Chapter 6: The Only Hope
Life is always an open river. You never know where it will take the turn. You cannot take a promise from the river that it will not turn at such a point. Nature never promises you anything. A promise certainly means a confinement, it means a bondage. It means you are accepting that from this moment you will not live. When you say, “I am a Christian,” you are dead. You cannot go beyond Christianity or against Christianity. Even if you see clearly that something is wrong, you have to keep your mouth shut. You are a Christian.
The moment you belong to an organization, to a religion, to a political party, you have to give up your freedom of thinking, you have to become blind; you cannot see because things may be different from your dead ideology which was decided hundreds of years before.
You should watch.. Just now you are listening to me. Are you aware that you are listening? Separate the function of listening, and be a witness also that your mechanism of listening is functioning and you are just a witness watching it. This separation is of ultimate urgency, because we have to separate all the garbage that has gathered around the witness, so the witness becomes absolutely free, in the present, having no ideology, having no prejudice, having nothing - just an empty mirror. Then its capacity to reflect the truth is immense. Then its capacity to reflect the beauty is immense.
Kyozan commented to Isan: “This is a case of wide cause and effect consciousness without awareness of the fundamental upon which one should rely.”
This man has turned his head, but he is not aware what he has done and why he has done it.
I have told you the story many times about Gautam Buddha.
One day, walking on the road from one town to another, he was talking to Ananda. A fly sat on his forehead, and just as you do automatically, he remained engaged in talking to Ananda and shooed the fly. Then he suddenly stopped, and he again raised his hand, with great grace, and moved the hand. Ananda was absolutely puzzled. He said, “The fly is gone. What are you doing?”
He said, “I did that act mechanically. I continued to talk to you and I left the functioning mind, the automatic mind to do the work of shooing the fly. But I was not aware. I did it, but without any original awareness. Now I am doing it as I should have done it.”
Another time he was passing through a village, and thousands of people were against him, as it is bound to be. Only little people are respectable; great people are greatly condemned. The enemies had gathered and they started abusing him in as ugly language as possible. He listened, standing silently, just like Basho. Those people felt a little embarrassed that he was not answering anything.