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Chapter 11: Not Mind, Not Buddha, Not Things

An enlightened person cannot say “I”; even if he has to use it he never says it, even if he has to use it he cannot mean it. It is just a verbal thing, has to be followed because of the society and the language game. It is just a rule of the language; otherwise he has no “I” feeling.

The world of things disappears - then what happens? When the world of things disappears, your attachment to things falls, your obsession with things falls. Things don’t disappear; on the contrary, things for the first time appear as they are. Then you are not clinging, obsessed; then you are not coloring them in your own desires, in your own hopes and frustrations - no. Then the world is not a screen for your desires to be projected on. When your desires drop, the world is there, but it is a totally new world. It is so fresh, it is so colorful, it is so beautiful! But a mind attached to things cannot see it because eyes are closed with attachment. A totally new world arises.

When the mind disappears, thoughts disappear. It is not that you become mindless; on the contrary you become mindful. Buddha uses this word “right mindfulness” millions of times. When the mind disappears and thoughts disappear you become mindful. You do things - you move, you work, you eat, you sleep, but you are always mindful. The mind is not there, but mindfulness is there. What is mindfulness? It is awareness. It is perfect awareness.

And when the self disappears, the ego, the atman, what happens? It is not that you are lost, you are no more - no. On the contrary, for the first time you are. But now you are not separate from existence. Now you are an island no more; you have become the whole continent, you are one with the existence.

But those are the positive things - they cannot be said. Hence, Nansen said, “Yes, there is a teaching which no master has ever preached, because it cannot be preached, and that teaching is:

“It is not mind, it is not Buddha, it is not things.”

That teaching is emptiness, that teaching is absolute nothingness. And when you are not, suddenly the whole existence starts flowering on you. The whole ecstasy of existence converges on you - when you are not.

When you are not, the whole existence feels ecstatic and celebrates; flowers shower on you. They have not showered yet because you are, and they will not shower until you dissolve. When you are empty, no more, when you are a nothingness, shunyata, suddenly they start showering. They have showered on Buddha, on Subhuti, on Nansen; they can shower on you - they are waiting. They are knocking at the door. They are ready. Just the moment you become empty, they start falling on you.

So remember it: the final liberation is not your liberation, the final liberation is from you. Enlightenment is not yours, cannot be. When you are not, it is there. Drop yourself in your totalness: the world of things, the world of thoughts, the world of the self; all three layers, drop. Drop this trinity; drop this trimurti, drop these three faces, because if you are there then the one cannot be. If you are three, how can the one be?