Chapter 3: An Open and Shut Case
Salih of Gazwin taught his disciples:
Whoever knocks at the door continually, it will be opened to him.
Rabiya, hearing him one day, said: “How long will you say, ‘It will be opened’? The door has never been shut.”
Nature, the whole of it, is a continuous ceremony - a marriage, a feast. Guests go on changing, but the feast continues; the feast never stops for a single moment. Singers change, but the song remains.
Except for man, nature is always in ecstasy. Man is a special case. If you look just at the present situation of man you will feel depressed, as if something has gone wrong. But if you can understand the future possibility of man then you will be happy, thankful. Nothing has gone wrong; only, with man, nature is trying to reach a higher ceremony.
Man has been sent on a journey. He looks to be without a home - because he has to attain a home in his being. He looks uprooted - because he has to find a richer soil for his roots. Man is nothing but a reaching of nature towards a higher harmony, a higher ceremony, a greater ecstasy.
But that is so if you look at the whole journey, and you can see the destiny. If you can’t see the destiny, then man simply looks like a child gone astray. Then man looks like a disease. That’s why for Sartre, or Camus, or Jaspers, man looks meaningless, a tale told by an idiot, full of fury and noise, signifying nothing.
The whole of human consciousness seems to be ill, ill at ease. But buddhas see deeper. They don’t see just this moment. Hidden in this moment is the whole destiny of man. Man is the greatest experiment nature has yet made; but it is not yet a complete experiment, that is the trouble.
Man has lost the home that trees have, and he has not yet reached the end of his journey. Man has lost the moorings that birds have, and the stars and the sea have. He seems to be homeless, a stranger, an outsider. That is right! But a greater home, a better ecstasy, and a higher plenitude of being is waiting. You have to complete the journey.
Religion is nothing but the effort to make the journey complete. Nature has thrown you into a vast world, full of millions of possibilities, and you don’t know who you are, where you are going. Nature has pushed you, and religion is to complete the journey, religion is to fill the gap; otherwise you will feel meaningless. You will feel depressed, you will live in anguish.
If you don’t know the destiny, if you can’t look into the seed - if you can look into the seed you can see the tree, the flowering, the possibility, the potentiality - but if you just look at the seed from the outside, it is nothing. No colors, just a dead thing, not even alive. Looks like a pebble.