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Chapter 7: Mind Is Gone

Hence I don’t believe that there is a single autobiography which is true. I have read thousands of autobiographies, but this is my observation: that not a single autobiography is true. Only a buddha can write a true autobiography - but buddhas have never written - because a buddha can see actually the facts, but then it is not worth writing at all. What is there to write? Ordinarily people invent their pasts. First they try to create a future - which is not possible, they fail; everybody fails inevitably. When you fail in creating the future, the only substitute is create a past. Now nobody can prevent you; you can enjoy inventing a past. All autobiographies are fictions created, invented, polished, exaggerated. Many things have been dropped, many things have been added.

And I am not saying that people are doing it knowingly - people are not so much conscious - people are simply doing it. They must be believing that it is how it happened; they believe it. They are writing it with very great sincerity.

So people cling to the past. The last clinging in meditation is that “Now I have arrived, all is finished, mind is gone” - and this is mind coming from the back door. This is the mind’s last effort to befool you.

Hence, up to the third Zen people don’t call meditation deep. They call it deep only at the fourth when all is gone; even the idea that all is gone is no more there. Mind is gone. Even the idea that “I have achieved the no-mind” is no more there. Knowledge is gone. Even the idea that “Now I know nothing” is no more there. Zen has taken the ultimate step.

He thought to himself - the angel thought to himself - “Now let me find out what meditation he is practicing.”

Just the inquiry of a child. Remember, the angel represents only innocence, not that he is a sage; he is only a child. And never forget the difference between the two, because both are similar and at the same time very much different. The child has the same kind of innocence as the sage, but the sage has lost that innocence and found it again and the child has not lost it yet. It is the same innocence, but it changes its quality when you lose it and gain it again. You can have glimpses in the child of that intelligence which belongs to a buddha, but those are only reflections. Moon reflected in a lake looks exactly like the real moon, and sometimes even more beautiful than the real moon, but it is just a reflection. Throw a small stone into the lake and you will know the difference. The reflection disappears.

The child can be disturbed very easily; the sage cannot be disturbed at all. There is no way to disturb the sage. The child is innocent, but his innocence is bound to be lost sooner or later. He is intelligent, but he will lose his intelligence.

At a Sunday school class, the priest asked the class, “Who can tell me how long Adam and Eve stayed in the Garden of Eden?”

Little Johnny promptly answered, “Up to the 15th of September.”

“Why?” asked the priest in amazement. “Why the 15th of September?”

“Because apples are not ripe before that time!” answered little Johnny.

Now no theologian has been able to discover that date so exactly. And I perfectly agree with little Johnny - that must have been the date.