Chapter 18: You Just Have to Gather Courage
His mind has a prejudice, and that prejudice decides every decision. He has a greed; that greed decides. But these are subjective feelings - they have nothing to do with objective reality.
You don’t see the world as it is. You see it as your mind forces you to see it. And this you can see all over the world - different people are conditioned in different ways, and the mind is nothing but conditioning. They see things according to their conditioning - and that conditioning is a certain color.
We make distinctions: We make somebody superior, somebody inferior; man is more powerful, woman is less powerful; somebody is more intelligent, somebody is less. Races have been claiming they are the chosen people of God. Every religion is claiming that their book is written by God himself. All these things, layer upon layer, make your mind; and unless you are able to put the whole mind aside and see the world directly, immediately, with your consciousness, you will never be able to see the truth.
Mind is polluted by every society for its own interests, given ideas which have no correspondence with reality, but help a certain society to feel egoistic, superior. And you cling to the mind because that mind gives superiority to you too.
In this world the greatest courage is to put the mind aside. The bravest man is one who can see the world without the barrier of the mind, just as it is. It is tremendously different, utterly beautiful. There is nobody who is inferior and there is nobody who is superior; there are no distinctions.
One Zen master, Hui Hai, was asked, “What do you think about the inferior and the superior people?”
He said, “Just outside my door there is a small rosebush and there is a big, one-hundred-foot-high, hundreds-of-years-old cedar, but I have never heard them talking about superiority or inferiority. The rosebush is a rosebush, the cedar is a cedar. Neither the cedar says, ‘Look! I am one hundred feet high and you are just a small bush. You don’t count. I will live for hundreds more years; many like you will come and go,’ nor does the rosebush say to the cedar, ‘Although you are so huge and so big and so ancient, you have not been able to produce a single roseflower. All your life is useless, meaningless. You have not created anything to give as an offering to existence. I am a small rosebush but look at my flowers.’
“No, there has been no discussion. I have been hoping that some day the discussion will be there; but the rosebush is happy as it is, and the cedar is happy as it is, and there is no comparison because they are totally different. You cannot compare different things.”
In existence there are only unique things; no comparison is possible, no distinction is possible.