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Chapter 2: Empty Heart, Empty Mind

Rinzai is saying, “I never fail anybody. I simply see straight to which place this man is coming from, in which space he is. I see whether he is hesitant, doubtful, uncertain, looking for guidance, or is full of knowledge which is borrowed, and has a great ego as if he knows.”

If he should not come in a particular way, he would have bound himself without a rope.

Everybody looks as if they are free; nobody is handcuffed, nobody is bound by a rope. But look a little closely: you are bound by too many ropes, which are pulling you in certain directions, and perhaps in contradictory directions. That creates split personalities, that creates fragmentary personalities.

You may call those ropes love, you may call those ropes ambitions, desires, jealousies, hate - it does not matter what you call them, they are all ropes. But if your mind has any content in it, that content becomes your rope.

Only a contentless mind knows what freedom is.

From the outside everybody looks free, but Rinzai is talking about the ropes that are invisible. And you can understand, you can see your own ropes - your fixations with the mother, with the father, with the wife, with the husband, with the children, with your friends, with your enemies.

It happened when Mahatma Gandhi was shot in 1948. Jinnah was the man who had fought Gandhi his whole life for a separation of the country into two parts - a separate and sovereign country for Mohammedans. He was sitting in his garden reading a newspaper when his secretary came running and told him that Gandhi had been shot, he was dead. The secretary could not believe that Jinnah had tears in his eyes. He did not say anything, he simply went back into his room. In fact, at the same moment Jinnah died. He became sick and he never came out of his room.

Many times he was asked, “Why should you be so much concerned? You were perfectly healthy. This news of Gandhi.”

Jinnah said, “Now I can see that even with enemies there is a certain relationship. Without Gandhi I am no more. And if Gandhi can be shot by a Hindu, I can be shot by a Mohammedan any moment.” He had never had guards around his home before Gandhi was shot. He had refused, saying that “Even to conceive that any Mohammedan will do any damage to my life is just absurd. I have fought for them, I have given them their country.” But the day Gandhi died, he immediately ordered that guards should be put around his home.

Nobody could understand that it would be such a shock to him. He himself could not understand it: “I should rather be happy that Gandhi is dead, but my eyes are full of tears. Without Gandhi I have lost myself. Fighting with him was my whole life. Half of my life is finished. Now I have to live a crippled life” - and he never became healthy again, he died just a few months afterwards.

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