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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho's Haikus
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Chapter 8: What Words Cannot Say.

A monk asked, “Are words and speech also mind?”
Hyakujo replied, “Words and speech are concurrent causes; they are not mind.”
The monk continued, “What is this mind which lies beyond words and speech?”
“There is no mind beyond words and speech,” responded Hyakujo.
The monk said, “If there is no mind beyond words and speech, what is that mind in reality?”
Hyakujo said, “Mind is without form and characteristics. It is neither beyond nor not beyond words and speech. It is forever clear and still, and can perform its function freely and without hindrance. The Patriarch said, ‘It is only when the mind is seen to be unreal that the dharma of all minds can be truly understood.’”

Maneesha, language has never been used the way Zen uses it - very symbolic, metaphoric, yet indicating to the ultimate reality. Its prose also is poetry. And while listening to these dialogues, you should not be listening only by the ears, your empty heart is needed to receive them. Only then have you welcomed them because they are not mere prose pieces, they are living hearts of great masters.

A monk asked, “Are words and speech also mind?”
Hyakujo replied, “Words and speech are concurrent causes; they are not mind.”

“Concurrent causes” is a logical terminology. It means like the tracks of railway lines. The two rails run side by side for miles together, but they will never meet. They are so close but the distance remains always the same. Because of the distance remaining the same, the meeting is impossible. They are concurrent causes. Mind and words and speech are concurrent causes. That is one of the most fundamental things about Zen. Nobody has said that before.

People have always thought that mind means word, speech, thoughts - but that is not true. They are very close, concurrent, so close that you can get the conception that they are one. But when you get deeper into meditation and leave the world of words and speech, you suddenly find there is an empty mind beyond them which is your real mind. To distinguish it, we call it the empty heart. Either to call it no-mind, real-mind, empty heart.they are all synonymous. But ordinarily, you are so close to thinking, emotions, words, that you cannot conceive there is a sky beyond the clouds, that there is a full moon beyond the clouds. You will have to go beyond the clouds to see the moon.

The monk continued, “What is this mind which lies beyond words and speech?”

Now, anybody of some intelligence will not ask such a question. If anything lies beyond words and speech, you cannot ask such a question. “What is this mind which lies beyond words and speech?” If it is beyond words and speech, how can it be answered?

“There is no mind beyond words and speech,” responded Hyakujo.
The monk said, “If there is no mind beyond words and speech, what is that mind in reality?”

He does not get the idea of the beyond.

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