Chapter 13: Nothingness
The very idea of God is inhuman, and Buddha was the first man to recognize the fact that as long as God exists, man will remain a slave. God has to be completely dropped as a useless hypothesis. Then man is absolutely free, individual, has his own private world of consciousness and realization. Any master worth calling a master always takes each individual and teaches him according to his potentialities, according to the stage where he is. This sometimes creates discrepancies, contradictions, but they cannot be avoided, because it is impossible to talk to each individual.
For example I have to talk to you all. And I am not only talking to you; what I am saying to you is going to reach around the world to all of my people. When I am talking to you I am also talking to them. As far as I am concerned they are as much present to me as you all. But it creates a problem: I am saying something which may be applicable to a certain individual and may not be applicable to somebody else. In their past lives they have grown different individualities, and they have come to different points.
Just last night we saw how Maitreya did not say anything to Sudhana but just a finger-snap, which was absolutely absurd, unrelated to anything.but he clicked his fingers and something transpired through that small gesture: Sudhana became enlightened. He was already ready, just standing on the border line, and this simple gesture pushed him.
But there are thick skulls! You go on hammering on them, and they think some kind of massage is being.You go on telling them the most profound truths, and they think it is a great entertainment. Enlightenment to them is nothing but a curiosity. They don’t want to become enlightened, but they want to understand - perhaps sometime it may be a good dimension to explore.
One great master from Sri Lanka was dying. He called all his disciples, and his last words were, “You have been listening for almost half a century, but you go on listening, accumulating knowledge, and nothing seems to change in your being. So as a last resort I have decided that those who want to become enlightened I will take with me. I am dying; they will have to die with me. So if anyone is really interested, stand up!”
Thousands of monks.and they started looking at each other - “You are senior, you should stand up. You, a great knower, should stand up. You are so learned in scriptures, you give such beautiful sermons, now is the time - get up!” But nobody was getting up.
The old man said, “I don’t have much time.” Then a man raised his hand, but he also did not get up. The old man said, “Just raising the hand won’t do. Stand up”
The man said, “Forgive me, but I have many other things to do first. I am raising my hand to inquire, because you will be gone and I don’t know anybody else who can show me the way. In short, just tell me! If some day my work is finished, my complicated affairs are settled. I may follow but right now.please forgive me. Don’t misunderstand my hand - that’s why I am not standing, only the hand is standing. I don’t want to become enlightened right now, but I would like to know the right path.”