Chapter 3: To Wait, to Wait for Nothing
Tanka asked Choro, “What is the self before the empty eon?”
As Choro was about to answer, Tanka said, “You’re still noisy - go away for now.”
One day, as Choro was climbing Bol Peak, his mind opened up into enlightenment. He took a shortcut down and went back to stand by Tanka, who slapped him and said, “I thought you knew it exists.” Choro bowed joyfully.
The next day Tanka went into the hall and said, “The sun illumines the green of the solitary peak; the moon shines in the cold of the valley stream. Don’t put the wondrous secret of the ancestral teachers in your little heart.” Then he got up off the seat.
Choro came directly forward and said, “Your address today can’t fool me anymore.”
Tanka said, “Try to recite my address.”
Choro remained silent.
Tanka said, “I thought you had a glimpse.”
Choro then left.
It has been a long awaiting, but that is the very essence of Zen - to wait, to wait for nothing.
There is no God, there is no ultimate meaning.
Life is all there is.
Those who have found, have found nothing but that there is nothing to be found.
Zen is the ultimate manifesto of non-finding, of rejoicing without any reason, of laughing and loving and dancing without any cause.
There are believers in the world, many types of them. There are non-believers in the world; they are not in any way different, just their beliefs are negative. Somebody believes in a God, and somebody believes in a no-God, and both are as fanatic as each other.
Just the other day I was reading the manifesto of the Humanist group of intellectuals, a small, very elite group of American intellectuals. But their manifesto made me laugh. Every statement begins, “We believe.” And a belief is always ignorance. Somebody believes in God - he is ignorant. Somebody believes in no God - he is as ignorant as the one who believes.
Each sentence of the whole manifesto begins, “We believe that there is no God.” But on what grounds? Finally they give their grounds: “We believe our faith is reason. Because God is not reasonable, we will not believe in God.” These are the most intellectual people of America, and it is a very prestigious thing to be accepted by the group as a member.
I am making this statement just before some of my friends in the group are going to propose my name as an honorary member in their coming meeting. It is good for me to make my situation clear to them.
In the first place, I don’t become a member of any party, any organization, because every membership is a subtle slavery.
Truth can live and blossom only in freedom.
Love can blossom and be fragrant only in freedom.
Every membership is a concession and a compromise.
Sannyas is not a movement and not an organization. On the contrary, it is a declaration of independence from all organizations and all parties and all churches.
I laughed at the Humanist manifesto because finally they say, “Our faith is in reason.” But if you have a faith, every faith is unreasonable. And it is so simple to see. To have faith in reason means you will not allow anything unreasonable in life.