Chapter 11: Right Questioning
Skinner says that we can determine; I have seen your thirst so the thirst can be created. Skinner says that the old proverb has gone wrong now, that you can bring the horse to the river but you cannot force him to drink. Skinner says we can force him to drink, we can create the situation. We can create the situation; we can make the whole atmosphere so hot that the horse has to drink, and we know when he drinks, so we can create the situation and then the act will follow. So I would say yes, the proverb has gone wrong, that you can bring the horse to the river but you cannot force him to drink. The horse can be forced, and you can also be forced, because your acts are situational. But I say you can bring a buddha to the river, you cannot force him to drink. Really, the more you force him, the more it will be impossible; exactly the contrary will happen. He can drink, but if you force him he will not. No heat will do, even if you bring a thousand suns around him it will not help, it will not help. On the contrary it will become impossible - more and more impossible - because now the person has a different origin of his acts. It is not connected with other acts. It is directly connected with consciousness.
That’s why I emphasize so much: act consciously! Then, by and by, when you act consciously your acts change their total organization; the whole crystallization is different. It becomes associated with consciousness and not with acts. Then you are free. Then every moment you act; not that acts create other acts. You act. You begin to act, and no one can say how you will act, because habits are mechanical, consciousness is not. Habits are mechanical and by that I mean that habits repeat themselves. And the more you repeat, the more efficient you become in repetition.
So this must be understood: the more you repeat, the more you become efficient, and what do you mean by being efficient? By being efficient is meant that now no more consciousness is needed. A person who is an efficient typist - what do you mean by an efficient typist? You mean that now no conscious effort is needed. He can do it unconsciously, even with closed eyes. He can continue with other thoughts, he can sing, he can smoke and the typing continues. Now typing has gone to the unconscious center of the body. Now the body is typing; the man is not needed. That is efficiency. Efficiency means the thing is so determined that no error is possible. In freedom, error is possible. No machine is; it cannot err, because to err, one has to be conscious.
So acts can have a chain relationship with your other acts. Then they are determined. Then your childhood determines your youth, and your youth determines your old age, and everything is determined. Your birth determines your death. Buddha continues saying, he repeated so many times, “Given this, this happens. Provide the cause, and the effect will be there.” This is the world of cause and effect in which everything is determined. You may know it or you may not know it.
Another crystallization of acts is with consciousness. Then it is moment to moment, because consciousness is a flow. It is not a static thing; it is life itself. It changes. It is alive. It goes on expanding. It goes on becoming new and fresh and young. It is never the past. It is always the present, so the act will be spontaneous.
I remember a Zen story.
A Zen master asks his disciple a particular question. The question is answered exactly as it should be answered.
Another day, and the master asks again, again the same question, and the disciple says, “But I have answered this one just the other day, I have answered it.”
“But,” the master says, “now I am asking again.” The disciple repeats the answer, and the master says, “You don’t know!”