Chapter 5: The Sky of Realization
Scarecrow in the hillock.
Paddy field -
how unaware! How useful!
A scarecrow is a false man which farmers make just by putting up a bamboo and covering the top with a mud pot, as if it is a monk’s head, perfectly shaven. Then they put another bamboo just like a cross and cover the cross with a robe, and put two hands on it. It is to create fear in wild animals.
Sometimes in moonlit nights even the scarecrow looks so beautiful, and certainly it is useful. But it is not a true man. So if a thing is useful it does not mean it is true, and vice versa: if it is true it does not mean that it may prove useful. What use is enlightenment? You cannot sell it. Even if you want to, even if you can find somebody to purchase it, there is no way of selling it. What use is enlightenment?
Utility is not the goal of life. The goal of life is a deep relaxation from all effort, being in a dance with the dancing trees, with the dancing stars, rejoicing in existence without any worry, without any mind, just being part of the cosmos.
Dogen is right, “Scarecrow in the hillock. Paddy field - how unaware.”
The poor fellow is absolutely unaware. But that is the situation of all of us. We are just scarecrows - hung up on a skeleton and covered with a skin bag.
They have invented, and they are already making man-made men, robots. They will be perfectly good, in fact they will be more efficient than you. The only problem is when their battery runs out. Otherwise you will not be able to know.a person is saying to you, “I love you, sweetheart,” and then rrrrr, rrrr.his battery runs out, and you suddenly become aware, “My God, it is a robot.” Otherwise he had the whole program, the whole dialogue, computerized. He can do many things, he is very useful.
Just a few days ago in Japan, in a factory where they were using robots, an accident happened which may determine the future of robots in the coming century. Robots can work twenty-four hours at a time. They don’t need Sundays or any other holiday. They don’t go on strike, they don’t ask for any raise. They are very good people, nice and gentlemanly. And they work continuously. One robot can do the work of almost one thousand people in the same time period. But in a factory where a few robots were used experimentally, something went wrong.
It always happens with electricity - something goes wrong. Something went wrong and six robots just clutched at the nearest human being who was passing by, and hugged him. It was not in their program, and a robot hug? - the man was finished.