Chapter 11: Mind Is the Greatest Enemy of Man
Every death is a beginning of a new life, except only rarely, when somebody becomes enlightened. Then his death is the ultimate death. He will not be born again. He will not be engaged in a body again; he will not suffer the agony of another mind again. His consciousness will melt, just like an ice cube melting in the ocean and becoming one with it. He will be all over, but he will not be in any particular place, in a particular form. He will be all over, but formless. He will be the very universe.
Each time a man becomes enlightened, the whole universe gets a little higher in consciousness, because this man’s consciousness spreads all over the existence. The more people become enlightened, the more existence will be richer. So it is not only a question of a single person becoming enlightened. In his enlightenment, the whole universe gains immensely. It becomes richer, more beautiful, more joyous, more celebrated.
To see form but not be corrupted by form or to hear sound but not be corrupted by sound is liberation. Eyes that are not attached to form are the gates of Zen. Ears that aren’t attached to sound are also the gates of Zen. In short, those who perceive the existence of phenomena and remain unattached are liberated.
When delusions are absent, the mind is the land of buddhas. When delusions are present, the mind is hell.
I am reminded of a great Zen master. The emperor of Japan had come to see him and he had been wanting to come to see him but the path to his monastery was dangerous, going through wild forests, dangerous mountainous parts. But finally, the emperor decided he had to go. His death was coming near and he couldn’t take the risk.. Before death came he must have some understanding that death cannot destroy.
He reached the Zen master who was sitting under a tree. He touched his feet and said, “I have come to ask one question. Is there really a hell or heaven? Because my death is coming close and my only concern is: where am I going; to hell or to heaven?” The master laughed and said, “I have never thought that our emperor is such an idiot.”
To say to the emperor, “an idiot”.! For a split second, the emperor forgot and pulled out his sword, and he was going to cut off the head of the Zen master.
The Zen master laughed and said, “This is the gate of hell.”
The emperor stopped, put his sword back in the sheath, and the master said, “You have entered into heaven. Now you can go. Just remember: anger, violence, destructiveness. These are the gates of hell. And the hell is in your mind.
“But understanding, compassion, silence, are the doors of heaven. They are beyond your mind. And I have given you the experience of both. Forgive me that I called you an idiot. I had to. It was just a response to your question, because I am not a thinker and I don’t answer the way thinkers answer questions. I am a mystic. I simply create the device so that you can have some taste of the answer. Now get lost.”