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Chapter 3: Emptiness and the Monk’s Nose

If you choose the path of the warrior and you become a fighter with everything that surrounds you, you will always be in misery. This is creating a hell around you; in the very attitude of fighting the hell is created. Or you become a lover, a participant, then this whole is your home; you are not a stranger. You are at home. There is no fight. You simply flow with the river. Then, ecstasy will be yours; then each moment will become ecstatic, a flowering.

There is no hell except you and there is no heaven except you. It is your attitude, how you look at the whole. Religion is the way of the lover: science is the way of the fighter.

Science is the way of the will, as if you are here to conquer, to conquer nature, to conquer nature’s secrets; as if you are here to enforce your will and domination on existence. This is not only foolish, it is futile also. Foolish because it will create a hell around you, and futile because finally you will become more and more dead, less and less alive; you will lose all possibilities of being blissful. And, in the end, you will have to come back from it, because you can go for a while on the path of the will, but only frustration and more frustration will happen through it. You will be defeated more and more. You will feel more and more impotent, and more and more enmity will be around you. You will have to come back from it - grudgingly, resistant, but you will have to come back from it. Finally, nobody can rest with a fighting attitude, because with a fighting attitude no rest is possible, you cannot relax.

The path of religion is the path of love. From the very beginning you are not fighting anybody. The whole exists for you, and you exist for the whole, and there is an inner harmony. Nobody is here to conquer anybody else. It is not possible. Because how can one part conquer another part? And how can a part conquer the whole? These are absurd notions which only create nightmares for you, nothing else. See the whole situation.you come out of the whole and you dissolve into it, and, in between, you are every moment part of it. You breathe it, you live it, and it breathes through you, it lives through you. Your life and its life are not two things - you are just like a wave in the ocean.

Once you understand this, meditation becomes possible. Once you understand this, you relax. You throw off all the armor that you have created around you as a security. You are no longer afraid. Fear disappears and love arises. In this state of love, emptiness happens. Or, if you can allow emptiness to happen, love will flower in it. Love is a flower of emptiness, total emptiness - emptiness is the situation. It can work both ways.

So there are two types of religion. One which creates emptiness in you and around you so that a flowering becomes possible; you have created the situation, now the flower bubbles up automatically. Finding no resistance, the seed suddenly blooms into a flower. There is a jump in your being, an explosion. Buddhism and Zen follow this path - they create emptiness in and around you.

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