Chapter 6: Understanding Comes in Mid-sentence
Finally, because he had been praised so much for what he had done in teaching the parrots, the bishop thought he would purchase one more parrot and train him also. So he bought another parrot and put that new parrot between those two sages, reciting the prayer with their beads. As the bishop went in, one parrot said to the other, “George, now drop the beads. Our prayers have been heard; our beloved has reached us.”
It was a female parrot. Even parrots seem to be more intelligent..
A man who does not know himself should feel ashamed teaching others just because he knows scriptures. Scholarship has no meaning at all in the authentic world of religion. It is a world of experience, not of explanations. The man who teaches according to the scriptures is:
.a mortal, not a buddha. The true way is sublime. It can’t be expressed in language. Of what use are scriptures? But someone who sees his own nature, finds the way, even if he can’t read a word. Everything the buddha says is an expression of his no-mind. But since his body and expressions are basically empty, you can’t find a buddha in words. .
The way is basically perfect. It does not require perfecting. The way has no form or sound. It is subtle and hard to perceive. It is like when you drink water. You know how hot or cold it is, but you can’t tell others. Of that which only a tathagata knows, men and gods remain unaware. The awareness of mortals falls short.
You have a little awareness - but very little. If your whole being can be taken into account, then nine parts of it are in darkness and in unconsciousness. Only one part out of ten is conscious, just a very superficial layer which can easily be disturbed. Somebody insults you and you forget all about humbleness, you forget all about being nice, you immediately become enraged. Suddenly your barbariousness comes up. Just a little scratch and the animal starts showing its reality from your very being.
Your civilization is so superficial. It is just like your clothes; you can drop them any moment. And you all know that there are moments when you drop all your civilization, all your culture, all your religion, all your great qualities that you talk about; within a second, they disappear. Your consciousness is so small.
The awareness of mortals falls very short. It cannot reach to the heights of a fully awakened human being. That’s why a buddha is bound to be misunderstood. Whatever he will do is so far away from you - he is almost on a sunlit peak of the Himalayas and you are in the dark valleys. Even if what he says reaches you, it is no longer the same. You hear only resounding valleys. Something of it reaches you and you interpret according to your own mind.