Chapter 7: The Infinite Journey
The master Foso Hoyen said,
“They say that Buddha during his lifetime
uttered five thousand and forty-eight separate truths.
They include the truth of emptiness
and the truth of being.
They include the truth of sudden enlightenment
and the truth of gradual enlightenment.
Are not all these yea-sayings?
“But on the other hand, Yoka,
in the ‘Song of Enlightenment’
says there are no beings and no Buddhas;
sages are sea-bubbles;
and great minds are only flickerings of lightning.
Are not all these nay-sayings?
“Oh my disciples, if you say yea, you deny Yoka,
and if you say nay, you contradict Buddha.
If Buddha were here with you,
how would he solve this problem?
“If we knew where we stand
we would question Buddha every morning
and greet him every night.
But as we don’t know where we stand
I will let you into a secret:
When I say this is so,
perhaps it is not a yea-saying.
When I say this is not so,
perhaps it is not a nay-saying.
“Turn to the East and see the holy Western land;
face South to see the Northern Star.”
Nirvana, Tao or truth, is an existential experience. One has to be it to know it. One has to dissolve into it to be it. Even to call it an experience is not exactly right, because it is more like experiencing than like an experience.
The word experience gives the feeling that the thing is finished, completed. It is never completed, never finished. It is a process ( a dynamic process - which goes on moving. The very movement is its life; it never comes to an end.
The goal is in the journey. Except for the journey there is no goal. The journey is the goal. That’s why even to call it an experience is to call it wrongly. It is an experiencing. It is never finished. You enter into it but you never come out of it. By the time you can come out of it, you are no more. It is a point of no return.
Experience exists between the experiencer and the experienced. But in the experience of truth - or call it godliness, or whatsoever you like - the experiencer is dissolved, the experienced is dissolved; there remains only a dynamic process of experiencing. It is a river without banks. The duality is not there. There exists no division.
So how to express it? - because all expressions will be limitations, all limitations are falsifications. If you say “God is,” you falsify. If you say “God is not,” again you falsify from the other end. When you say “God is,” you have uttered an untruth.
Let me explain it to you. We can say “the house is,” we can say “the tree is,” we can say “the man is,” because one day the tree will not be, one day the tree was not; one day the house will not be, one day the house was not. Between two nothings, there is just a lightning of existence.