Chapter 2: Just See It
Hence, the crazy master Nansen said, “See, the goose is out!” He was not making a logical statement - he was not saying, “See, therefore the goose is out.” He was not even saying what Christmas Humphreys makes him appear to say. Christmas Humphreys says, “There, the goose is out!” It cannot be said by Nansen. Nansen is not referring to there and here, he is not even referring to then and now. He is simply saying, “See, the goose is out! It has never been in, it cannot be in.”
Your consciousness is always free, it is freedom itself. But the problem is arising because you want to grasp it. This is mind trying to grasp something which is beyond its capacities. The illusory cannot grasp the real and the real cannot grasp the illusory, remember. The illusory cannot grasp because it is not; the real cannot grasp the illusory because how can you grasp the illusory? It is not there at all.
Hence Gautam the Buddha says, “The moment you are absolutely empty and aware, all is found.” It is only a question of shaking you up. It is a nightmare, the goose in the bottle is a nightmare. And sometimes it can happen in a very strange situation. It happened in many strange situations in the past.
In Joseph Grimaldi’s memoirs, as edited by Charles Dickens, there is the following story:
“In the July of this year a very extraordinary circumstance occurred at Sadler’s Wells, which was the great topic of conversation in the neighborhood for some time afterwards. It happened thus:
“Captain George Harris, of the Royal Navy, had recently returned to England after a long voyage. The crew being paid off, many of them followed their commander to London and proceeded to enjoy themselves after the usual fashion of sailors. Sadler’s Wells was at that time a famous place of resort with the bluejackets, the gallery being sometimes almost solely occupied by seamen and their female companions. A large body of Captain Harris’ men resorted hither one night, and amongst them a man who was deaf and dumb, and had been so for many years.
“This man was placed by his shipmates in the front row of the gallery. Grimaldi was in great form that night, and although the audience were in one roar of laughter, nobody appeared to enjoy his fun and humor more than this poor fellow. His companions good-naturedly took a great deal of notice of him and one of them, who talked very well with his fingers, inquired how he liked the entertainments; to which the deaf-and-dumb man replied through the same medium, and with various gestures of great delight, that he had never seen anything half so comical before.
“As the scene progressed, Grimaldi’s tricks and jokes became still more irresistible; and at length, after a violent peal of laughter and applause which quite shook the theater and in which the dumb man joined most heartily, he suddenly turned to his mate, who sat next to him, and cried out with much glee, ‘What a damned funny fellow!’ ‘Why, Jack,’ shouted the other man, starting back with great surprise, ‘can you speak?’ ‘Speak!’ replied the other, ‘Ay, that I can, and hear, too.’