Chapter 1: The Toast Is Burned
Buddha attained this. Because of language I say attained - otherwise the word is ugly, there is no attainment - but you will understand. Buddha attained this emptiness, this nothingness. For two weeks, for fourteen days continuously, he sat in silence, not moving, not saying, not doing anything.
It is said that the deities in heaven became disturbed - rarely it happens that somebody becomes such total emptiness. The whole existence felt a celebration, so the deities came. They bowed down before Buddha and they said, “You must say something, you must say what you have attained.” Buddha is said to have laughed and said, “I have not attained anything; rather, because of this mind, which always wants to attain something, I was missing everything. I have not achieved anything, this is not an achievement; rather, on the contrary, the achiever has disappeared. I am no more, see the beauty of it,” said Buddha. “When I was, I was miserable, and when I am no more, everything is blissful, the bliss is showering and showering continuously on me, everywhere. Now there is no misery.”
Buddha had said before: “Life is misery, birth is misery, death is misery - everything is miserable.” It was miserable because the ego was there. The boat was not empty. Now the boat was empty; now there was no misery, no sorrow, no sadness. Existence had become a celebration and it would remain a celebration for eternity, forever and forever.
That’s why I say, it is dangerous that you have come to me. You have taken a risky step. And if you are courageous, then be ready for the jump.
The whole effort is how to kill you; the whole effort is how to destroy you. Once you are destroyed, the indestructible will come up - it is there, hidden. Once all that which is nonessential is eliminated, the essential will be like a flame - alive in its total glory.
This parable of Chuang Tzu is beautiful. He says that a wise man is like an empty boat.
Such is the perfect man -
his boat is empty.
There is nobody inside.
If you meet a Chuang Tzu, or a Lao Tzu, or me, the boat is there, but it is empty - nobody in it. If you simply look at the surface, then somebody is there, because the boat is there. But if you penetrate deeper, if you really become intimate with me, if you forget the body, the boat, then you come to encounter a nothingness.
Chuang Tzu is a rare flowering, because to become nobody is the most difficult, almost impossible, the most extraordinary thing in the world.
The ordinary mind hankers to be extraordinary, that is part of ordinariness; the ordinary mind desires to be somebody in particular, that is part of ordinariness. You may become an Alexander, but you remain ordinary - then who is the extraordinary one? The extraordinariness starts only when you don’t hanker after extraordinariness. Then the journey has started, then a new seed has sprouted.