Chapter 5: Master of the New Monastery
My stupid mind is already working on the paradox I find between yesterday’s talk and today’s. Today you have been talking about spontaneity of response to new situations, seeing them as fresh. Yesterday, one of the messages from the story about Joshu was that situations are all the same, people the same. Hence Joshu offered three people a cup of tea. To me, this is a paradox.
Yesterday is no more; Joshu has died long ago. Only today is - and even that has passed. Only this moment is.
Mind looks at things and finds paradoxes because mind thinks of the past, of the present, of the future. Only the present is. So mind finds paradoxes because mind is always moving from the past to the present and then to the future. Once you were a tiny cell in the womb of your mother, so tiny that you could not be seen by naked eyes. Now you are totally different; now you are young. Sooner or later, you will be old, crippled. Now you are alive but the day will come when you will be dead.
Mind thinks all these things together and a child and an old man become a paradox. How can a child be old, a young man old? Then birth and death become a paradox, because for the mind, birth and death can both be thought. For existence, when there is birth there is no death; when there is death there is no birth. For existence there is nothing paradoxical. But the mind can look at the past, the present and the future, and these are paradoxes.
Yesterday you heard me; be finished with it. Yesterday is no longer there. But the mind carries.. If you really heard me yesterday you will not carry it, for if you carry it how can you hear me today? The smoke of yesterday will be a disturbance, the dust will be there, and you will only hear me through that yesterday - and you will miss.
Yesterday should be dropped so you can be here and now. There is no paradox. If you compare yesterday and today then the paradox comes. If you compare birth and death, then the paradox comes. Today and yesterday cannot exist together; they can exist together only in the memory. Existence is non-paradoxical, mind is paradoxical.
Why think about yesterday? And if you are thinking about it how can you be here? It will be difficult. And look at the whole absurdity: you will not be able to hear me today because of yesterday! Did you hear me yesterday? - because there have been other yesterdays. Will you be able to hear me tomorrow? - because this today will have become yesterday. The film of all the yesterdays is there; through that film it is difficult to penetrate into the present.