Chapter 22: A Journey without End
The other night it felt so good just sitting at your feet, feeling my heart totally tuning into you, and the mind more and more disappearing. But suddenly this Ramakrishna story hit me like lightning. It felt so right, but it is so painful. Are the emotions for a master, the heart-to-heart communion, also an illusion? Is being totally in the heart not the end of the journey?
There is no end of this journey. There are overnight stops. To bring you from the mind, the heart is used. The heart is closer to your reality than the mind; the mind is the farthest, the circumference of your being. The heart is somewhere between the circumference and the center.
A master has to be alert not to give you impossible goals, because those impossible goals will make you feel, “It is not for me. It is too much, too big. I am too small.”
A Taoist parable is:
There is a statue of Lao Tzu, the founder of Tao. And a young man has been thinking for years to go to the mountains and see the statue of Lao Tzu. He loves the words, the way Lao Tzu has spoken, the style of life that he has lived, but he has never seen any of his statues. There are no Taoist temples, so there are very rare statues and they are all in the mountains - standing in the open, carved out of the mountain - no roof, no temple, no priest, no worship.
And years pass, and there are so many things always coming in between. But finally one night he decides that he has to go, and it is not that far, only a hundred miles, but he is a poor man, and he has to walk. In the middle of the night - he chooses the time in the middle of the night so that the wife and the children and the family are asleep and no trouble arises - he takes a lamp in his hand, because the night is dark, and goes out of the town.
As he comes out of the town to the first milestone, a thought arises in him, “My God, one hundred miles! And I only have two feet - it is going to kill me. I am asking the impossible. I have never walked one hundred miles, and there is no road.” It is a small hill path, a footpath - dangerous too. So he thinks, “It is better to wait till the morning. At least there will be light and I can see better, otherwise I will fall somewhere off this small footpath and, without seeing the statue of Lao Tzu, simply be finished. Why commit suicide?”
So he was sitting just outside the town, and as the sun was rising an old man came by. He saw this young man sitting; he asked, “What are you doing here?” The young man explained.