Chapter 8: Essential Zen
I always think what a hilarious meeting it would be: Jabbar meeting Socrates. Socrates was so logical, so rational. His honesty was exactly the same as Jabbar’s; he was ready to risk his life for his truth, but still he did not rise, until the last moment of his life, to enlightenment. The day he dropped all knowledge, all wisdom, the day he dropped language as such, that very moment a tremendous silence descended upon him. And those of you who are slowly slowly moving towards the great experience will become aware of it - not because I say so, but because you experience it so.
How can you say anything about the tremendous silence that is here now? Our minds are preventing us.our minds are taking us away from the very center of our being. The mind is not interested at all in an interior exploration. It is absolutely committed to the outside and the objective.
Before I talk about Isan’s sutra.because this sutra will be the last of this series and also this sutra is the last of Isan’s life. This sutra ends exactly at the time Isan dies.
The death of a person indicates how he has lived, whether he has lived at all or not. You may be believing that you are living, but don’t be so certain.
Every madman in all the madhouses in the world believes absolutely that he is not mad. He wonders why people consider him to be mad. Slowly slowly he comes to the conclusion that the world is mad: “Poor fellows, they cannot understand my state.”
A man who had been crazy all his life went beyond the boundary. Small trips beyond the mind can be tolerated, but he went a little too far; he started saying that “I am dead.”
Everybody laughed, everybody said, “This is too much. You have already been doing great things.. And how can you be dead? - you are speaking!”
He said, “So what? Dead people speak.”
They told him, “You are walking, you are eating, you are sleeping.”
He said, “That does not prove that I am alive. That simply proves that I am vegetating. But as far as my deadness is concerned.I am absolutely certain.”
They took the man finally to a psychoanalyst. The psychoanalyst said to the family, “Don’t be worried. It will take a little time. You leave him with me. He has to come for a one hour session twice a week.”
All this time, the madman who had now become dead was smiling.
The first question the psychoanalyst asked him was, “Why are you smiling?”
He said, “Strange.a single man is alive amongst a group who are all dead. But just to convince themselves that they are alive, they are trying to convince me that ‘You are also alive’ - and I have never seen anything living in me.”
The psychoanalyst was at a loss himself, because this was an absolutely new case. He had never dealt with dead people, but he figured out a way. He took a knife and cut the madman’s finger. Blood started coming out. The psychoanalyst said, “Have you ever heard that dead men don’t bleed?”
The man said, “Yes. While I was alive I heard this saying.”
The psychoanalyst felt great pride, but the madman said, “Don’t be proud. It does not prove that I am not dead. It only proves that the proverb is wrong. Dead men do bleed. I am an example, a living example!”