Chapter 19: Infinite Patience
Another, still another master, was weighing flax, and he was asked, “What is Buddha?” and he said, “Three pounds of flax.”
These answers are tremendously important. They don’t appear important on the surface. It certainly can drive a person who has been working for fifty years to reach to the master crazy, who has wasted his whole life to reach to the master, to know the mystery of life - and the master says, “Life is a river,” or “A cup of tea,” or “The cypress tree in the courtyard,” or “Three pounds of flax.” It will drive anybody crazy. But the answers are tremendously beautiful.
This moment is the answer, whatever it is. There is no other answer. The facticity of this moment is the answer. Truth is herenow, but the ego is never satisfied with the truth that is herenow. The ego wants something difficult, it thrives on difficulties. The ego lives through great challenges. If life is only a cup of tea, where will your ego find the ground to stand on? If life is only the cypress tree in the courtyard, how will you become a great saint, a mahatma? There is no possibility left - the ego will have to disappear. If truth is so simple and obvious, then the ego cannot be nourished. There is nothing left to be nourished on.
When the master said, “Life is a river,” he simply took away the very earth underneath the man. He must have wanted something of tremendous import, a revelation, God descending from heaven, great light, infinite light happening, a vision, something utterly extraordinary.
“Life is a river”? - such an ordinary statement? But if you meditate over it you will find God descending from heaven, great light, infinite light coming to your vision, psychedelic, colorful, spiritual experiences. All are just childish. All are toys for the ego to play with.
Real religion consists of the obvious. The obvious, the ordinary, is the mysterious. The obvious, that which is always with you, has always been with you, will always be with you, is God. Between you and God there is no distance at all. Not even a single step is needed to be taken.
If you understand it, you have understood all the religions, all the scriptures.
But the ego will create trouble. Ego is never interested in simple things because on simple things it cannot soar high. The more a thing is difficult, the better for the ego. That’s why religions became interested in unnecessary difficulties. They are called austerities, asceticism; they are nothing but food for the ego. They have not helped anybody to know the truth. In fact they have been the greatest barriers.