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Chapter 11: Truly Right

Question: What is right and what is wrong?

Answer: Discrimination with no-mind is right. Discrimination with mind is wrong. When one transcends right and wrong, he is truly right. In a sutra it says, “When one dwells on the right road, he does not discriminate ‘this is right, this is wrong’.”

Question: What is a sagacious student, and what is a dull student?

Answer: A sagacious student does not depend on his teacher’s words, but uses his own experience to find the truth. A dull student depends on coming to a gradual understanding through his teacher’s word. A teacher has two kinds of students; one hears the teacher’s words without clinging to the material nor to the immaterial, without attaching to form or to non-form, without thinking of animate objects or of inanimate objects.this is the sagacious student; the other, who is avid for understanding, accumulates meanings, and mixes good and bad, is the dull student. The sagacious student understands instantly; he does not raise inferior mind when he hears the teaching, nor does he follow the sage’s mind, he transcends both wisdom and ignorance. Even though one hears the teaching and does not cling to worldly desires, does not love Buddha or the true path, if, when he has to select one out of two, he selects quietness from confusion, wisdom from ignorance, inactivity from activity and clings to one or the other of these, then he is a dull student. If one transcends both wisdom and ignorance, has no greed for the teaching, does not live in right recollectedness, does not raise right thinking, and does not have aspirations to be a pratyeka-buddha or a bodhisattva, then he is a sagacious student.

One of the most puzzling, confusing mysteries of life is a buddha talking to those who are not buddhas yet. It is almost like talking to a man who is fast asleep.

Yes, if you shout loud enough something of your voice, something of your words may penetrate the slumber of the sleeper, may even reach to his mind, although they will have to pass through many many dreams. They will be distorted, disfigured, they will not be the same, and the meaning that the sleeper is going to give to those words is going to be his own. But there is no other way.

There are only three possibilities. The sleeping one talking to another who is also asleep; that is the first possibility. That’s what goes on happening all over the world: sleepers talking to other sleepers, somnambulists trying to communicate with other somnambulists. Only great conflict arises out of it, much noise.

A tale told by an idiot,
Full of fury and noise,
Signifying nothing.

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