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Chapter 9: The Bird Has Flown

All that you can do is find out into this mess of your mind something which seems more valid, more probable, more possible than other informations. But that is very tentative, hypothetical. Today you may decide Christianity is right because you know more about Christianity than you know about Buddhism. Tomorrow you may come to know more about Buddhism, and suddenly your Christianity starts evaporating. But your Buddhism is also in the same trap. Some day you may come to know about Jainism, and then your Buddhism gives way. These are all sandcastles. You cannot live in them.

Hence the modern man has become very much confused: more knowledge, more confusion.

Zen insists that shift the whole consciousness from knowing to being. The question is not how much you know, the question is how much you are. The question is not about your memory but about your integrity. The question is not about your mind but about your consciousness, about your awareness. A man can go on reciting beautiful sutras in his sleep; it cannot help him in any way. In fact, it will help him only to fall asleep deeper because he will be thinking that now there is no need to wake up.

Always remember, the last trick of the mind is to give you the illusion that you are awake. That is the last strategy. One can dream in a dream that one is awake; then all possibility of waking up is finished. There is no need to wake up - you are already awake. That’s what you are dreaming.

That’s what actually goes on happening to the scholars - repeat beautiful words of Buddha, Jesus, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu. But when Buddha says something it has a totally different significance, because it comes from his experience, it is rooted in his being. It is alive! It is a roseflower still on the rosebush. The juice from the roots is still flowing towards the flower. When you repeat the same sutra it is only a plastic flower, because there is no experience within your being to support it, to nourish it, to feed it. It is just imposed from the outside.

Buddha was not repeating any ancient sutra; he was simply saying it on his own authority. And remember the difference: he was not authoritative. The scholar is authoritative. Buddha was speaking simply on his own authority; he is not authoritative. All that he is saying is, “This is what I have experienced, this is my experience. Whether scriptures support it or not is quite irrelevant. Even if all the scriptures of the world are against it, it doesn’t matter a bit. Still it is true, because I have known myself.” It has a certain inner validity, a self-evidence about it.

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