seer. You have to drop your blindness. You have to drop all kinds of buffers that are covering your eyes. You have to become open: that is the meaning of attaining to sight, or insight. Insight is far better because it emphasizes the 'in'. Sight happens in - that is the meaning of insight. You open up, you hear, you see, you are capable of receiving, and then all that is already present there - the primordial sound of OMKAR, the celestial music that surrounds you... and you have not heard it yet, because you don't have ears to hear it, you don't have that sensitive ear. You can hear only noises, you can't hear music. If you train, if you cultivate the ear, slowly, slowly your ear becomes more and more meditative, silent, receptive, passive. It comes to a state that Taoists call WU-WEI, no action - just utterly silent with no stirring of its own - because if you are having some stirring of your own, you will miss that which is there.
When your eyes are just empty, you have insight. Eyes full of thoughts, prejudices, concepts, beliefs, can't see. They go on seeing that which they believe, they don't see that which is. Hence you have to de-nude yourself utterly from all beliefs - Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan - you have to drop all kinds of philosophies. When your eyes are utterly naked - you don't have any kind of belief inside you, you don't know what is what, you simply don't know at all; you know only one thing, that you don't know, that you are innocent - in that innocence you have insight. And then whatsoever you see through that insight is called vision.
It is called vision to show a difference from dreams. The vision is REALLY there. The dream also looks there but is not really there. The dream is projected by you, the vision is part of reality. In dream, you have worked upon reality; in vision, reality works upon you. In dream you are active, you are doing something - projecting. In vision you are WU-WEI, inactive, passive. You allow the reality to work upon you. In a dream you are a great doer; the dream is your doing. In vision you are a non-doer, a receptive end, a womb, open, waiting, ready to receive, welcoming. You are in a kind of let-go. And when you are in a kind of let-go, reality happens to you because you don't hinder it. It is continuously trying to happen to you but you go on hindering it.
God comes to you in millions of ways. But you have a certain idea of God, and God has no obligation to fulfill your idea. He goes on coming in His own ways and you go on waiting according to your belief. Hence, you go on missing.
For example, Christians will go on missing Christ because they are waiting for the SAME Christ. Not that Christ has not been happening in the world - it happened in Kabir, it happened in Mohammed, it happened in Nanak, it happened in MANY more people. But Christians are waiting for the SAME Christ that they have some ideas about. They are waiting for the second coming of Christ. It is not going to happen, ever. They are waiting in vain. Christ goes on coming, but never again the same way. Because for Christ to come in the same way, the whole existence will have to be in the same situation - and that is not going to happen ever again. Just think... EXACTLY in the same situation:
each stone in the same place as it was, and each man with the same shape as he had. Now how is
it possible? Pontius Pilate is no more Governor General, he writes no more rules. That world of the Jews, that mythological world of their dreams, is no more valid. Things have changed.
I have heard....
In a school a teacher told his small disciples to paint something, but the story should be taken from the Bible. There were many paintings, but one was very strange. One small boy had painted an aeroplane. He loved aeroplanes. And things were clear - at the back there were three figures, and in the front, in the cockpit, was the pilot.
And the teacher asked, "Who are these three people?"
He said, "This is God, the Father. This is Jesus, the Son. And this is a very clumsy type of fellow - who is this? - this is the Holy Ghost."
And the teacher asked, "Then who is this fourth?"
And he said, "Who else? Pontius the Pilot."
The world has changed. Now, Pontius the Pilate can only be a pilot.
That mythological world - and all societies have lived in mythologies - creates a certain poetry around them, a certain dream around them. They invent. Jews were the chosen people; now they are no more. Even Jews are tired now of remaining the chosen people.
I have heard....
An old Jew was praying, and he said to God, "Is it true, Sir, that we are your chosen people?"
And God boomed from the skies, "Yes! You are my chosen people!"
And the old Jew said, "Sir, is it not time you should choose somebody else? We have suffered a lot."
Now even Jews are not willing to be the chosen people. Just because they have this stupid notion of being the chosen people, they have suffered. This egoistic idea went against everybody, and everybody tried to put them in their place. They have been massacred, killed, murdered, and behind all that is the single idea: "We are the chosen people."
Now the world has changed utterly. Christ cannot come the way he came that time. He can come in that way only if the world again repeats EXACTLY the same situation, and that is impossible.
