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Chapter 5: See Right at Once

Now, the man who wanted to do harm did a great, beneficial act for the whole of humanity - not only for that man - because in these five thousand years, millions of people have been helped by acupuncture. The whole credit goes to that unknown person who wanted to kill.

In your unconsciousness it is difficult to decide what the outcome will be. You move in a dark dark night. All is accidental.

Sindenburg had lived a virtuous life; he was even president of the synagogue. But when he entered heaven the angel in charge said, “You can’t stay here.”

“Why?” asked Sindenburg. “I always tried to be a good man.”

“That is it,” explained the angel. “Everyone here was a good man, but they all committed at least one sin. Since you didn’t sin at all, the rest of the souls will resent you.”

“But,” protested Sindenburg, “isn’t there something I can do?”

“Well,” considered the angel, “you can have six more hours on earth to commit a sin, but you must do somebody a real injury.”

Sindenburg went back to earth and suddenly he saw a middle-aged woman looking at him. They started talking; she invited him home with her. Soon they were making love like two teenagers.

Six hours later Sindenburg said, “I am sorry, but I have to go now.”

“Listen!” cried the woman. “I never married or even had a man. You just gave me the best time I had in my whole life. What a good deed you did today!”

Now he came to do some real injury and what he has really done is a good deed. The woman is immensely happy and grateful. And those six hours are gone; now there is no more time left. Again he will be in trouble!

In sleep you cannot do good - you cannot even do bad! All is accidental. And when a person comes to a master he comes almost fast asleep. He comes out of curiosity, accidentally. He expects much, and his expectations are natural in his state. He expected lessons in Zen.

Now that is absolutely foolish: there are no lessons in Zen. Zen, in the first place, is not a teaching but a device to awaken you. It is not information, it is not knowledge. It is a method to shake you up, to wake you up. Teaching means you are fast asleep and somebody goes on talking about what awakening is - and you go on snoring and he goes on talking. You are asleep, he is asleep; otherwise he will not talk to you. At least when he sees that you are snoring he will not talk to you.

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