Chapter 9: Deaf, Dumb, and Blind
Gensha complained to his followers one day: “Other masters are always carrying on about the necessity of saving everyone - but suppose you meet up with someone who is deaf, dumb and blind: he couldn’t see your gestures, hear your preaching, or, for that matter, ask questions. Unable to save him, you’d prove yourself a worthless Buddhist.”
Troubled by these words, one of Gensha’s disciples went to consult the master Ummon who, like Gensha, was a disciple of Seppo. “Bow please,” said Ummon.
The monk, though taken by surprise, obeyed the master’s command - then straightened up in expectation of having his query answered.
But instead of an answer, he got a staff thrust at him. He leapt back. “Well,” said Ummon, “you’re not blind. Now approach.”
The monk did as he was bidden. “Good,” said Ummon, “you’re not deaf either. Well, understand?” “Understand what, sir?’ said the monk. “Ah, you’re not dumb either,” said Ummon.
On hearing these words the monk awoke as from a deep sleep.
Jesus used to say to his disciples, and not only once but many times, “If you have eyes - look! If you have ears, then hear me!” They had eyes just like you and they had ears just like you. Then Jesus must have meant something else - not these ears, not these eyes.
There is a different way of seeing the world and a different way of hearing - a different way of being. When you have that different quality of seeing, God is seen; when you have that different way of hearing, God is heard; and when you have that different quality of being, you become God yourself. As you are, you are deaf, dumb, blind - almost dead. Deaf to God, dumb to God, blind to God, dead to God.
Nietzsche has declared that God is dead. In fact, when you are dead, how can God be alive to you? God is dead because you are dead. You can know God only when you live abundantly, when your life becomes an overflowing, when it is a flood. In that overflowing moment of bliss, life and vitality, for the first time you know what God is, because God is the most luxurious overflowing phenomenon.
God is not a necessity in this world. Scientific laws are a necessity - without them the world cannot be. God is not a necessity that way. Without him the world can be, but it will be worthless. Without him you can exist, but your existence will be just a vegetable existence. Without him you can vegetate, you cannot be really alive.
God is not a necessity - you can be there, but your being there will not be of any meaning, it will not carry any meaning at all. It will have no poetry, it will have no song, it will have no dance to it. It will not be a mystery. It may be an arithmetic, it may be a business, but it cannot be a love affair.
Without God all that is beautiful disappears, because the beautiful comes only as an overflowing - it is a luxury. Watch a tree: if you have not watered it well, if the tree is not getting nourishment from the soil, the tree can exist but flowers will not come. Existence will be there, but futile! It would have been better not to be, because it will be a constant frustration. Flowers come to the tree only when the tree has so much that it can share, and the tree has so much nourishment that it can flower - flowering is a luxury! The tree has so much that it can afford it.
And I tell you that God is the most luxurious thing in the world. God is not necessary - you can live without him. You can live very well, but you will miss something, you will feel an emptiness in the heart. You will be more like a wound than like an alive force. You will suffer; there cannot be any ecstasy in your life.