The world is never again the same. It is a flux, things go on moving. And Christians go on waiting for Christ, and Hindus are waiting for Krishna. For five thousand years they have waited, because Krishna had said, "When there is trouble, and the dark night, and religion will be uprooted, and there will be atheism in the world, and when my people will be oppressed and will be in misery, I will come.
I promise." And they are waiting. Now what more misery does India need for him to come? Can you think of any country being more miserable than India is? If he can't come now then there is no hope, because more misery is not possible. But he is not coming, and Hindus go on waiting and they go on looking at the sky.
He HAS been coming, but God cannot come according to your belief. You have to be in a state of receptivity. You have to drop all beliefs; then suddenly, the vision! When the insight is ready, the vision happens. Vision is not a dream, it is reality, it is so.
Christians are dreaming. Hindus are dreaming. These are different kinds of dreamers. They go on dreaming that things will again be the same. They go on dreaming about the past. They go on projecting the past in their minds again and again. They go on playing the same game that they have become very skillful in playing, and they DON'T see that the reality has changed and their game is simply absurd.
Vision is not your dream. Vision is when all dreams have disappeared and you don't have a dreaming mind; then what happens is a vision. But for that, insight is needed. You have to learn how to see, and you have to learn how to be, and you have to learn how to hear, and you have to learn how to touch. You have to learn how to smell, how to taste. And then you will be surprised - God comes through all the senses.
Be more sensitive - less of belief, less of the head, and more of sensitivity. Be more sensuous, alive in your senses, and then suddenly one day you will see: it is not simply the light that is coming to you, it is God in the form of light; and it is not the tree that is standing there in front of you, but God; not the rock, but God; not the woman that you have fallen in love with, but a God; not the man, but God. When the insight becomes clear, unclouded, suddenly you start seeing that everywhere God is, because all is God.
A man took a flower once, and without a word, held it up before the men seated in a circle about him. Each man in his turn looked at the flower, and then explained its meaning, its significance, all that it symbolized. The last man, however, SEEING the flower, said nothing, only smiled. The man in the center then also smiled, and without a word handed him the flower. The origins of Zen are said to be in this.
That the man in the center happened to be the Buddha does not matter. Zen is what happens when any man, anywhere, at any time, SEES. SO is Sufism: it is a new way of SEEING into reality. So is Tantra, so is Yoga - different names for the same phenomenon: a capacity to see into reality.
But you are so full of explanations.
I am holding the flower in my hand, just in front of you, but you can't see the flower because you are so full of explanations, so full of philosophizing, so full of questions and answers.
This 'birth of Zen' is one of the most beautiful anecdotes in the whole history of religion....
"Each man in his turn looked at the flower, and then explained its meaning..."
A flower need not be explained. A flower is its own explanation. All other explanations are intrusions into its reality. How can you say what a rose is? A rose is a rose is a rose! How can you say what it is? And whatsoever you say will be wrong, because in saying that the rose is 'this', you will be identifying the rose with something else which is not a rose. That's what we go on saying.
If somebody asks, "What is this?", you bring something else in to explain it, but that something else is not it. All explanations go astray. No explanation explains. They only explain things away. They are tricks of the mind.
"They explained its meaning, its significance and all that it symbolized."
A flower symbolizes nothing. It is simply there, not as a symbol. It is not a symbol, not a metaphor, not a sign. It is itself. It does not represent anybody else. It is its own being.
They all missed. Those people sitting around Buddha, and Buddha holding the flower in his hand, and they started saying things about the flower - they all missed. They missed because they were so full of explanations. They could not see the flower, the flower was lost in their explanations.
They became too obsessed with the mystery of the flower: "Why is Buddha holding it in his hand?
What kind of flower is this? What species does it belong to? What does it represent? - its color, its shape, its form." They forgot the flower completely, they went astray. They started running in different directions. And they were clever people, scholarly people: they must have quoted scripture, they must have brought the Vedas and the Upanishads into it. They must have talked of their knowledge, they must have performed great egoistic justifications, they must have brought many arguments into it, they must have been very logical. And they were thinking they would satisfy Buddha.
Buddha must have felt very sad.
A flower is simply there, it needs no explanation. You need to enjoy it; not to say anything about it, but to see it! Only one man did that.
"However, seeing the flower, one man said nothing."
His name was Mahakashyapa. He became the founder of Zen, because he was the first man to see the flower as it was. He had the insight and the vision.
"He said nothing, he only smiled."
