Chapter 21: The Spirit Returns and Touches Heaven
He was, and yet he was not.. In fact, the moment you really are, you drop all ideas of your ego. People carry the idea of the ego because they are not. Try to understand this paradox: those who are not, they brag about themselves - they have to brag, they have to prove to the world. They are constantly performing. They know if they don’t perform they are nobodies. They have to perform, they have to shout, they have to make noise, they have to force others to take note of them. Adolf Hitlers and Genghis Khans and Tamerlanes and all the stupid lot of politicians down the ages - all that they have been doing is to make more and more people take note of them. These are the people who are not.
The people who are, are so contented with their being, who cares whether anybody takes note or not? They are so much to themselves, enough unto themselves.
So this is the paradox: the man who is not tries, pretends that he is much, somebody special, and the man who is pretends not, brags not, becomes a very silent existence.
He existed as an absence.. And only in absence does real presence arise: the person disappears but presence arises.
He had melted slowly and disappeared as a person.. And when that happens, when that miracle happens, the very absence becomes a radiant presence.
Subhuti was also sitting under a tree, not even meditating.. Others were meditating, he was simply sitting there doing nothing. That is the highest form of meditation. To do meditation is to be just a beginner. The beginner has to do the meditation. But one who has understood meditation cannot even think in terms of doing, because the moment you do something you are stirred, the moment you do something you are tense, the moment you do something the ego enters again from the back door - because with the doing comes the doer. Meditation is a state of non-doing. Certainly in the beginning one has to do, but slowly slowly - as meditation deepens, understanding arises - doing disappears. Then meditation is being, not doing.
Doing is part of the world of having. Doing is another aspect of having. You have to do if you want to have, if you want to have you will have to do. And millions of people remain in the world of doing and having. Beyond these two there is another world, the world of being, where you don’t have anything and you are not a doer either - all is utterly silent, all is absolutely passive, not even a ripple.
So he was not doing meditation, remember. He was just sitting and doing nothing, and then suddenly, flowers began to fall around him. And those were not ordinary flowers - not of this world, not earthly - they were not falling from the trees. They were falling from the sky, from nowhere, out of the blue. He had never seen such beauty and such freshness and such fragrance. Those were the flowers of the beyond, Golden Flowers. He was naturally in awe and wonder. And then he heard the gods whispering to him, “We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness..”
Now he was really puzzled. “Discourse on emptiness? But I have not spoken of emptiness,” said Subhuti.
“You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness,” responded the gods. “This is true emptiness.”
And blossoms showered upon Subhuti like rain.