Chapter 3: Take No Thought for the Morrow
While visiting Gasan, a university student asked, “Have you ever read the Christian Bible?”
“No, read it to me,” said Gasan.
The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”
Gasan said: “Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man.”
The student continued reading: “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”
Gasan remarked: “That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from buddhahood.”
A shaggy god story:
A great seeker of truth traveled around the world searching for the master. He finally efforts, struggles, claws. and crawls through many, many hardships - this is after all a shaggy god story - to the top of the Himalayas, and there in a cave he finds an ancient Wise Man. The seeker manages piteously to whisper his question with his last drop of strength:
“Tell me, oh Wise Man, what is the secret of life?”
“Tattvamasi: Thou art That,” chirps the sage immediately.
“Thou art That?” says the seeker, suddenly renewed by massive indignation. “What kind of a crummy answer is that? Here I go all over the stupid globe looking for the Answer. I find you, the kingpin in this game, and you tell me gibberish like that? That’s it? I’ve had it! I’m going to find out myself what it is all about.”
So the seeker spins around and starts tromping down the mountain. He spends the next twenty-five years of his life studying Sufism, Zen, Shakti, Bhakti, Gyana and Prana Yoga; the Kabbalah, the Koran, the Bible, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Tao Te Ching.and whatnot.you name it.and learns seventeen martial arts, hangs around with every Teacher worth his capital T; takes every mind control, actualization and transpersonal psychology seminar invented; meditates, levitates and fulminates for godawful months on end; and finally after receiving mucho acknowledgment from his peers that he is one high and mighty dude, hikes back into the mountains and confronts the old sage again.
“Come on, I am in the club now,” says the seeker; “I have studied these terrifically enlightening things. I am a guru myself, finally. You can tell me - I mean the real straight-dope-low-down about the secret of life - I am one of the gang now. How about it?”
The sage giggles, looks him straight between the eyes, and blithers, “Tat-tvam-asi: Thou art That.”
The seeker digs it, but his mind won’t quit and it is howling mad. “Cripes!” his mind has him say aloud. “That’s ridiculous. That’s the same drivel you told me twenty-five years ago!”
The sage looks at him nonplussed: “So? the truth does not change in twenty-five years.”
The truth does not change in twenty-five years, the truth does not change in twenty-five thousand years, the truth does not change in twenty-five million years. The truth does not change. The truth is one.