What happened in that smile? He became a flower in that smile. Have you not watched it? When you smile, you bloom. He didn't say anything and he said everything. By becoming a flower he said everything. He smiled.
In fact, no flower is as beautiful as a human smile. The most beautiful flower is pale before a human smile. There is no comparison to a human smile. If it arises from your being, spreads all over you, you bloom. A smile is a flower of human consciousness. Mahakashyapa smiled.
"The man in the center then also smiled."
So there were three flowers that day, the whole trinity. The flower was already smiling; Mahakashyapa smiled; seeing these two beautiful flowers, Buddha smiled. Those three smiles became the foundation of Zen, those three flowers. It rarely happens, but whenever it happens a great tradition is born. But it happened so silently! Not a single word was uttered! Buddha also didn't utter a single word, he simply presented the flower to Mahakashyapa. And it is said that he
gave to Mahakashyapa that which cannot be given through words. It was an insight and a vision, a transfer beyond scriptures, beyond words.
This is how Sufism, Hassidism, Zen, Tantra, Yoga, have been transferred down the ages. Whenever there is somebody who can see, the flower is given.
I am holding the flower before you. The day you will be able to see it, it will be given to you. I will go on holding the flower. I will go on waiting for the moment when you don't have any explanation about it. You don't ask for any explanation, you don't give any explanation, you simply live the mystery of it - the mystery of the moment, the mystery of presence - and you smile. And that mystery simply blooms in you as a flower. That day, you will understand what a flower is. Unless you I bloom you will not understand a rosebush. How can you understand? - you have never known any flowering inside you. Only a Buddha can understand what is happening to a rosebush. Only a Buddha can understand what is happening to the stars. Only a Buddha can understand what is happening to this immense mystery called existence. When you have tasted your reality then you become capable - not through scriptures, not through reading books, but by being, by experiencing.
"The origins of Zen are said to be in this anecdote."
And you will be surprised that no Indian scripture relates this anecdote. I have been searching and searching for it - no Indian scripture relates this anecdote. If you ask the orthodox Buddhist scholars they will say, "This is just an invention of the Zen people."
Once a Buddhist scholar came to see me, a very famous scholar, a world-famous scholar on Buddhist scriptures. His name is Bhikku Anand Gosalayana. He came to see me and he said, exactly about this anecdote, "You go on talking about this. But this is all un-historical, because there is not a single mention in the scriptures about this. You please stop talking about it!"
I said to him, "That simply shows about the Indian mind, nothing else. The Indian mind cannot understand, it is too scholarly."
My feeling is that when this happened all those scholars who were giving explanations and philosophizing about the flower must have collected the scriptures later on. Yes, they have collected.
They must have forgotten all about it, it was not of worth. They must have taken it as a joke: "Buddha must be playing a joke, must have been in some mood." And nothing was said so there was nothing to report. The scholar can only report that which is said. He goes on missing that which is shown.
There was nothing to report, nothing had happened - it was such a silent transfer. The scholars missed it. They have not mentioned it.
I said to the great scholar, "To me, this is the MOST important thing that has happened through Buddha. If it is not in the scriptures then those scriptures are wrong, because this to me is the MOST essential phenomenon. I can drop and burn all the scriptures, but I cannot drop this story.
This parable contains the whole."
It was reported first by the Chinese; because of Taoism it was reported. Because of the Taoistic approach, it was understood for the first time. So it is mentioned in Chinese scriptures but not in Indian scriptures. The Indian mind is scholarly, philosophical, logical, argumentative. The Chinese mind is more aesthetic, more artistic, can look into silence, can feel for the silence.
Zen is a cross-breeding between Buddhism and Taoism. It is fifty percent Buddhism and fifty percent Taoism. And it is richer than both, because it has all that is beautiful in Buddhism and all that is beautiful in Taoism. It has gathered the silence of both, hence the beauty of Zen.
But remember that the man in the center happened to be the Buddha does not matter. Zen is what happens when any man, anywhere, at any time, sees.
Zen can happen here. Zen can happen sitting by the side of a tree, or by the side of a river. Zen can happen anywhere. Whenever you become capable of seeing, Zen happens. In your insight, in the opening of your insight, the vision happens. That vision is Zen. And that vision is Sufism. They are not different things.
