Chapter 8: Zen without Writing
When I say I am silent, the silence that I am here is not written in the dictionary, cannot be written in the dictionary, cannot be written there. If you are silent you will understand, but then there is no need to say. If you are not silent whatsoever you understand will be wrong - but then there is a need to say.
I have heard a story. Once a villager entered a big bank; many people were coming and going and much business was going on. Suddenly the villager cried, shouted at the top of his voice, “Did somebody drop a wad of notes with a rubber band around it?”
Many people cried, “Yes, I did,” and they ran towards him - not one, many! A crowd gathered and everybody was claiming the money.
The villager said, “I have found the rubber band.”
Whenever I say truth, whenever I say silence, you will only find the rubber band; the notes will be missing. The word will reach you but not with the weight of the notes. Those notes will be left behind - they are in my heart. The word will reach but it is just a rubber band. It may have been around the notes, but still it is just a rubber band.
Truth is incommunicable, but then what have masters been doing? They seem to be involved in an absurd activity. Yes, that is right: they are trying to say something which cannot be said, and they are indicating something which cannot be indicated. They are trying to communicate something which has never been communicated and never will be communicated. Then what are they doing? Their whole effort is absurd, but still there is something in their effort - their compassion.
Knowing well that I cannot say that which I want to say, the easiest course is that I should remain silent, because if I know it cannot be said then why bother? You cannot understand my words, but will you be able to understand my silence? So it is a choice between two evils.
It is better I remain silent; that would be more consistent. It cannot be said therefore I should remain silent. But will you be able to understand my silence? The word you may not be able to understand but you can hear it, and some possibility is open. Hearing it continuously you may be-come aware of something which has not been said in the word. Listening to me, by and by you may become aware of me, not of what I am saying. The word will help just as a bait - you may be caught in the net. But if I am silent you will pass by my side. You will not even become aware that I am there, and even that possibility will be lost.