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Chapter 7: Swimming with the River

The man said, “Six weeks? Don’t you remember that God created the whole world in six days?” And the tailor said, “I know. And look at the world, how he messed it up. That’s what happens if you do things in six days. I cannot do that, it will take six weeks.”

Why did God create this ugly miserable world? Why did he create this hell? - doesn’t seem to be a master creator, seems to be a very poor artisan; there are a thousand and one mistakes in it.

You don’t solve by answering the why. Buddha is far truer, he says nobody has ever created it. In that way he disposes of your question. He says it has always been there and will always be there - for no reason at all, for no cause at all. It exists without cause. That is difficult for the rational mind because we always look for the cause. Once the cause is given we feel at ease. It is a hankering for the reason; once we know the explanation and the cause and the reason, we feel good that we know. But what do you know?

All the theology down the ages has not supplied a single answer. The whole philosophy of five thousand years has proved absolutely futile.

If you can understand me, I would like to say that there never comes a moment of knowledge when you have known why the world is the way it is and why it is not in any other way. The more deeply you go into your being, less and less questions arise. One day all questions disappear. I am not saying that you get any answer, only that questions disappear. The man we call enlightened is not the man who knows the answer but is the man whose questions have disappeared. He no longer has any questions. In that state of non-questioning there is great silence, utter silence, absolute silence. And a beautiful not-knowing.

That not-knowing comes, that not-knowing is enlightenment. Buddha has not known a single thing; all that he has come to is his questions have disappeared. Now there are no more any questions buzzing in his mind; all that noise has gone, he is left alone in silence. He is no more a knower, he has no claim that he knows this or that. He knows only nothing. That’s what Buddha calls nirvana - to know nothing, or to know only nothing. To be in a state of not-knowing is samadhi.

The second question:

I read The Song of Meditation by Hakuin many years before but I don’t remember getting the meaning that you have given to it.

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