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Chapter 13: Nothingness

Then what is the purpose of the master? His purpose is to take away from you things which you think you are. His purpose is negative - he simply takes away your false conceptions. And once all false conceptions are taken away from you, that which is real illuminates in all its beauty. He has not given you anything, but he has removed all the obstructions, all the hindrances which you were clinging to.

The moment you become enlightened, you will know that this experience has been always with you - just your eyes were closed. The master tries in every way, with arbitrary devices, to wake you up. Once you are awake nothing has to be said, because you are seeing yourself. And the experience of enlightenment is exactly the same.

Ta Hui is quoting the ancient sutra:

There has never been anything to give to people, only folks who have been able to point out the road for people.

The actual words of Buddha are: “I can show you the path, but you will have to travel it. I cannot travel it for you. Not that I don’t want to, but it is simply not in the nature of things.”

.able to point out the road for people. An ancient worthy said, “Having some attainment is the jackal’s yelp; having no attainment is the lion’s roar.”

On the path there are many moments when you will feel, “I have attained it, I have got it.” Remember a criterion: whenever the idea arises in you, “I have got it,” you are without any doubt wrong. The very idea, “I have got it,” means an ego achievement. You are there and some goal has been achieved. It may be some beautiful experience, but still illusory; hence: The ancient worthy says, “Having some attainment is the jackal’s yelp; having no attainment is the lion’s roar.”

On the path that moment comes when the seeker is lost, and the desire to attain anything leaves you. As you are not there, who is going to attain? When you are so simple and innocent that you cannot manage to say “I,” there is no question of attainment - because there is no attaining mind. But this is the attainment: losing everything, even the seeker. You have found what the seeker was seeking, but now there is nobody to declare it.

Then comes just a lion’s roar: a simple recognition with no word. You explode into a rejoicing, into a dance - all is lost. And when you are standing in a state of utter nothingness, from the other side all is gained.

But those words do not apply any more, and you cannot say, “I have attained it.” It is a simple recognition that it has been always with you; hence the lion’s roar.

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