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Chapter 3: As Within, So Without

They express the very essence of Zen. “And the fire and the rose are one.” There comes a moment of simplicity when the energy that is invested in hatred and the energy that is invested in love are released from their polar opposites. “And the fire and the rose are one.”

Then a man is simply simple. He has no contradictions in him. You can taste him; his taste is always the same. And whatsoever he does he does it totally - there is no other way. He cannot do even a small thing without being total in it. Even a small gesture of his hand and he is totally there in that gesture. He looks at you and he is there in his look - totally there. He touches you - it is not only his hand that touches you, it is his whole being.

Ordinarily we are manipulating things - chairs, tables, a thousand and one things - and we have forgotten that hands are meant for something more also, not just manipulating things. So when you touch your beloved’s hand, you touch as if you were touching a table. You have forgotten that hands are not just to manipulate, they are to give also. The hands have become dead.

When a man like Bankei touches, then you will know what touch is. He will flow through his touch totally into you; he will pour himself into you. His touch will be a gift, his look will be a gift, because he has attained. He has given the ultimate gift of his own being to himself - “and the fire and the rose are one.”

Listen to your heart, move according to your heart, whatsoever the stake:

A condition of complete simplicity
(costing not less than everything).

To be simple is arduous, because to be simple it costs everything that you have. You have to lose all to be simple. That’s why people have chosen to be complex and they have forgotten how to be simple.

But only a simple heart throbs with God, hand in hand. Only a simple heart sings with God in deep harmony. To reach to that point you will have to find your heart, your own throb, your own beat.

“This is my way,” Nietzsche used to say, “where is yours? Thus I answered those who asked me the way. For the way.that does not exist.”

“This is my way, where is yours? Thus I answered those who asked me the way. For the way.that does not exist.” Only ways exist - The way does not exist. Your way, my way, yes - but the way, no.

Zen is an absolutely individual path. It is not a religion in the sense of Christianity, it is not a religion in the sense of any organization. One has to become individual. The word individual is good. It simply means: one who cannot be divided. Indivisible means individual. You are not yet individuals because you are split. Become one and you will become individuals.

Great is the stake, great is the risk, but it is worth it.

Enough for today.