The fourth question:
Chetana, when I say bring light and darkness disappears, what I mean exactly is: bring light and darkness becomes luminous. It does not disappear, because nothing can disappear. Bring light in and darkness becomes enlightened. When the light comes in it transforms the very quality of darkness itself. Nothing disappears, things are just transformed. If you allow me in your heart, you will not find darkness. That doesn't mean darkness has disappeared; darkness has been transformed. Darkness is no more darkness, it has become light itself. In fact, darkness and light are not two opposite things as we ordinarily think. The difference between darkness and light is not of opposition. They are the same thing.
It is like hot and cold. What you call cold is only relatively cold; there is no absolute difference. What you call hot is only relatively hot; there is no absolute difference. You can try an experiment. You can keep one bucket of water in front of you. Heat one hand on the heater and put the other hand on an ice cube, and when both your hands are feeling the heat and the cold, dip them both into the bucket in front of you - and you will be surprised. If somebody asks you, "Say something about the water in the bucket, whether it is cold or hot", you will be in a puzzle, because one hand will say it is hot, the other hand will say it is cold. Cold and hot are not two things, but two relative experiences.
So is darkness and light.
You know the owl: he sees in the night, there is no darkness for him. He has different kind of eyes from you. In the day he cannot see. That's why the owl, particularly in the West, is thought to be the symbol of wisdom - because for him even darkness is light. That's what enlightenment is: when darkness becomes light.
My whole effort here is to transform you into owls, so darkness becomes light.
But I understand your problem too.
"YOU SAY TAKE LIGHT INTO DARKNESS AND THE DARKNESS DISAPPEARS. YOU ARE THE LIGHT. THEN WHERE IS DARKNESS? AND WHY DO I LONG FOR DARKNESS TOO?
You will long for it. It will take a little. while for you to become accustomed to the light. You have lived in darkness so long, for millions of lives, that out of the old habit you will ask for darkness. Light you can take only so far; then you would like to relax and relapse into darkness. And you will feel good in relapsing into darkness - it will be restful, it will be a kind of sleep. Nothing to be worried about; it happens that way. One has to become more and more accustomed to light. Slowly, slowly your aperture opens more and more, you absorb more and more, and finally one day it happens that you come to know that darkness and light are the same. You can rest in light too. When this becomes your experience, then the need for darkness disappears. But it will remain.
Sometimes you will come very close to me and you will be full of light - that's what is happening to Chetana. I see her coming very close to me sometimes; then she will be full of light. But soon she will start hankering for the darkness; then she will have to go away from me.
And that is what is happening to everybody here. You go on swinging towards me and away from me. You are like a pendulum: sometimes you come close, sometimes you go away. But this is a need. You cannot absorb of me totally right now. You have to learn, you have to learn to absorb something so tremendous, which looks almost like death. So many times you will need to go away from me.
That's why sometimes you become negative. Sometimes you start arguing against me, fighting with me - that is PART of the love. You will have to hate me too. So don't be worried about it, and don't pay much attention to it. That is just an effort from your side to go away. You can take only so much, so far, and then it becomes unbearable. Then you want to go away.
Then there are thousands of ways of going away. Look at Sheela - she is fast asleep. This is a way of going far away. She can only go so far, and then the mind says, "It is better to fall asleep. Now it is getting unbearable." You start thinking of a thousand other things. Sitting in front of me your mind starts going to the market. You are already in Vrindavan: immediately, when I am finished, you will rush. But you were rushing already! Your mind was already there, just your body has to follow. And you will think many things against me - small things, and you will make much fuss about them. You will make mountains out of molehills. And when you will understand one day, you will be surprised at how you were creating unnecessary things. But they were part of the growth.
Right now, you can be awake only in the day. In the night you will have to fall asleep, and you will need darkness. And with me, both these things will go on happening: sometimes it will be day between me and you, and sometimes it will be night between me and you. Sometimes you will look at me, and sometimes you will close your eyes. Sometimes you will open up, and then you will close your heart. But this is how it happens - nothing to be worried about.
The fifth question:
Now that's what I was saying just now - you can make mountains out of molehills. You want to be shocked by something or other, and I am giving you so many shocks. Now you have to find
something so that you can pinpoint, "This is why I am shocked." Your real reasons for being shocked may be different, but you cannot accept those.
For example, you may be a very, very orthodox Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan, but you cannot accept - your ego does not allow that you are an orthodox Hindu. You are such a progressive man, such a revolutionary man. So when I say something against Hinduism you feel hurt. But you cannot say that you are feeling hurt, because you are such a progressive, revolutionary man. So you start searching - something else has to be found as a scapegoat, as an excuse. Just look inside yourself Jokes are just innocent. But there are other reasons also: you may be hearing in jokes something which is not there. You can go on listening to something which is not there. You can go on interpreting something which is not there.
