Chapter 1: How Full, Emptiness!
Perhaps Zen alone has given a very scientific answer to the question. “From where do things come, and to where do they go back?” Even science shrugs its shoulders the moment you start asking them questions about the origin. All that has been said about the origin by the religions, by the scientific people, is simply guesswork. Nobody was a witness, obviously. How can there be a witness when existence has not started yet? You will come later on; you cannot come before. And, in fact, if there was a creator, existence was already there; otherwise how can the creator exist?
But people don’t go to such depths. They don’t bother about that, believing in a God who created the world. Why don’t you ask who created God? When did he start to be? His family, his nationality, his race - any trace? Suddenly he comes and starts creating the world. Such a stupid idea, and millions have believed in it, and still believe in it.
Zen is very clean and clear, saying that there has been no beginning at all; hence the question of creation does not arise. And there is not going to be any end; hence the question of anybody destroying it, God or Devil, does not arise. It is always here, it has always been here, and it will always be here. It just goes on playing in many forms. It is a tremendous drama.
If you understand the fourth -
that everything comes from nothingness.
If you can return to nothingness consciously
you have found the source.
That’s what I call meditation:
returning consciously to the very source
not only of your being
but of the very cosmos.
There you find an eternal flame.
Things come, things go.
Waves arise, and waves disappear.
But everything remains,
rooted in nothingness.
This nothingness is very miraculous because one would think that things should be rooted in something. But if you ask the Zen masters if things should be rooted in something, they will simply laugh and ask, “In what will your something be rooted?”
You cannot ask the same question about nothingness. Nothingness simply means nothingness, there is no question of any roots. It neither comes nor goes. Nothing happens to it; it simply remains, utterly silent.
You touch this nothingness when you are deep in your being, because that being is already rooted in this nothingness. You are driving your life, moment to moment, from that nothingness.
The flowers may not understand from where they have come. The branches may not know from where they have come. The trunk of a tree may not know from where it has come, because the roots are hidden underground. The roots are hidden for security purposes, otherwise you could be harmed very badly.