Chapter 8: Zen without Writing
But I tell you, if he had looked he would have been thrown out of the house with the book: Get out, and never come back again! He acted out of a deep understanding. How can the master who knows, insist that the book is precious? There must be some game. The master had never been angry, never in his life, and suddenly he was angry and said, “What are you doing?” He created the whole situation.
In this anger the disciple may have yielded, may have said, “I have done something wrong, forgive me.” This is how the mind functions. The mind might have come in and thought, “I have done something wrong. The master may not appoint me as successor now. If my master is so angry, it means I have done something wrong and I may miss being the successor. I was going to be the chief, I was going to be the master of the monastery and millions would have followed me, thousands would have been my disciples - and now I have done something wrong. A man who has never been angry is angry, shouting.”
If you had been there, you would have touched the feet of the master and said, “Forgive me, but appoint me.” But the disciple said, “And what are you saying?” If the master can play at anger the disciple can also play, but this can happen only when both know. He answered in the right coin. He answered rightly and the master was satisfied: this is the man. He became the successor, he was the successor.
But this has been done by every religion: they preserve books and do nothing else. Christians preserve their Bible, Mohammedans preserve their Koran, Hindus preserve their Gita - and they have missed. They are not the successors. Mohammedans do not belong to Mohammed; they cannot belong. The Koran will be in the fire if they belong. Christians don’t know anything about Christ because they preserve The Bible, and Hindus have no understanding of Krishna because of the Gita - they go on carrying the burden. All the Vedas and all the Bibles and all the Korans are for those who don’t understand. They carry the burden, and the burden becomes so much that they are crushed under it; they are not freed through it, they become slaves to it.
A religious person is always beyond the book; a religious consciousness is never addicted to words and the verbal. The whole thing is childish. A religious man is in search of authentic experience, not borrowed words, not experiences of others. “.Because unless I know - buddhas may have existed but they are useless. Unless I know, there is no truth because truth can only be my experience. Only then is it there. The whole world may say there is light and there is a rainbow in the sky and the sun is rising, but if my eyes are closed what does it mean to me? The rainbow, the colors, the sunrise, the whole thing is nonexistential to me. My eyes are closed, I am blind. And if I listen to them too much, and if I start believing in them too much, and if I borrow their words and I also start talking about the rainbow that I have not seen, about colors which I cannot see, about the sunrise which is not my experience, I may be lost in the forest of words.”