Just listen to this joke.
Zacharias Werner, a romantic poet turned priest, and a former notorious transgressor, packed Vienna's churches in 1809 with his fiery sermons on carnal sin. One Sunday, he preached to a huge congregation a sermon on 'that tiny piece of flesh, that most dangerous appurtenance of a man's body'. Gentleman blanched, ladies blushed, as he elaborated on all the horrendous consequences of its misuse, his piercing eyes shooting sparks as he expounded graphically on and on.
Toward the end of his sermon, he leaned over the pulpit to scream at his listeners, "Shall I name you that tiny piece of flesh?" There was paralyzed silence. Smelling salts were extracted from the ladies' handbags. He leaned out farther, and his voice rose to a hoarse shout, "Shall I show you that tiny piece of flesh?" Horrified silence. Not a whisper or a rustle of a prayer book could be heard.
Werner's voice dropped and a sly smile slid over his face. "Ladies and gentlemen, behold the source of our sins" - and he stuck out his tongue.
You can go on thinking and thinking about something which is not there. It is your mind. No joke is dirty; there are only dirty minds. How can a joke be dirty? A joke is simply a joke. But there are dirty minds. Or... you may be just a middle-class bourgeoise.
"Dai, did you hear the news? Megan Evans is getting married."
"Indeed now! I did not even know she was pregnant!"
"Steady there Dai, Megan Evans is not pregnant."
"What! Getting married and not even pregnant? Bloody middle-class snobbery, that's what that is!"
It may be just bloody middle-class snobbery that you feel shocked. And you cannot connect religion with humor - that is the problem. And you don't know that God loves jokes. I tell it to you from very reliable sources.... Whenever somebody becomes a Buddha and dies and goes to God, He says, "Now, please tell me some joke. What is happening there on the earth? How are things going?" And if you cannot tell a beautiful joke, you will feel very embarrassed.
You go on thinking that humor, laughter, is somehow irreligious, because you have been conditioned that way. Churches have become humorless. When you come to me, you come with all your ideas
of how a Buddha should be. But your ideas of a Buddha are not really of a Buddha. Those are the ideas that you have gathered seeing a Catholic priest, or a Hindu swami, or a Jaina muni. You don't know anything about Buddhas, you don't know anything about Bodhidharma, you don't know anything about the real people of God. In their life experience the earth and sky are not separate, and the profane and the sacred are not separate. It is all one. The humor and the prayer are two aspects of the same spectrum.
Laughter is not irreligious. Laughter is one of the most evolved phenomena in human life. No other animal can laugh, it is only man; it is only man who can laugh.
You have to transform your laughter into prayer. Only YOU can transform. Certainly there is no other animal who is bored either. No other animal feels boredom. So these are the two specific things a human being can do: either he can feel bored, or he can feel laughter. The old religions have chosen boredom. I choose laughter. And I don't think that God should be very happy with your churches; they are creating such boredom. God must have more humor than your churches, otherwise He would not have created man at all. And He created man and told Adam, "Don't eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge," and then created a snake to seduce Adam, and created Eve, and created trouble.... He must have some humor.
This world is a great comedy. It is ridiculous!
Just listen to this joke.
A parish priest was having a game of golf with one of his parishioners one day. The priest teed-off first and sent his ball flying down the fairway.
"Good shot, Father," said the parishioner, who felt rather nervous as he was new to the game. He placed his ball on the tee, raised his club, swung and missed the ball.
"Jesus Christ, I missed!" he exclaimed.
"Don't blaspheme," said the priest. But the parishioner took several more swings at his ball and missed each time. And each time he exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, I missed!"
"Such blasphemous language is unforgivable," said the priest indignantly, "especially in front of a man of God. The next time you speak like that I will pray to God to strike you down."
The parishioner was fuming. He raised his club, swung wildly at the ball and missed it. He jumped up and down, threw his club on the ground and in a mad rage shouted, "Jesus Christ, I missed!" The priest looked up to heaven, joined his hands and started praying.
Suddenly, thunder roared, clouds rolled, and a large bolt of lightning came down and struck the priest, killing him. There was a moment's silence and then a voice boomed from the sky, "Jesus Christ, I missed!"