Chapter 9: No Ripples
I have called this series Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror for the simple reason that his whole teaching is: don’t react - just be, and reflect. Clouds will come and go, and the sky remains as empty as ever. Clouds don’t leave any mark on the empty sky. And just as outside there is this vast empty sky - it is immeasurable - on the other side, inwards, the same infinity exists. You are standing just in the middle between an outer infinity and an inner infinity. You can go in either direction - outwards, and you will not find any limit, or inwards, and you will not find any limit.
Science has been struggling for three hundred years, because it was determined that there must be a boundary line to the universe. To the mind it is not appealing, it seems irrational that something can be without boundaries. How can it be without boundaries? The boundaries may be millions of miles away, millions of light years away; but that does not matter, it still remains limited.
But finally, with Albert Einstein, science accepted its failure. Now we have immensely powerful instruments to find the farthest star, but even the farthest star is not the limit. Albert Einstein accepted it humbly that, rational or irrational - what can we do? - existence is unlimited. If anything, we can change our logic and rationality, but we cannot change the universe.
The inward infinity is far more mysterious, just because it is more alive. The deeper you go, the deeper you are going into life, into abundant life. And the deeper you go, you find only one quality, that of the mirror. You reflect everything, and nothing affects you.
Only at this point can a man like Ma Tzu come to live in the marketplace, because he knows that his mirror is not any conceptualization, it is now his experience. He knows that everything is reflected. People come and go, riches come and go, the poor become rich, the rich become poor; things go on happening, but your mirror simply mirrors.
Ma Tzu has come to the very root of the problem. If you can understand him, then, in a single moment, instantaneously, the awakening can happen to you too.
At another time, Ma Tzu said, “Every dharma is the dharma of the mind, and every name is a name of the mind. All beings are born of the mind, and so mind is the foundation of all beings.
“As an example: the shadow of the moon reflected on the water has many shapes, but the real moon is not like that. Likewise there are various rivers, but the nature of the water is the same. Although there are myriad activities, there is no discrimination in the emptiness.”
Ma Tzu uses the word mind, but you have to understand that his mind means empty mind, a mind which is emptiness. If the mirror is already full of reflections, it cannot reflect you. The mirror is no more a mirror, it has become a film of a camera. You can take one image on the film, and the film is finished, because that image remains on the film. The film is very much identified with the image; the film does not function like the mirror.