Chapter 3: The Empty Door Is Open Wide
“Oh no sir!”
“Pity,” said St. Peter, “you won’t enjoy Sunday nights either!”
The same people will be transported to heaven, to paradise; it is not going to be any different at all. The question is not of going to heaven, the question is not at all of finding God. The question is knowing “Who am I?” From there real evolution starts - only from there and from nowhere else.
Zen is the most beautiful method ever discovered to enter into the innermost core of your being. It does not believe in character, it only believes in consciousness. By changing your consciousness, your character is changed automatically, but by changing your character your consciousness is not changed in the same way. In fact, your consciousness becomes repressed if you change your character. There is created thereby a duality, a split. Your consciousness remains of one type, your character of another type, and they become unbridged. You become two persons or many, even. You become polypsychic you become a crowd. Rather than coming to a rest, rather than coming to deep silence, rather than experiencing peace, you become more neurotic, more noisy. You lose all inner harmony, all accord.
That’s what happens to the so-called moralists: they simply go on doing a patchwork from the outside; they go on whitewashing people. Jesus has called this whitewashing “whitewashing the graves.” Inside is a stinking corpse and outside you have whitewashed it. From the outside the grave looks beautiful; you can even put roses on it, you can grow flowers on the grave, grass. You can make it look beautiful, but inside it is just a grave.
And that is the situation of man. And the whole thing has happened because we have believed too much in character. We may know, we may not know. Ninety-nine point nine percent people of the world are behaviorists - whatsoever they say does not matter. If you look deep down they belong to the school of Pavlov and Skinner; they all believe in behaviorism. They all believe that your behavior can be changed, then you are changed because you are nothing but your behavior. They may not say so, they may not even be aware of their fundamental belief, but that’s how society has lived up to now. This society is not religious.
Religious man has yet to arrive, a religious society has yet to happen, a religious culture is yet in the future - on the horizon, but we have to bring it; it has not happened. It has happened in few individual cases here and there, but those people can be counted on fingers.
This is a tremendously beautiful story. Go into it very meditatively because each statement contains great treasures.
Zen Master Shen Tsan gained his enlightenment through Pai Chang.