Chapter 7: I Have Heard
In Scotland: “What will you gain in talking to the driver?”
The moment a master says something it comes from his innermost core. When you hear it, it is heard on your circumference. By the time it reaches to your innermost core - if it reaches at all, if you are fortunate enough to allow it to sink in to the very core of your being - then too the meaning will not remain the same. It cannot be; it is not in the nature of things. It would have changed: it may have become distorted, it may have lost something, your mind may have added something to it.
The scientists have very recently discovered.Up to now it was thought that our mind and our senses exist only to allow us to be bridged to the existence that surrounds us. But the latest research is that the senses and the mind have double functions. One function is to connect us with the existence, but even far more important than that is the second function: not to allow that which can disturb us. They function as screening agents of our mind, of our attitudes, of our life styles, of our conditionings. Only two percent reality is allowed to enter in; ninety-eight percent reality is prevented outside, on the gate, because if all that is available is allowed in you will go berserk, you will not be able to cope with it.
Only in absolute meditativeness one is capable to be able to relax totally, to allow everything in, to be vulnerable without any conditions, to be available to existence with no strings attached.
I would like to change this statement. I would like to make it exactly as Buddhist sutras begin. They are written by Buddha’s closest disciple, Ananda. He lived with Buddha for forty-two years; not even for a single moment he left Buddha. Day in, day out, year in, year out he was with Buddha like a shadow. Even shadow sometimes leaves you, but he will not leave Buddha at all. He heard everything that Buddha had said and when he was asked to report it after Buddha’s death he said, “I have heard the Buddha say.” Each sutra starts with that “I have heard.” A great insight is there in it.
Ko Hsuan cannot do this: he cannot say, “The venerable master said;” he can only say, “I have heard.” The translator must have changed it to look it more certain, to make it more categorical, more emphatic, more clear-cut, more mathematical. But the enlightened masters are mysterious; their words are mysterious, not mathematical. They can have thousand-and-one meanings and everyone hears them according to his own capacity.