Chapter 8: Holidays Are Not for Saints
So the whole process of naming things, which you think is thinking, is not of any worth; just the very ground of consciousness is valuable. Anything you grow on that ground is futile. It is capable of giving you anything you want. Its power of imagination is immense, knows no limits - but they will all be fictions, hallucinations, mirages. Whenever you come to the truth, the mind is incapable, absolutely impotent and incapable of naming it.
Truth has no name, it is nameless. Your ultimate being has never been named, and there is no way to give it a name. When you find it, you are so absorbed and overwhelmed by it that you disappear; only it remains. The luminosity, the love, the compassion, the grace - all are there, but you have disappeared. Who is going to name it?
Your disappearance means opening the doors of the universal. By disappearing, I mean you disappear in the ocean. Now, when the dewdrop has disappeared in the ocean, where to find it? How to name it? All that you can say is that it has become one with the ocean. It was a small ocean, that’s why it could become one with the ocean. It kept itself small, within limits. Today it dropped its limits, slipped from the lotus leaf, disappeared in the ocean. But that does not mean that it has died; it simply means that it has become too big, that you can no longer call it a dewdrop.
Rinzai’s last statements.
“Followers of the Tao, grasp and use, but never name - this is called the ‘mysterious principle.’”
Tao is exactly at the same height of understanding as Buddha. The word tao does not mean anything. It was under compulsion that Lao Tzu called it tao - a meaningless word - just as Buddha has called it dhamma.
His whole life Lao Tzu never wrote. Even the emperor insisted that “You should write down your experiences. They will be valuable for the coming centuries.”
Lao Tzu said, “You don’t know what you are asking for. Nobody can write it, nobody can pronounce it. One can live it, love it, one can be dissolved into it, one can be resurrected into it, but nothing can be said about it. Words are too far away, too much misleading.”
His whole life Lao Tzu denied every proposal from the disciples that “You have lived a great life of utter silence, of peace and blissfulness; it will be a great loss to humanity if you don’t write down just a small treatise, a few sutras, a few footprints that can show how you reached to this height, in what direction we have to move - just to guide us.”
But Lao Tzu said, “I would love to say, but I cannot corrupt the purity of the experience. The moment I say it, it will be corrupted. The words are too small and the experience is immense. Please just forgive me!”
This had been his attitude his whole life, but at the end he said to his disciples, “Now it is time that I retire into the Himalayas. My death is not far away, and I would like to meet my death and welcome her in the right place” - and there cannot be any more right place than the eternal silence of the Himalayas.