Chapter 5: See Right at Once
If somebody says, “God created the world,” then the question is, “Why did he create the world? And why a world like this? - so miserable. If he is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, could he not see what he was doing? Why did he create pain, disease, death?” Now, so many questions..Philosophy is an exercise in futility.
A student comes out of curiosity. Unless he becomes a disciple he will not become aware that curiosity is a vicious circle. You ask one question, you are given the answer, the answer brings ten more new questions, and so on and so forth. And the tree becomes bigger and bigger; thicker and thicker is the foliage. And finally the philosopher has only questions and no answers at all.
Surrounded by all those stupid questions.stupid I call them because they have no answers; stupid I call them because they are born out of childish curiosity. When one is surrounded by all those questions and there is no answer, one loses sharpness, one loses clarity, one is clouded. And one is no more intelligent. The more intellectual one becomes, the less intelligent he is.
The professor who had committed his wife to a mental institution was talking to the chief of staff. “How will we know when my wife is well again, doctor?”
“We have a simple test we give all our patients,” he replied. “We put a hose into a trough, turn on the water, give the patient a bucket, and tell him to empty out the trough.”
“What does that prove?” inquired the professor.
“Elementary, sir,” the doctor assured him. “Any sane person will turn off the hose.”
“Isn’t science wonderful!” he replied. “I never would have thought of that!”
He must be a professor of philosophy; he can’t be less than that.
The professor only knows questions. He is lost in the jungle of questions. The philosopher remains immature. Maturity is of consciousness, not of intellectuality. It is not of knowledge, it is of innocence.
Yes: Not to know is the most intimate. And to function out of that not-knowing is to function in an enlightened way. To respond out of not-knowing is to respond like a buddha. That is true response because it is not clouded, not distorted, not contaminated, not polluted and poisoned by your mind and your past. It is fresh, it is young, it is new. It arises to the challenge of the present. It is always in synchronicity with the new, with the present. And the present is always new, it is always moving - it is dynamic. All your answers are static, and life is dynamic.
Hence Zen is not interested in answers - or in questions. It is not interested in teaching at all. It is not a philosophy; it is a totally different way of looking at things, at life, at existence, at oneself, at others. Yes, it is a discipline.