Chapter 1: Catching the First Principle
Once a tyro asked a Zen master, “Master, what is the first principle?”
Without hesitation the master replied, “If I were to tell you, it would become the second principle “
Yes. The first principle cannot be said. The most important thing cannot be said, and that which can be said will not be the first principle. The moment truth is uttered it becomes a lie; the very utterance is a falsification. So the Vedas, the Bible, and the Koran, they contain the second principle, not the first principle. They contain lies, not the truth, because the truth cannot be contained by any word whatsoever. The truth can only be experienced - the truth can be lived - but there is no way to say it.
The word is a far, faraway echo of the real experience; and it is so far away from the real that it is even worse than the unreal because it can give you a false confidence. It can give you a false promise. You can believe it, and that is the problem. If you start believing in some dogma, you will go on missing the truth. Truth has to be known by experience. No belief can help you on the way; all beliefs are barriers. All religions are against religion - it has to be so by the very nature of things. All churches are against God. Churches exist because they fulfill a certain need. The need is: man does not want to make any efforts; he wants easy shortcuts. Belief is an easy shortcut.
The way to truth is hard; it is an uphill task. One has to go through total death - one has to destroy oneself utterly-only then is the new born. The resurrection is only after the crucifixion.
To avoid the crucifixion we have created beliefs. Beliefs are very cheap. You can believe and you remain the same. You can go on believing, and it doesn’t require any basic change in your life pattern. It does not require any change in your consciousness, and unless your consciousness changes, the belief is just a toy. You can play with it, you can deceive yourself with it, but it is not going to nourish you.
Visualize that a child is playing in the garden of his house, playing with imaginary lions, and then suddenly he has to face a real lion who has escaped from the zoo. Now he does not know what to do. He is simply scared out of his wits. He is paralyzed; he cannot even run. He was perfectly at ease with the imaginary, but with the real he does not know what to do.
That is the situation of all those people who go on playing with beliefs, concepts, philosophies, theologies. They ask questions just to ask questions. The answer is the last thing they are interested in. They don’t want the answer. They go on playing with questions, and each answer helps them to create more questions. Each answer is nothing but a jumping board for more questions.