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Chapter 3: Your Urge Must Become Urgent

On one occasion, the governor said to Nansen, “There is a piece of stone in my house. Sometimes it stands up and sometimes it lies down. Now can it be carved into the image of Buddha?”
“Yes,” said Nansen, “it is possible.”
“But it is also impossible?” countered the governor.
“It is impossible!” declared Nansen. “It is impossible!”

Maneesha, a little note:

One of Nansen’s most famous disciples was Lu Hsuan, who later became known as Rikuko Taifu, the provincial governor of the Hsuan district. After residing in his mountain retreat for thirty years without once venturing out, Nansen finally agreed to the governor’s request to come down and teach Zen to the people on the plains. From that time, he became very well known.

The governor once asked Nansen about the saying that all things came from the same source, so there can be no right or wrong. Nansen pointed to a patch of peonies in the garden and said, “Governor, when people of the present day see these blossoms, it is as if they see them in a dream.”

The governor has made a very important statement. If there is only one source of everything, then there can be no right, no wrong, no good, no bad, no God, no Devil. And this is exactly the case; all our rights and wrongs are judgments of the mind which knows nothing of the source.

Our conceptions are moralistic, they are not religious. They are not based on the experience of the original source, from where everything arises and finally disappears also in the same source, just like waves arising in the ocean and falling back into the ocean.

But to live this insight in your life needs tremendous courage; it needs a non-judging mind. And we have been brought up with every single thing being judged: this is right, that is wrong.

A small boy was asked in the school, “What is your name?”

He said, “Don’t!”

The teacher said, “Don’t? I have never heard such a name.”

He said, “Whatever I do, wherever I want to go they always say ‘Don’t!’ So I think this is my name.”

But actually this is the case with everyone. What are your criteria of right and wrong? Who has given you the criteria? How do you decide, how do you judge? All our moralities are man-made conveniences. Whatever is convenient to society becomes moral.

For example, by nature, for every one hundred boys born, eighty-four girls will be born. By the time they are of marriageable age, the numbers will be equal. More boys die, girls are more resistant.

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