Chapter 24: Saying Small Things with Big Words
The man who has failed, failed in every effort, is in such a despair that just a little push and he can be awakened.
Now Huang Po is saying, “To eliminate environmental phenomena.” What is the need of eliminating the mountains and the clouds and the stars? They are all environmental phenomena. But there has been this trend of philosophy in every country that all these things, the mountains and the stars and the trees, are all illusory; they have to be eliminated. They don’t exist, they only appear. They are only appearances; they are maya, illusion. So if you wake up you will suddenly find there is no sun, no stars, no garden, no people.But this is not right.
Environmental phenomena will remain; only your greed for them will disappear. So I cannot agree with Huang Po. He says, “To eliminate environmental phenomena.”
In the first place, I don’t want to eliminate them. They are so beautiful. Why eliminate the roses? They are not bothering anybody. Why eliminate beautiful mountains? And how can you eliminate the immensity of the sky and the stars? What is the need? Neither can you do it nor is there any need.
What is needed is that you should not desire, that you should eliminate the desire for things. That does not mean that things don’t exist. Things exist - they will exist whether you desire or not. But if you desire, you will remain asleep. If you don’t desire, only one thing will disappear and that is sleep - not environmental phenomena.
“.just put an end to your conceptual thinking. When this ceases.”
Huang Po seems to be very simplistic. Simplistic in the sense that he says, “just put an end to your conceptual thinking” - as if it is so easy! He is saying, “Just don’t think, and everything is right.” It is easy to say - “Put an end to your conceptual thinking” - but he is not telling how. He is not telling you in what way you can get rid of conceptual thinking. And that is the only thinking.
“When this ceases.” He takes for granted what he has said to you: Put your bicycle outside - rented or not rented. When you have put your bicycle outside, then “environmental phenomena are void,” then everything disappears. They become void, they become empty. They only appear - as if in a film you are seeing a mountain, or in a dream you are seeing people. This whole world has been taken by a few philosophers to be made of the same stuff dreams are made of.
It is not true. Your dreams may disappear, your sleep may disappear - the world will remain. Certainly it will become more clear and clean, more colorful, because you will become more sensitive. As awareness grows in you, a great sensitivity comes to all your senses. You taste better.
Now, this I am saying against people like Mahavira, people like Gautam Buddha, people like Mahatma Gandhi. They think that for a religious man, taste or even smelling a roseflower is almost a sin. Mahavira, describing the five virtues.his first virtue is tastelessness. You should not taste.