Chapter 9: There Is No Help Possible
Lung Shu said to the physician Wen Chih:
“Your craft is subtle. I have an illness, can you cure it?”
“You have only to command. Tell me the symptoms of your illness.”
“I do not think it an honor if the whole district praises me nor a disgrace if the whole state reviles me; I have no joy when I win, no anxiety when I lose; I look in the same way at life and death, riches and poverty, other men and pigs, myself and other men; I dwell in my own house as though lodging in an inn, and look at my own neighborhood as though it were a foreign and barbarous country.
“Having all these ailments, titles and rewards cannot induce me, punishments and fines cannot awe me, prosperity and decline, benefit and harm cannot change me, joy and sorrow cannot influence me. Consequently it is impossible for me to serve my prince, have dealings with my kindred and friends, manage my wife and children, control my servants. What illness is this? What art can cure it?”
Wen Chih ordered Lung Shu to stand with his back to the light. He himself stepped back and examined Lung Shu from a distance facing the light. Then he said: “Hmmm. I see your heart. The place an inch square is empty - you are almost a sage. Six of the holes in your heart run into each other but one is stopped up. Can this be the reason why you now think the wisdom of a sage is an illness? My shallow craft can do nothing to cure it.”
Once in the garden of a master there lived a monkey. And, as monkeys are curious people, he became very curious about the master. He saw the master sitting silently, doing nothing, and by and by he started coming close to him - what is this man doing? It was a mystery. Certainly, to a monkey, the most mysterious thing is somebody sitting silently, doing nothing.
Restlessness is just natural to a monkey, so resting in silence.? Has this man gone mad? By and by he started coming closer to watch him. The closer he came, the more he was surprised. Not only was the man silent but the space around him was tremendously quiet. Even the monkey could feel the vibe as he came closer.
Then he started loving the man, and just to be close to him became one of his hobbies. Whenever he could find the time and whenever the master was sitting in the garden, he would come close and sit by his side.
One day he said to the master, “What do you do? Please tell me also. I surrender to you. Accept me as a disciple.”
The master looked at the monkey, felt great compassion for him, and said, “I don’t do anything. You can also do it. It is non-doing. Sitting silently, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself. You simply sit silently. When the right moment comes, suddenly you are full of tremendous joy and peace and God. You are not supposed to do anything. Anything done on your part is a disturbance, creates ripples, creates waves. And when your mind is wavy God cannot enter. When the mind is a quiet surface, when everything is silent and calm, God enters. He enters through the door of silence - but that is possible only when you are not a doer. So you can do it, you can try it.”